Manhattan Museums and Culture

    Morgan Library & Museum, Midtown

  225 Madison Avenue - New York, NY            
A major exhibition venue for fine art, literature and music, this edifice of Manhattan’s museums and culture is also one of New York's great historical sites. A good place to shop, dine and immerse yourself in an abundance of programs for all age groups, Spring 2012 offers a celebration of the exhibition “In the Company of Animals”. The Morgan invites children ages 6–12 and their families for a day filled with music, dance, art, and... animals. Come one, come all and spend the entire day enthralled in all that is offered at this fun destination. The bright colors and variety of literature will keep the interest of even the most easily distracted. Embrace your inner intellectual, allow yourself to be drawn in and find something that peaks your curiosity. A definite must for summer vacations, minutes from Empire State Building, Bryant Park and the International Center of Photography, you will leave with a wealth of knowledge that will stay fresh in your mind for years to come. Just over 2 miles from the Guggenheim, New York City is rich in art, culture and good food. Stop by and grab yourself a bowl of famous Manhattan Clam Chowder or a delicious hot dog from Nathan’s in true New York style!
    American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
  Central Park West at 79th Street - New York, NY             
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The Museum boasts habitat groups of African, Asian and North American mammals, the full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life (reopened in 2003), the 62-foot Haida carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific Northwest, and the "Star of India", the largest blue sapphire in the world. The circuit of an entire floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution, including the world-famous dinosaurs.
The Museum's anthropological collections are also outstanding: Halls of Asian Peoples and of Pacific Peoples, of Man in Africa, Native Americans in the United States collections, general Native American collections, and collections from Mexico and Central America.
The Hayden Planetarium, connected to the museum, is now part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space, housed in a glass cube containing the spherical Space Theater, designed by James Stewart Polshek. The Center was opened February 19, 2000. Source
    Museum of Chinese American, Greenwich Village+
  70 Mulberry Street - New York, NY             
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The Museum of Chinese in America has the distinction of being one of the first museums to provide a link between the enriched Chinese culture and American society. Located in Manhattan, the Museum of Chinese in America strives to be a model amongst interactive museums and provides a cultural experience unlike many others in New York City. The museum itself curates and displays an expanded collection in a variety of innovative ways. Want to learn about the Chinese immigrants living in California? Why not watch it in a multimedia production available on the main floor. Want to bring a Chinese fieldtrip to school? Take advantage of the museum’s educational programs and curriculum. The museum also offers oral histories and firsthand accounts through its community workshops and projects giving visitors a strong sense of what the Chinese culture is all about. Spring 2012 continues in the traditions of innovative exhibits by featuring new displays focusing on the Tiananmen Square massacre, the history of Chinatown, and a walk through Chinese America in the Artists Talk series. The belief is that by increasing local and global dialogues, New Yorkers and Chinese alike will promote wellness and shape a better tomorrow. The Museum of Chinese in America is dedicated to doing just that.
    Museum of Sex, The, Midtown
  233 Fifth Avenue (@ 27th Street) - New York, NY            
Ever wanted to know something about sex but were afraid to ask someone? Well a trip to the Museum of Sex is sure to answer most any question you have ever had about human sexuality. An ever growing museum filled with a vast wealth of knowledge, art and a resonance of desire. This Manhattan museum is one of the most diverse and innovative places you will ever visit. Push those hesitations to the side and allow yourself to delve into the creative and informational environment here. Exploring events, lectures, and publications without the concern for self-censorship one can easily put their inhibitions aside with no fear for judgment while touring the intriguing items on display. Here they are dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. After you tour the unique site you might be enticed to visit the bar offering a wide range of sensually stimulating adult beverages and epicurean treats from local bakeries that could very well be that aphrodisiac you have been searching for. Correlating the relationships between food, drink and passion, the bar is considered the museum’s own hidden gem. Erotic, tasteful and overall an interesting place to go with your partner, friends or a day out by yourself.
