The New York City Museum Guide

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 07:50 AM

Ready and set to go to New York? Before you spend all of your money on that Hamilton ticket (because let’s face it, why else would you go to New York in the summer?), consider spending a quiet afternoon in a nice museum. New York City, after all, is said to have at least 83 museums, dedicated to topics varying from art, transportation and feelings. We give you a breakdown of the five museums everyone visits in NYC and tell you what it is about these places that makes them so special.

1. The Museum of Modern Art

One of the most visited museums in the world, the MoMA’s unassuming exteriors tell you nothing about the wonderful paintings inside. While you may find yourself coming across slightly oddball modern art, the museum has a fantastic collection of works that "pushed the boundaries" of what art is supposed to be. You’ll meet familiar paintings by Van Gogh, Dali, and Andy Warhol, and not so familiar ones like Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock. Try to visit the museum early to avoid the rush, and it’s free on Friday nights!

Museum Highlights: Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans, Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl, Monet’s Water Lilies, Dali’s Persistence of Memory

2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Made mostly famous to millennials as the New York Upper East Siders’ lunch spot on the steps, there is so much more to the Met than their iconic exteriors. There are almost two million art works in the museum, which includes Egyptian Art, a massive sculpture gallery, and a fun costume gallery. Remember when Claire Danes showed up in a gorgeous light-up ballgown? It was for the Met costume gallery’s Manus x Machina exhibit that will be up until August 2016. No idea where to start? The museum has suggested itineraries depending on your interests.

Museum Highlights: Renoir’s Madame Georges Charpentier, a Human-headed winged bull and lion from 859 B.C., The Unicorn in Captivity Tapestry, Manet’s Mademoiselle V…in the Costume of an Espada, John Singer Sargent’s Madame X, Gustave Courbet’s Woman with a Parrot

3. The American Museum of Natural History

Anyone who has seen Night at the Museum has an idea of what’s in store when they visit the Museum of Natural History just outside Central Park. Living exhibits aside, it’s an amazing place to find out more about the world around us. There’s a life-sized cast of a 122foot long dinosaur called the Titanosaur, so new that it doesn’t have an official name yet. There’s also the butterfly conservatory, and a planetarium reopening soon. Pavone

Museum Highlights: the Titanosaur, the giant sequioa tree, the giant blue whale, the Napa Nui Moai cast, the Warren mastodon, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Cosmic Pathway

4. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim’s exteriors are just as famous as the works inside. Designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum’s unique spiral shape makes the light come down on the pieces naturally, while people descend or ascend the spirals. There is a large collection of photography here, but the Guggenheim is more known for modern artworks.

Museum Highlights: Kandinsky’s Graceful Ascent, Edouard Manet’s Before the Mirror, Mark Chagall’s I and the Village

5. The Whitney Museum of American Art 

Sitting on the edge of New York on the Meatpacking district is an unassuming building that looms over the edge of the High Line. The museum was born out of patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s desire to share and display new American artists in the 1900s. When institutions ignored the fresh talent and ideas of these American artists, they found home in the Whitney. Now the museum is local New Yorkers’ favorite, with a fantastic view of the city to boot.

Museum Highlights: Charles Alston’s The Family, George Bellows’ Dempsey and Firpo, Ricci Albenda’s I Was Just Thinking and Stuart Davis’ Owh! in San Pao

What are your favorite museum moments?
Share your stories with us!


About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!
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