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Travel Guide to New York's Leading Art Museums





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Art Museums

The Guggenheim at night by David M. Heald, copyright held by the Guggenheim.

Photo: David M. Heald
© The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (Image courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum and used with permission)


New York has an abundance of art museums and this embarrassment of riches includes many world-class institutions.  We focus on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, as these three are the crown jewels of the New York art scene.

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim is a renowned art museum and an architectural spectacle. Completed in 1959, the building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is considered one of his most interesting works.

The Guggenheim's collection is focused on art from the mid-19th century to the present (mainly what would be called modern and contemporary rt).  Artists whose works are in the Guggenheim collection include Calder, Chagall, Delaunay, Kandinsky, Klee, Mapplethorpe, Miro, Modigliani, Mondrian, Picasso, Seurat, van Gogh and others too numerous to mention.

Note that the Guggenheim is smaller and its collection less broad than that of the Met or MOMA. However, its collection is excellent and the setting sublime.

Located in the the Upper East Side, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's address is 1071 5th Avenue (at 89th Street). The museum is closed Thursdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas day. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and until 7:45 p.m. on Saturdays.  See the official website of the Guggenheim for details on pricing, exhibitions and other details.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your day at the Met will be extremely rewarding.The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened in 1870, is one of the world’s largest art museums and considered one of the finest by art aficionados. Its collections include over two million works representing over five thousand years of artistic accomplishments.  Art in the Guggenheim's collection include works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Carpeaux, Coubert, El Greco, Gauguin, Manet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and others, some of which can be previewed at the Art Project powered by Google.

The Met is closed on Mondays (except for Met Holiday Mondays when it is open) and is closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. With the exceptions mentioned, the Met is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except Friday and Saturday when it remains open until 9. If you intend to visit, check the official website of the Met  for details on visiting times, admission fees and current exhibits.

The Met is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street and you can enter the Museum at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street or at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street.

The Cloisters Museum and Gardens , the Met’s branch in northern Manhattan in scenic Fort Tryon Park, is focused on the art and architecture of medieval Europe (12th to 15th centuries).  Some of the buildings are  part of the collection, as they were assembled, in part, from medieval cloisters imported from Europe.  The collection, also, includes over three thousand works of art dating from the 9th to the 16th century.

The museum is closed on Mondays (and not open on the Met Holiday Mondays), as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Operating hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15.p.m. from March through October, but closing is at 4:45 p.m. November through February. See the official website of the Cloisters for more information.

The Cloisters Museum is located at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive in
Fort Tryon Park at the northern end of Manhattan.

The Museum of Modern Art - MOMA

The MOMO is an excellent museum focused on modern artFounded in 1929,  the New York’s Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. If you prefer modern art to other forms, MOMA is one of the world's  leading centers for the collection, curation, and celebration of this genre. 

MOMA presents a treasure trove of modern art including, The Starry Night by  Vincent van Gogh as well as numerous works by Cézanne, Gauguin , Rousseau, Seurat and many others, some of which can be seen online  at the Art Project powered by Google.

Closed on Tuesdays, but open from10:30 a.m. until at least 5:30 p.m. the rest of the week, although open later on Fridays and selected Thursdays. Click this link for MOMA’s official website page  on hours and admission fees. 

The Museum of Modern Art is located in midtown Manhattan at 11 West Fifty-third Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum 

There are many wonderful museums in New York and we recommend the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, part of the Smithsonian, to anyone interested in design (including drawings, product design, the decorative arts, textiles and, even, wall coverings). 

The Cooper Hewitt, located at 2 East 91st Street, is close  to the Met and the Guggenheim. See the official website of the Cooper Hewitt  to determine if this is a museum that could be of interest to you.

If you need information about another travel destination, try our Destination Guide Index  or Googling ThereArePlaces.

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The Guggenheim Museum
The Met
The Cloisters
The Museum of Modern Art
The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum

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