    National Museum of the American Indian, Lower Manhattan
  1 Bowling Green - New York, NY            
Between two beautiful sculptures that tell the story of the Americas lies the entrance to the amazing architecture of the New York branch of the National Museum of the American Indian. A step inside and you will be astounded by the beautiful exhibits canvassed amid architecture that will keep you buzzing for years to come. Adjacent to Battery Park, this vast collection of years of artifacts, culture, and knowledge also boasts FREE admission! Of all the New York museums and cultural attractions, it is a great place to take your entire family. This is one of the Manhattan museums that features films for public viewing. It also provides great music and dance programs; talk about fun! For teachers, the museum even offers materials listed by region or tribe for use in the classroom. You really feel and experience the desire of the museum to reach out to everyone in an effort to get the huge collection of knowledge and information it contains out there. A good place for a field trip or a part of your family vacation that won’t break the bank, a visit to this museum really gives a sense of pride for the great land we call America.
    Museum of Television & Radio, Midtown
  25 West 52nd Street - New York, NY           
Amidst the hustle and bustle of busy midtown Manhattan lays a tribute to the history of television and radio known as the Paley Center for Media (formerly known as The Museum of Television and Radio). Far from your typical museum, you will not find artifacts hidden behind glass enclosures or many “do not touch signs” here. Instead you will be delighted to find screening rooms, and a vast media collection from which you can choose an actual program and view it. Visitors are allowed to a selection of up to four programs per visit. There are also two, full-sized theatres which often feature public programs, so check the schedule and make sure you time your visit to catch one. This Manhattan museum also offers many family and educational programs. The “Re-Creating Radio Workshop”, teaches children (over 9) and adults to produce and re-create old time radio dramas, with the use of scripts, music and a variety of sound effects. This is a fun way for parents and children to experience media in the way that their grandparents used to enjoy the new world of multi-media. And if you remember the early days of broadcasting, come and reminisce the magic of your youthful imagination. The Paley Center really has something for everyone!
    The Jewish Museum, Upper East Side
  1109 5th Avenue - New York, NY             
Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries. September 14, 2012 - February 3, 2013. Crossing Borders features a superb selection of over fifty Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic manuscripts from the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, one of the world’s richest collections of manuscripts and printed books related to medieval European Jewish culture. The manuscripts, many of them exquisitely illuminated, illustrate the fertile exchanges among Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the fields of religion, art, science, and literature. Included is one of the Bodleian's greatest treasures: the magnificent Kennicott Bible. Many of the works in the exhibition are on view in the United States for the first time.
For thousands of years, the Jewish heritage has helped shape the world’s societies and changed the landscape of art, literature and culture. The Jewish Museum located in Manhattan has been built exclusively to take visitors on a journey across the world and through time. Housed within the illustrious Warburg mansion on New York’s famous Museum Mile, the Jewish Museum comprises over 27,000 separate items all dedicated to the Jewish culture from hundreds of years old pressings and paintings to the most recent digital and video displays. Visitors can be drawn to these numerous exhibitions and have a variety of guides explaining the significance of the work and how it applies to today’s society. Also included at the museum, is a uniquely comprehensive body of radio and television programs related to the Jewish experience which allows visitors to fully grasp the conceptual application of Jewish culture. Spring 2012 offers a very special installation by Barbara Bloom; the first in a projected series featuring contemporary artists interacting with collection works. The entire Jewish Museum experience is one that is eye-opening, heartfelt and allows the world to understand how the Jewish people have continued to thrive and produce through perseverance, dedication and a will to better the world around them.
    Chelsea Art Museum, Greenwich Village+
  556 West 22 - New York, NY             
Home of the Miotte Foundation, is committed to an exploration of “art within a context.” This approach favors a program of exhibitions which reflect contemporary human experience across a broad spectrum of cultural, social, environmental and geographical contexts. CAM’s exhibitions, each supported by a rich series of related cultural events and educational programs, seek to support in both its artists and audiences a sense of creativity, community and cultural exchange.
