With the Whitney Museum set to open its doors once again on May 1st, there’s no better time to book flights to New York for an art jaunt. Whether you like the classics or want to know what’s happening in the art world now, this is the best of New York’s art offering.
The biggest event in New York’s art world this spring though, will no doubt be the opening of the new Whitney Museum of American Art on the 1st of May. Its new building in downtown Manhattan was designed by Renzo Piano and is located between the High Line and the Hudson River. The Whitney Museum is definitely one of the best art museums in the city, but what about some of the others? Here’s our round-up.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Known just as “The Met,” this is one of New York’s most iconic museums, located on the eastern side of Central Park. Stroll through the galleries to learn about art from different periods and places. The Greek, Roman, African, Byzantine and Egyptian galleries are some of the most popular. It’s not just paintings on the walls here, but suits of armour, weapons, costumes and musical instruments from around the world.
You can’t miss this museum as you’re walking down Fifth Avenue. The conch-shell shaped museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and has been a mainstay on the contemporary art trail since the late 1950s when it first opened. Check out the collection with pieces by Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois. Pick up your tickets in advance if you hope to see an exhibition here.
The Museum of Modern Art
Known around the world as the MoMa, this Yoshio Taniguchi-designed building houses one of the most important collections of modern art in the world. Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock, Warhol, Magritte, Cézanne, among plenty of others are all here in this Midtown museum. Skip the queues and pre-book your tickets online, especially during major exhibitions.
A bit off the beaten path, this is one of the best small art museums in the city. The beautiful home of Henry Clay Frick has been transformed into an intimate space for European art. The collection is classic, with the likes of Velazquez, Goya, Rembrandt and El Greco hanging on the walls. Most of the pieces are still hung in the same way as when Frick was still alive and it’s worth reading his commentary on the collection.
Rubin Museum of Art
Also known as the RMA, the Ruben Museum of Art is entirely dedicated to art from the Himalayas. The exhibitions as well as the permanent collection aim to bridge the gap between these Eastern cultures and other world cultures and we’d say they’re doing a pretty stand-up job. Art dates from the 12th century to the present.
Neue Galerie New York
As you can guess from the name, the Neue Galerie features German and Austrian artwork in a beautiful building on Fifth Avenue. The collection is devoted to the country’s early twentieth-century artists and designers. Expect to see masters like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Richard Gerstl on the walls here.
This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is all about medieval art. Housed in the 1930’s-built cloisters in Fort Tryon Park is a collection of 5,000+ pieces that include tapestries, statues, ornate metalwork and stained glass. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were in some old abbey in western Europe!