Top 10 The Best Museums in NYC

Nguyen Kieu Trang 4 0 Error

Some of the world's best museums can be found in New York. There are numerous options, ranging from historical exhibits at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum ... read more...

  1. It would take several visits to fully appreciate this expansive collection of more than 5,000 years' worth of artwork from all over the world, which spans 13 acres of Central Park. The magnificent late 19th century neo-classical institution, one of the largest museums in the world, exhibits some of the best works of art, from mummified ancient royals to avant garde fashion couture from last year's runway.

    The Temple of Dendur, an Egyptian temple from 10 B.C. that was relocated from its Nileside location to the bright, sun-drenched Sackler Wing overlooking a reflective pool, mesmerizes visitors of all ages. The impressive collection of armor from Europe and Asia, Greek sculptures, medieval art, and contemporary photography are among the other highlights. Relax by a fountain in the indoor sculpture garden or consider what it all means in the Astor Chinese Garden Court, which is tucked away from the Asian Art galleries, after spending hours exploring.

    Museum visitors who purchase advanced online tickets can skip the lines, but they must pay the full suggested donation ($25, seniors $17, and students $12). The special exhibits change every few months and range from displays of little-known gems to big-name retrospective blockbusters, so budget-conscious art enthusiasts should come early on weekdays, pay what they wish, and come often.

    • Website:
    • Location: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

  2. While the Guggenheim's collection of modern art is undoubtedly impressive, the museum's brilliant and divisive design by architect Frank Lloyd Wright makes it impossible to separate the museum's contents from its form. The concrete inverted ziggernaut (a Babylonian step pyramid), which was built on Fifth Avenue across from Central Park just months after Wright's death, trampled on the expectations and tradition of neat square galleries upheld and cherished by the neighboring Upper East Side museums, including the nearby Metropolitan Museum.

    Instead of using walls to divide artists, ideas, or historical periods, Wright combined his use of geometric shapes and nature to create a gallery space that presented art along a flowing, winding spiral, similar to a nautilus shell. The art is revealed at different angles along the descent and across the open circular rotunda in such a way that even the most well-known Monet landscape might seem like a revelation. This is best experienced as Wright intended by taking the elevator to the top of the museum and following the gentle slope down.

    This novel, audacious approach to viewing and observing art has inspired grand exhibitions by today's most innovative artists, including a collection of films by Matthew Barney and a hundred sculptures by Maurizio Cattelan suspended from the ceiling. Make sure to take a break from the captivating season's main exhibit and visit the small rooms off the rotunda to see the permanent collection, which includes works by Picasso, Cezanne, Manet, and the largest collection of Kandinsky paintings to be permanently shown in America. This is especially important considering the high cost of admission ($25, students and seniors $18, children under 12 free).

    • Website:
    • Location: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128
  3. The Whitney Museum moved in 2015 to a brand-new location in Lower Manhattan's Meatpacking District, which was envisioned by international starchitect Renzo Piano, after spending nearly 50 years in its Marcel-Breur-designed building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street. With 63, 000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, the new Whitney building is situated along Ganesvoort Street at the base of the Highline.

    Gertrude Vanderbilt, a sculptor and art patron, founded the Whitney in 1931 with the goal of showcasing American artists' work. Around 15,000 works by almost 2,000 artists are included in its collection, including works by Claes Oldenburg, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Willem de Kooning.

    The Whitney Biennial, which everyone loves to hate, is one of the museum's most well-known temporary exhibitions. The Biennial, which is still America's most esteemed (and divisive) examination of contemporary art, is held every even-numbered year.


    Location: 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014
  4. Since the majority of artists in New York City reside and work in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Museum, one of the best museums in NYC, rivals museums found in Manhattan (even The Metropolitan Museum) with its own incredible exhibits and galleries.

    Brooklyn's top institution is a less crowded substitute for Manhattan's more famous locations, but the ground-breaking and significant works you'll find there are just as significant as anything you'll find in the city. The museum, which is situated on the outskirts of expansive Prospect Park, houses a sizable collection of Egyptian art in addition to Judy Chicago's well-known feminist work The Dinner Party. Works by such Impressionists masters as Cézanne, Monet and Degas are also included in the collection along with with prime examples of Early American Art, period rooms and so much more.

    Due to the Museum's designation as a historical landmark, it was difficult to preserve the floor's historical significance while keeping it structurally sound. Furthermore, the vulnerable glass-block floor (effectively the Hall's ceiling) beneath the Great Hall, which is directly beneath the Court, has had its protective panels removed, revealing the original coffering. The amount of light transmitted is not noticeably altered, and the view upward to the original glass blocks from the Great Hall is essentially as it was when it was first constructed.


    Location: 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238
  5. The Jewish Museum, located in the 1908 Warburg Mansion, hosts a sizeable collection of artworks and Judaica in addition to putting on temporary exhibitions of contemporary and modern art. In addition to a restaurant with an Uptown location of the renowned Lower East Side distributors of Kosher delicacies like lox, sable, and whitefish, there is a permanent exhibit designed specifically for kids.

    The Jewish Museum is a unique center for art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds, and it is situated on New York City's renowned Museum Mile. The museum, one of the oldest Jewish museums in the world, was established in 1904 and was the first organization of its kind in the United States. The museum maintains a unique collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media reflecting the global Jewish experience over more than 4,000 years and is dedicated to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary. The museum also offers a variety of exhibitions and programs.

    The museum does an incredible job of presenting exhibitions about interesting cultural figures (Leonard Cohen, Helena Rubenstein) or movements (Memphis Design, Early Soviet Photography) through the lens of Judaism. The shows tend to be well curated, thoughtfully presented, and beautifully designed—more for the serious art buff than the casual tourist.