    Japan Society, Midtown
  333 East 47th Street - New York, NY           
Set against an absolutely stunning cascading waterfall and reflective pool sits Manhattan’s premier link between Japanese culture and the American people. The Japan Society is a hotbed of activity and display with the central message of establishing a comprehensive link between Japan and the United States. With a constantly rotating selection of exhibits and displays, the Japan Society is an always fresh experience that encourages multiple visits in order to fully grasp the underlining message. While there, visitors are also able to engage in a variety of other ways, including visits to the Japan Society library, special guest lectures from a variety of Japanese-American artists and influential people, hands-on workshops and special seminars dedicated to shaping the global leaders of tomorrow. Spring 2012 brings a look at the political application of the museum as they delve into Japan’s role with the United Nations, and the healing and rebuilding process facing Japan after their multiple catastrophes over the last several years. Summer 2012 continues with a concert by Japan superstar JERO with benefits from sales going towards the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. The Japan Society is an ever-growing hub of information and offers some of the most professional and informational materials in all of Japanese and New York culture.
    China Institute, Upper West Side
  125 East 65th Street - New York, NY           
In today’s society, it is very hard not to see the influence of Chinese culture and how it has shaped everything from medicine to our economy. The China Institute in Manhattan gives a deeper understanding of China through their programs in education, culture, business and art, and gives a strengthening of the global community by enhancing the knowledge of East and West. Inside the building, visitors will find more than your traditional artwork and instead find an education hub dedicated to all forms of communication and education supporting the understanding of China. While there, one has the opportunity to explore performing arts programs, lecture series, short courses, symposia, film screenings and workshops all revolving around China. Spring 2012 has a special focus on Chinese architecture and features a book signing for the novel “Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts.” This event includes an in-depth lecture on this fascinating subject and is to be used as a catalyst to better understanding the development of Chinese architecture. The China Institute is one of New York’s best and only links to our neighbor to the east and should be a destination of anyone looking to expand their minds and better their understanding of the Chinese people.
    Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side
  5th Avenue & 82nd Street - New York, NY             
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George Bellows - November 15, 2012–February 18, 2013. Accompanied by a catalogue and an Audio Guide. Gallery 999. George Bellows (1882–1925) was regarded as one of America's greatest artists when he died, at the age of forty-two, from a ruptured appendix. Bellows's early fame rested on his powerful depictions of boxing matches and gritty scenes of New York City's tenement life, but he also painted cityscapes, seascapes, war scenes, and portraits, and made illustrations and lithographs that addressed many of the social, political, and cultural issues of the day. Featuring some one hundred works from Bellows's extensive oeuvre, this landmark loan exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of the artist's career in nearly half a century. It invites the viewer to experience the dynamic and challenging decades of the early twentieth century through the eyes of a brilliant observer.
Once you step between the doors of this monumental edifice of man’s artistic achievement, you enter into a living body of culture and civilization collected from the four corners of the earth. Ancient Egyptian artifacts, Japanese silk tapestries, Mediaeval Chess pieces, oils and watercolors of Van Gogh, Turner, Rembrandt and Chagal, Collections of Native American art and crafts through the centuries, the opportunities are endless for seeing the wonders of man’s imagination and creative genius. The MET is a NY tourist attraction that holds tours for school classes, seminars on the restoration of ancient shards of daily life, and places you in the midst of cultures from around the world without ever having to step foot on a plane. Where else can you go and enjoy scrumptious art like Faberge eggs, the celebration of baseball in the collection of player cards or imagine yourself wrapped in a mummy cloth. Open every day but Monday and easy to get to, there is every reason in the world to come to the MET, the center of Manhattan museums and culture, spend the day and even eat some of the most delicious food in The City. The main building, often referred to simply as "the Met," is one of the world's largest art galleries, and has a much smaller second location in Upper Manhattan, at "The Cloisters," which features medieval art.
