Manhattan Museums and Culture

    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 Arts and Design, Midtown
  2 Columbus Circle - New York, NY             
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The entire world turns their eyes on New York City for trends and innovations in art, culture and design. Immerse yourself in the genius and brilliant work of artists and designers right before your eyes? That’s why the Museum of Arts and Design is one of the most frequented attractions in all of New York State. MAD is more than just an old warehouse of what used to be – it is the living monument to man’s creativity and innovation. Here you will be inspired by the creative process in the making. Is it art, is it craft, is it a piece of jewelry - is it simply the excitement of forming a work of living art from century’s old natural materials forged with the emerging digital technology of tomorrow? That’s for you to ponder. You can also sign up for one of the many educational classes or seminars available daily and discover your own creativity. Take your school class, visit the open studios, enroll in the professional development for teachers or just emerge into the world of imagination. When you leave this Manhattan museum, your eyes and mind will be opened to a whole new way of seeing life around you.
    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!
    Museum of Modern Art, Midtown
  11 West 53rd Street - New York, NY              
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Upon entering, a copious amount of art speaks to your eyes, ushers you through the doors and into a world beyond your wildest dreams. Bringing to life some of the most amazing and detailed art you have ever seen, plan to come early and stay all day at this New York City museum. Paintings and sculptures entice you through the gallery, as your traverse the myriad of colors, textures and avant-garde esthetics. You are bound to find a few pieces that will stay engrained in your mind for years to come. As your vision returns to day-to-day Manhattan culture, prepare for some of the other facets of the artistic world that are offered here, such as classes, family oriented activities and even a “brown bag lunch lecture”. Throughout spring and summer of 2012, runs an exhibit titled “Murals for the Museum of Modern Art”. There could not be a more perfect time to gather the family and head over for a day filled with beauty and analytical thinking. Around every corner there lies something to be enjoyed and commended. The emotions that are encased within the art are themselves something one must feel for themselves to truly appreciate.
    Dahesh Museum of Art, Midtown
  580 Madison Avenue - New York, NY            
One of the most overlooked eras of art is the European 19th to early 20th century works of such artists as Alma-Tadema, Barye, Leighton, Merson, Navez, Picou, Troyon, and Vernet. The Dahesh Museum of Art was opened with the sole principle of bringing these incredible pieces of art to life. The genesis esperienced at this Manhattan museum expands knowledge and impacts the world with these forgotten treasures. Within its cozy and small interior lie several exhibitions that showcase these artists and promote the vision on which the museum was founded. As the museum is more geared towards the education on this lost period of art, patrons are able to enjoy in-depth analysis of the work as presented by the museum curators. In Spring and Summer 2012, the museum has continued to acquire new and unique pieces with special focus being drawn to a variety of oil on canvas works which are sure to open eyes and enchant minds to all who visit. The Dahesh Museum of Art is more than just another theater district tourist attraction; it is an added value experience of a lost era that Manhattan is proud to call its own.
    The Cloisters Museum, Harlem+
  Ft. Tryon Park - New York, NY           
Medieval Europe in New York? This implausible statement is very much a reality as you approach the Cloisters Museum branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This section of the museum has been built to resemble the architectural elements of the middle ages and takes you back in time. The museum itself is devoted to the art of the time period and offers a traditional museum experience by shares the faith of all the artists and artisans with work on display. The Cloisters is highly dedicated to maintaining its religious roots with the restoration of the Fuentiduena Chapel, featuring the most magnificent stain glass and hand crafted religious artifacts. The Cloisters has also been known to have a feel of a mini-city with their own restaurant and botanical garden designed to enhance the visiting pleasure. Summer 2012 continues with the traditions of bringing Europe to the masses, as more exhibits are on tap to make their way through the hallowed greatness that is the museum. If you are looking for a nice escape from city life and desire to feel transported into the world of yesteryear, then a trip to the Cloisters is highly recommended.
    Statue of Liberty Museum, Lower Manhattan
  Liberty Island - New York, NY           
What speaks to American Freedom quite like the Statue of Liberty? Liberty Island, right off the coast of Manhattan, hosts this world famous landmark that has been featured as an American symbol of freedom for generations. Inside the statue itself is an amazing museum experience unlike anything in the world. This Lower Manhattan museum has an extensive collection of the history behind the statue and offers an insight into the hows and whys of the construction of the monument. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the various chambers of the statue and gaze upon the many exhibits including looks at some of the dismantled original pieces such as the original torch which is now inside. An added attraction is the Ranger tours which take visitors around the island itself while enlightening and explaining the immense wealth of knowledge associated with the statue. Although closed through Summer 2012 due to renovation, visitors can still see many of the museum’s pieces including the special American Chopper “Liberty Bike” now housed in a special outdoor exhibit. No trip to New York is complete without visiting the Statue of Liberty and of course the Statue of Liberty Museum.