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    • Location: 1109 5th Ave &, E 92nd St, New York
  6. In the heart of the Flatiron District, the Fotografiska gallery from Stockholm, Sweden, has opened a branch in New York. Vernika, a dining room and bar run by Stephen Starr, an award-winning Philadelphia restaurateur, is housed there and features three floors of exhibition space. Vernika, which takes its name from the patron saint of photographers, will serve food with influences from Northern French, Austrian, and Eastern European cuisines, all with a side of seasonality and sustainability. Executive chef Robert Aikens will be in charge of the kitchen.

    The gallery organizes its own transient exhibitions of photographs by "grand masters and emerging talent," ranging from "easily accessible to hardcore conceptual."

    With the goal of "inspiring a more conscious world through photography," the original Fotografiska opened its doors in 2010. Since then, 200 exhibitions featuring some of the most prominent photographers, including David LaChapelle, Annie Leibovitz, and Sally Mann, have been held. This is unquestionably one of the best museums in NYC.

    • Website:
    • Location: 281 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
  7. The Merchant's House, one of the best museums in NYC, offers a close-up view of domestic life during the time when New York changed from a mercantile seaport into a thriving metropolis and the hub of American commerce, complete with the family's original furnishings, household items, personal belongings, and even their clothing.

    Visitors have a rare chance to experience the daily lives of the affluent families who lived in this neighborhood, as well as those of their Irish servants, immigrants who fled famine and hardship in Ireland and without whom their employers' comfortable lives would not have been possible.

    The finest cabinetmakers in New York made the Tredwell family's furniture, which is on display in period rooms along with high-style ornaments, china and glassware, practical household items, as well as clothing, books, and other personal belongings. The servants' quarters on the fourth floor are thought to be the city's first intact Irish settlement.

    With more than 30 dresses dating from the 1820s to the 1880s that are known to have belonged to the Tredwell women, the museum's collection of 19th century clothing and textiles is one of the most significant in New York City. The Museum hosts guided tours, lectures, readings, concerts, exhibitions, performances, and other events all year long. Adults and schoolchildren can take advantage of the educational programs it offers on 19th-century life and culture.

    • Website:
    • Location: 29 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
  8. The $50 million Bowery location of the New Museum, which was established in 1977, first opened its doors in 2007. It is a 7-story building that resembles stacks of blocks stacked on top of one another and was created by the avant-garde Tokyo-based architecture firm Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA.

    The museum features everything modern and contemporary in all forms, but it frequently supports lesser-known artists (shows have included Australian painter Helen Johnson, L.A.-based filmmaker Kahlil Joseph and Philadelphia installation artist Alex Da Corte). Exhibits can be hit or miss, and people's reactions to them are frequently highly individualized. New Museum stands out because it is a non-collective organization, which means that all of the space is devoted to a diverse collection of contemporary art that is constantly changing. Previous blockbusters have included Carsten Höller: Experience, the most thorough U.S. exhibition of the multi-media artist's work, and Live Forever, a survey of American artist Elizabeth Peyton's work.

    In line with its more specialized position in the museum world when compared to the Met and MoMA, this is the major museum in New York City that attracts the greatest number of locals and art experts. Families and children are scarce here, and many visitors come specifically to see a particular exhibit.

    • Website:
    • Location: 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
  9. This landmark on Madison Avenue was once J. Pierpont Morgan, a financier, and is his artistic gift to the community. Building on the collection Morgan gathered during his lifetime, The Morgan Library & Museum is home to outstanding works on paper, such as sketches by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Picasso; three Gutenberg Bibles; a copy of Frankenstein with annotations by Mary Shelley; manuscripts by Dickens, Poe, Twain, Steinbeck, and Wilde; sheet music with annotations by Beethoven and Mozart; and a first edition of Dickens's A Christmas Carol that is on display each holiday season. Renzo Piano oversaw a significant renovation and expansion in 2006 that doubled the building's exhibition space and added more natural light. Gilder Lehrman Hall, a theater, frequently hosts recitals and concerts.

    The Morgan has grown physically over the course of the 20th century, adding more gallery space and a garden court to the campus without losing its unmistakably domestic vibe. In 2006, the Morgan completed its largest expansion in its history. Renzo Piano's design integrates the Morgan's three historic buildings with modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions and a central court, increasing exhibition space by more than fifty percent and adding significant visitor amenities.

    The Morgan Library & Museum has kept up its acquisition of valuable music manuscripts, early children's books, Americana, and rare items from the 20th century. It also holds a number of annual special exhibitions featuring both works from its collection and brand-new contemporary art.


    Location: 225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016
  10. Neue Galerie New York is a museum devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design. The collection of artwork from Vienna in the early 20th century explores the unique relationship between the fine arts (Richard Gerstl, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin, and Egon Schiele) and the decorative arts produced at the Wiener Werkstätte by well-known individuals like Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, and Dagobert Peche, as well as by renowned architects like Adolf Loos, Joseph Urban, and Otto Wagner.

    The German art collection features works from several early 20th-century movements, including the Bauhaus (Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer), the Blaue Reiter and its circle (Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc, and Gabriele Münter), the Brücke (Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Pechstein, and Karl Schmidt- (Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Wilhelm Wagenfeld).

    Serge Sabarsky, an art dealer and curator of museum exhibitions, and Ronald S. Lauder, a businessman, philanthropist, and art collector, came up with the idea for the Neue Galerie New York over the course of a close friendship that lasted for close to thirty years. They both had a deep love for Modern German and Austrian art, and Sabarsky and Lauder envisioned establishing a museum to house the best examples of this art. Following Sabarsky's passing in 1996, Lauder continued his plan to establish Neue Galerie New York as a memorial to his friend.

    • Website:
    • Location: 1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

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