    El Museo Del Barrio, Upper East Side
  1230 5th Avenue - New York, NY           
Heralded by The New York Times as “an institution in its ascendancy”, El Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 by artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz with the support of a group of Puerto Rican educators, artists, parents and community activists in East Harlem’s Spanish-speaking El Barrio. Since then, El Museo del Barrio has evolved into New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, having expanded its mission to represent the diversity of art and culture in all of the Caribbean and Latin America.
As the only museum in New York City that specializes in representing these cultures, El Museo del Barrio continues to have a significant impact on the cultural life of New York City and is now a major stop on Manhattan’s Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. El Museo del Barrio thrives on the sustained excellence of its collections, exhibitions and public programming.
    New Museum Of Contemporary Art, The, Greenwich Village+
  583 Broadway - New York, NY             
Bright displays and unique settings make the scene at Manhattan’s only contemporary art museum in the New Museum of Contemporary Art. This New York City Museum is distinctive, embodying traditional thought processes of those of contemporary artists in an impactful display much different than your traditional plate glass and roped off museum. The museum itself is open to the public with a vast variety of unique pieces and constantly has new things for visitors of all types to see. This Manhattan museum sports all kinds of exhibitions, ranging from sculptures, music and art of all sorts whether traditional or abstract. Contemporary Art is exploding with a creative variety that gives a little bit of something for all art lovers and art novices alike. Visitors under 18 can enter for free, and new exhibits continue to arrive in the Summer 2012. These new exhibits will be including work by Ellen Altfest, Phyllida Barlow, Tacita Dean, and other great talents from overseas. The New Museum of Contemporary Art promises to give a matchless and lasting memory for its visitors and expand our knowledge to a broad spectrum of creativity from around the world.
    Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Upper East Side
  2 East 91st Street - New York, NY              
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What is more life-like than life itself? The Cooper-Hewitt Museum in Manhattan asks this very question and provides a look at both the contemporary and historic design that helped shape our nation and the world. As part of the Smithsonian, one can expect an immense amount of information available for patrons that walk into this New York City museum. The curators strive to generate a more educational understanding of design and seek to show perspectives often overlooked by more conventional wisdom. The beauty of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum is not just within the museum itself but in the numerous programs endorsed by them as well. Visitors may find themselves in the design center watching today’s architects and designers formulating plans for tomorrow. They may find themselves in one of the museum’s renovation programs such as the Summer 2012 project on the Carnegie Mansion. Visitors may even find themselves attending special travelling exhibits endorsed by the museum such as the special summer exhibition of “Graphic Design-Now In Production” featured on Governors Island. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum is a very special destination and a true cultural landmark for any New York City experience.
    The Hispanic Society of America, Harlem+
  613 West 155th Street - New York, NY           
Two beautiful lion sculptures perched on pedestals in all their majesty, greet you at the entrance of the Hispanic Society of America, upon walking up the grand stairs and into a world of vast history and culture. Amazingly enough, the admission at this Manhattan museum is free, in addition to the wealth of resources they provide for the curious mind. The vast collections here are unparalleled, with information on nearly every aspect of culture in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Boasting many archeological artifacts, paintings and sculptures, one will be awestruck at the beauty surrounding them. Just stepping inside this Manhattan museum provides great insight to the Spanish culture. Stop in and take a look at the wide variety of earthenware and porcelain artifacts from other museums. The collection of textiles is among the best in the world, with a fascinating selection of rare carpets that captivate and educate one in the history of each one-of-a-kind piece. If you are seeking to advance your understanding, gain a sense of self and your culture, or you if are simply desirous of surrounding yourself in the rich culture and beauty that abounds in this world, stop in for a spring or summer 2012 visit.
