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  • Kaylee Schanz
  • "What are the best & most interesting museums in NYC & surrounding areas?"

Kaylee Schanz

Columbus, Ohio

What are the best & most interesting museums in NYC & surrounding areas?

I'm heading to NYC for work with the objective to view 4-5 museums. I am gathering information & inspiration from these visits, so I want to check out museums that are unique and successful in the way they display objects.

I've been to many of the larger museums such as:

The Guggenheim

The Met

The Tenement Museum

MoMA

Museum of Natural History

Museum of Art & Design

I will be with a small group of people (about 5 of us in total) and we will only be in NYC for a couple of days. Our background is history, but for this trip we are more interested in the museum design than the context of the museum.

We will be going in mid-late January.


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  • Julia Bloch

    top answer by

    Great suggestions from Courtney! The Frick is unbelievable. The Tenement Museum is interesting for several reasons, not least of which is the building itself. I would also suggest the rather tiny Nicholas Roerich Museum, inside a beautiful townhouse on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens is also fascinating, inside Armstrong's former residence. The Brooklyn Museum often has interesting exhibits, and the architecture is beautiful (the gift shop's good, too!). I know I sent you on a wild goose chase all over the city, but they're worth it!!

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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      great answers! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Brenda Hervold

    answered by

    MOMA is your best bet. Afterwards grab a cocktail at the The Modern, their restaurant next door.

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  • Regan Wood

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    answered by

    Brooklyn Museum is incredible and they always have great rotating exhibits such as the one on high heels right now in addition to world class art and cultural exhibits. If you've never been to EEllis Island it might be a good time to go as they've temporarily opened the abandoned South Hospital, which is in ruins, to hard hat tours to view the French artist Jr's exhibit of blown up vintage photos of Ellis Island immigrants pasted to the crumbling walls and windows. Looks amazing. Must buy tix in advance--http://www.saveellisisland.org/gallery/unframed-ellis-island-by-jr-photo-gallery/ And some smaller, very respectable fine art ones are the Neue, the Whitney and the Frick.

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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      I heard about that--he's amazing! Great recommendation! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Mayra J

    answered by

    If you have the time to make an trek to Queens, I highly recommend the Queens Museum to view the panorama of NYC. It's amazing to see!

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  • Adam Herbst

    answered by

    As noted in other places, the The Frick Collection is super wonderful. The great thing about the Frick is that it is a "Collection" rather than a museum in the traditional sense. Works are hung so that they speak to one another - there is a painting of gentleman who lost his head across a mantelpiece from the gentleman who ordered his head removed - both painted by the same Master.

    If you are interested in museum design, you might want to check and see what the Christie's Inc and Sotheby's auction houses are showing when you are in town. This will give you an opportunity to see works for sale and to speak with experts about how the works fit into the current market or a person's collection. It is a treat that many other city's don't offer.

    Another option would be the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum which was recently re-opened. I haven't been there since before its reopening, but the review in the NYT was very positive.

    Lastly, as noted below, the Brooklyn Museum - if it weren't for the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, this would be the greatest museum in the City.

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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      Love the auction house idea! · (0 likelikes)

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    2. Christie's Inc (attraction)
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    5. Brooklyn Museum (attraction)
    6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered first by

    Hmm, interesting question.

    For me, the museum that has the most interesting exhibits in terms of the way they present their collections is the The Museum at FIT. They actually teach museum curation there so they are VERY careful about the way they exhibit things. The Museum at FITI would also say to check out the The Frick Collection. It's a bit of an underdog as far as museums in NYC go, but it's well worth seeing. It used to be a private house and there's even an indoor wintergarden inside. One of my all-time favorites.

    The Frick Collection

    The The Morgan Library & Museum is also wonderful--two totally different styles but you should see both the museum and the library. They also have a great cafe.

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  • D Connolly

    answered by

    If you like history... Museum of American Finance and Museum of the City of New York are different and interesting!

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    • Valerie A.

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      Great NYC answer, D! I wanted to let you know that we've helped you geo-tag the places that you mentioned in your answer so that they appear on a map next to it. You can also do this yourself in future answers by simply typing the @-symbol and then the name of the place as you're typing your answer. Check it out! · (0 likelikes)

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  • peter forlano

    answered by

    The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial Museum, and the The Morgan Library & Museum, are my suggestions they are all unique. The CH has been recently been completely renovated and has some mesmerizing interactI've displays. It,s the Smithsonian design museuM. The 9/11 is brand new and seeing the memorial water features outside is an extra very moving experience. The museum itself has well conceived displays that inform and convey the tragic events with very sophisticated, well designed displays. The Morgan was totally renvovated several years ago. The completly transparent elevator is a treat. They all have decent cafes. I recommend one or all for an off the beaten track but first class museum experience. Check them out online for prices, locations, and times. And remember everything in NYC is just a cab ride away.


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  • Fritzi Lareau

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    The The Morgan Library & Museum is one of my favorite smaller museums. It is in a beautiful building with an unbelievable library of illuminated manuscripts. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, while not strictly a museum, has a free tour where you see our gold reserve. You must book on-line in advance. You could also consider whole neighborhoods; a walking tour of the upper east side or the East or West village. Finally the Fashion Institute Of Technology has interesting rotating exhibits. Have a great trip.

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  • Ulrike Herold

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  • tuan dang

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    If you're interested in museum design, you might like The Frick Collection or The Cloisters

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  • Bonnie U

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    1. Neue Galerie New York (attraction)
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  • Perla Domingo

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  • John Kelleher

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    National Academy Museum Upper East Side, Brooklyn Museum Crown Heights , Morgan Library Murray Hill and Frick Upper East Side. Oh and if you feel adventorous- the wonderful Newark Museum Newark (New Jersey)- accessible by public transportation.(It's easy and not scary- and plenty of place to eat in Newarks' Ironbound section.

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