    Center for Jewish History, Greenwich Village+
  15 West 16th Street - Manhattan - New York, NY           
The Center for Jewish History is home to the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
The collections at the Center constitute one of the most important resources for the documentation and exploration of the Jewish experience and include old and rare books, periodical collections, photos, memoirs, official decrees, personal letters, and contemporary publications about all aspects of Jewish identity. The art collections include posters, paintings, sculptures, archeological artifacts, historical textiles, and ceremonial objects.
    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.
    Yeshiva University Museum, Harlem+
  2520 Amsterdam Avenue - New York, NY            
Since its founding in 1973, Yeshiva University Museum’s changing exhibits have celebrated the culturally diverse intellectual and artistic achievements of 3,000 years of Jewish experience. The Museum provides a window into Jewish culture around the world and throughout history through its acclaimed multi-disciplinary exhibitions and award-winning publications. By educating audiences of all ages with dynamic interpretations of Jewish life, past and present, along with wide-ranging cultural offerings and programs, the Museum attracts young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.
    National Sports Museum, Lower Manhattan
  26 Broadway - New York, NY           
Nothing has shaped the world quite the same as sports. On the heart of Broadway in Manhattan sits the illustrious National Sports Museum which is dedicated to featuring the celebration of sports and the impact it has had on our culture and our lives. Inside this technologically advanced structure is an amazing assortment of interactive exhibitions, in-depth retail areas and some of the finest dining in all of New York. The center attraction begins with the immersion theater which is a 360-degree display that shows a presentation on the history and progression of sports. As visitors continue on, they will find themselves in a variety of different exhibits dealing with every major sport imaginable. You will get to see a historical timeline of the individual sports as well as video presentations on what makes that sport so great. Another feature of the National Sports Museum is the exploration of the perfect athlete. The museum presents the mental, physical and psychological preparation that goes into becoming a great athlete. Through the science, the presentation and the sheer charisma that this building produces, the National Sports Museum is a landmark in New York and one of the single best experiences available to sports fans today.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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 Frick Collection, Upper East Side
  1 East 70th Street - New York, NY              
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One of Manhattan’s most breathtaking displays is located at the Frick Collection. Before you even step foot inside the museum, you are greeted by the house built by Henry Clay Frick reflecting a sense of excellence and exuberance unlike anything else. The real treasures of the Frick Collection lie inside as the museum plays host to some of the most wonderful pieces of artwork every collected from the Gilded Age. Visitors can set out by themselves or join a guided tour in order to experience fully the vast treasure of wealth in the collection. Summer 2012 sees artists such as Renoir and Antico predominantly featured throughout the exhibits, capturing a sense of awe from all who gaze upon the work. The Frick Collection is also privy to a great many guest lecturers who specialize in this artwork and are sure to enlighten and inform those lucky enough to be in the room. An added attraction to the Frick Collection is the frequent concerts that are played on the grounds featuring classical ensembles. Manhattan’s Frick Collection is a symbol of culture that transcends generations and offers an opportunity for all New Yorkers to experience the true meaning of the word class.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Whitney Museum of American Art, Upper East Side
  945 Madison Avenue - New York, NY              
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The Whitney Museum houses one of the world's foremost collections of twentieth-century American art. The Permanent Collection of some 12,000 works encompasses paintings, sculptures, multimedia installations, drawings, prints, and photographs—and is still growing. The Museum was founded in 1931 with a core group of 700 art objects, many of them from the personal collection of founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; others were purchased by Mrs. Whitney at the time of the opening to provide a more thorough overview of American art in the early decades of the century.
    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.
    New York City Police Museum, Lower Manhattan
  100 Old Slip - New York, NY            
From dreams of cops and robbers to the reality of daily service, the importance of our boys and girls in blue cannot be overlooked. The New York City Police Museum is dedicated to the honor and preservation of our brave men and women who daily risk their lives for our safety and wellbeing. Housed in the rustic First Precinct in Manhattan, the museum is a journey through time, highlighting the various traditions of the NYPD, and enhances public awareness. Visitors are encouraged to learn every aspect of the Police Department as the exhibits do more than just educate; they provide a firsthand account of the vast history of the police and New York itself. Spring 2012 continues to display the 9/11 exhibit, which acts as a memorial for all the brave men and women who unselfishly gave of their lives in service during the devastating 911 tragedy. On the lighter side, Summer 2012 finds the popular annual vintage police car show, for its twelfth season. For a chance to celebrate the heroes beyond the shield, the New York City Police Museum is essential visiting for all New York citizens.
    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.
    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