    Skyscraper Museum
  44 Wall Street - Lower Manhattan - New York, NY            
Just steps from the "Charging Bull" sculpture, Battery Park and The Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation and walking distance from many favorite New York City attractions, lays the home of the greatest tribute to skyscrapers of NYC. Celebrating the great architectural history of the city and boasting many scale models this Manhattan museum houses a vast resource of information in print and via computers, chronicling the architecture, building styles and techniques used to create the great hub that is New York. Saturday mornings are all about family, with a rotating schedule of enticing events that families are sure to enjoy. Explore the principles of urbanism, architecture, and engineering through hands-on activities, a great way to get the family together to learn really intriguing facts and functions. The Skyscraper Museum also shares a building with the Ritz Carlton; so, after your fun-filled day you will surely want to stop by Crumbs Bake Shop and get yourself a taste of awesomeness offering a wide variety of flavors to satisfy any sweet tooth. The s'Mores cupcake will definitely leave you longing for s'more to take home and enjoy! Leave the area satisfied that you have learned most everything about the buildings that surround and captivate you.
    Ellis Island Immigration Museum, Lower Manhattan
  Ellis Island - New York, NY             
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From Battery Park, you can take the ferry across to the famous Ellis Island Immigration Museum. You will be astounded by the wealth of information they have. Make sure you check out the American Family Immigration History Center where you can access passenger records. A great sense of pride comes with finding out about your family’s history by accessing this great interactive exhibit. The museum is also currently featuring a special exhibit in the west wing “The Spirit of America” Gibson Les Paul guitar is up on display. Made of artifacts preserved during the centennial restoration of the island, this exhibit is an amazing mixture of art, culture and beauty. Wood grain details from the preserved steps and doors of the main building really catch the eye, while the copper inlay is composed of copper preserved from the Statue of Liberty National Monument. While the creators seem to use the universal language of music to send a message of freedom and convey a great sense of pride for the land we call America. Visit often during the year to experience some of the most intriguing New York museums and culture. You may find you can spend a whole day lost in history at this one of-a-kind museum.
    Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem+
  144 West 125th Street - New York, NY           
There are very few places in the world that showcase an abundance of African influence and culture quite like Harlem. In the midst of Harlem lies the Studio Museum which houses work influenced by the African heritage and sets forth a dynamic exchange of ideas and society for all who visit. Inside this multi-story loft, patrons will find not only African artwork and sculptures, but also a plethora of photographs, writings and film all dedicated to enhancing your awareness about the beauty and rich cultures of the African people. The Studio Museum takes this learning experience a step further by offering a wide variety of education and public programs. Some of these programs include guest lectures, dialogues, performance art pieces and interpretive interactive displays. In Spring 2012, the museum will be continuing its tradition of offering unique exhibitions by featuring “Shift” which is a group of autonomous installations broken down and enhanced for the advanced understanding of African influence. The Studio Museum is a fantastic place to visit while in Harlem for people of all heritages and allows you to better understand the power and depth of the African culture and its integration into America.
    Museum of the City of New York, Harlem+
  5th Avenue & 103rd Street - Manhattan - New York, NY           
Nothing says New York City more than a museum dedicated to what New York is all about. At the Museum of the City of New York, patrons are allowed to link the past, present and future of NYC through a variety of presentations and exhibits designed to show the timeline of what New York’s evolution. When stepping through its doors on Manhattan’s famous Museum Mile, you will notice that an extensive remodeling and expansion project is under way. Several floors of memorabilia ranging from photographs, prints, theater mementos, costumes, and more are displayed in such a way as to show the affluent history of New York and to instill a sense of grandeur the city represents. Through Summer2012, the museum is continuing to offer state-of-the-art exhibitions including demonstrations on the social and economic growth of NYC. Visitors are encouraged to look at the projects including “Capitol of Capitol” which deals directly with New York banks and their effect on the global economy and “From Farm to City” which showcases Staten Island and its change from rural farmland to an urban center. The Museum of the City of New York is a phenomenal experience and a treasured look at one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
    The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, Greenwich Village+
  594 Broadway, Suite 401 - New York, NY             
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Are you a fan of cartoons? How about comic strips? If you love animated drawings from a variety of different genres and artists, you need to make a visit to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. This beautiful Manhattan museum emphasizes the very best in animation, ranging from political and editorial cartoons all the way up to state-of-the-art computer graphic design. Guests are given the opportunity to explore the artistic and cultural impact of these works in an environment that produces feelings of nostalgia and grandeur around every corner. Closed through the beginning of Summer 2012, the museum is set to feature some of the most unique comic art in their upcoming season. A featured attraction, scheduled with the upcoming movie, is a collection documenting the vast history of the Dark Knight. A history of Batman in Japan, a look at the different artists that contributed to the various comic books, and a selection of work that inspired Michael Uslan to produce the Batman film series are all available right here in New York City. Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience? Take the time to stop in and visit the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.
