9 Must-Visit Museums in New York
There is no doubt about it, New York City is teeming with culture. With dozens of museums and cultural institutions covering a wide range of topics, the city has become to be known as a nexus for all things art. Here is just a sampling of some of its must-see museums.
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
When staying in New York be sure to pay a visit to the Met, one of the city’s most iconic institutions that also holds the title of the largest museum in the United States. With over two million pieces in its permanent collection, spanning from Egyptian art and European paintings to contemporary American masterpieces and more, this museum has something for everyone. It also famously houses the Costume Institute, which holds an exhibition that is ushered in by the famous Met Gala each spring.
2. The Tenement Museum
No visit to New York is complete without a stop at the Tenement Museum: the city’s cultural institution dedicated to the immigrants, refugees and migrants who have made the city their home. The museum’s guided tours, which include exploring historical Lower East Side tenement buildings that immigrants once lived in, truly transport the visitor to a different time and place. Afterwards head to Russ & Daughters nearby, one of downtown’s most famous cafes. It was founded in 1914 and is now known for its delicious bagels and lox.
3. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Found in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Museum at FIT showcases a schedule of exhibitions that focus on all things fashion. From tracing the history of the corset to navigating the impact of youth culture on trends in the 1960s, it explores the intersection between art and style. After visiting, be sure to also take a short walk to the city’s Garment District, which is known for famous stops such as Mood Fabrics.
4. The New Museum
A staple in downtown New York City’s art scene, this is the only museum in Manhattan dedicated wholly to contemporary art. Featuring a vibrant roster of dynamic artists throughout the year, the New Museum’s shows are invariably both innovative and immersive (and instagrammable).
5. American Museum of Natural History
A timeless favorite, the American Museum of Natural History is larger-than-life. Its towering dinosaur fossils, beautiful butterfly conservatory, planetarium and more make each visit memorable. A favorite department to check out while visiting is the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems, which showcases an elaborate collection of precious stones.
6. MoMA PS1
Situated in the borough of Queens and once an actual public school, MoMA PS1 is the sibling location to the famous Museum of Modern Art in Midtown. Blurring the lines between art, politics, culture and identity, it shows work from emerging creatives and established artists alike. Past talents have included Marina Abramović, Laurie Anderson and Robert Mapplethorpe.
7. The Met Cloisters
Located just a short subway ride from the center of Manhattan, the Met Cloisters is the Met’s sister location that focuses on the art, gardens and architecture of medieval times. Open to the public since 1938, the museum’s stone fortress overlooks the Hudson River and is surrounded by four acres of greenery – making it a great place to escape the bustle of the city.
8. Museum of the City of New York
Head over to Manhattan’s famous Fifth Avenue to learn all about New York. Featuring exhibitions that focus on the unique facets of the Big Apple, upcoming programmes include the history of cycling in New York, the role of basketball in the city’s culture and a photographic survey of the metropolis. This will explore how it existed in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s during the rise of counterculture. The eatery Chalsty’s Cafe is also a great place to refuel during a day of exploring.
9. The Whitney Museum
Nestled in the city’s picturesque Meatpacking District, The Whitney is known for its impressive exhibits, from paintings by Toyin Ojih Odutola and Yayoi Kusama’s immersive installations, to a recent extensive Andy Warhol retrospective. After visiting, enjoy a stroll along the nearby High Line – a unique public park created on an old 1930’s freight railway 30 feet above street level.