    Morris-Jumel Mansion, Harlem+
  65 Jumel Terrace - New York, NY           
It's true! Washington made his headquarters here at the Mansion during the fall of 1776. It was during this period that the General's troops forced a British retreat at the Battle of Harlem Heights. The house was built eleven years before the Revolution, in 1765, by British Colonel Roger Morris and his American wife, Mary Philipse. The breezy hilltop location proved an ideal location for the family's summer home. Known as Mount Morris, this northern Manhattan estate stretched from the Harlem to the Hudson Rivers and covered more than 130 acres. Loyal to the crown, the Morrises were eventually forced to return to England as a result of the American victory.
    Museum Of Jewish Heritage, Lower Manhattan
  18 1st Place - Battery Park Ciy - New York, NY            
The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust honors those who died by celebrating their lives - cherishing the civilization that they built, their achievements and faith, their joys and hopes, and the vibrant Jewish community that is their legacy today.

In the Museum's core exhibition, personal objects, photographs, and original films illustrate the story of Jewish heritage in the twentieth century. The Museum's unique collection forms the solid foundation of this important archive, a significant educational resource for students, teachers, and scholars. In addition, the collection provides source materials for permanent and temporary exhibitions, and for traveling exhibitions.
    Children's Museum Of Manhattan, Upper West Side
  212 West 83rd Street - Manhattan - New York, NY            
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Children, as much as anyone, need a place to go where they can experience the world and explore the possibilities of science, art and society. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan gives families an opportunity to not only have a fun-filled and interactive museum experience but also to help jumpstart their child’s education. Located on the upper west side, the museum features some of the most unique and diverse exhibits in New York City. Children may find themselves in the EatSleepPlay center which allows them to build healthier lifestyles by experiencing hands-on the various functions of the human body. The family can then go to a live performance from a variety of top flight Broadway artists that all have a positive and enhancing message. In Spring 2012 the Children’s Museum celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by looking at various artists and writers who have helped shape the Pacific Asian culture. These artists and writers will be presented in such a way that children will grasp the concepts behind the work and help further stimulate their own thirsts for knowledge and understanding. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a great time for the kid and the kid at heart and welcomes all families to their door.
    Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Upper West Side
  91 Orchard Street - New York, NY            
Many Americans can trace their ancestral roots to immigration through the New York system. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum offers an opportunity to understand directly what their families went through. This Manhattan museum delivers a remarkable re-creation of New York City’s past. Apart from the traditional glass-housed displays, the museum goes above and beyond, featuring several reconstructed apartments that show the day-to-day life of New York immigrants. Complete with actors and actresses, these apartments allow visitors to assume the role of a newly arrived immigrant and interact as if they were really there. The tours of the apartments even give visitors the opportunity to handle the household objects and completely blur the line between yesterday and today. Summer 2012 goes a step further with a walking tour of the Lower East Side, providing a firsthand account of the when’s, where’s and why’s of immigrants in Manhattan. Another feature during the summer will be a series of educational lectures from today’s immigrants, providing a fresh perspective on the reasons for immigration and the hardships of migration. Unlike many more traditional museums, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a fully interactive experience that must be seen to be believed. Easily accessed from all of New York, one must make the time to find out exactly where their families came from.
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