Best museum exhibitions in NYC

Find listings and reviews for the best New York museum shows, as chosen by Time Out's critics.

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A New York museum trip shouldn't be saved for a rainy day: With specialties ranging from modern art to mathematics, sex to outer space, there a New York museum for every aesthetic and intellectual curiosity. To help you find the exact stimulation you seek, our critics have rounded up the very best museum exhibitions in New York City right now.

West Indian-American Day Carnival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This Caribbean celebration, known for having lively music and lots of skin, is never short on costumed stilt dancers, floats blaring soca and calypso music, and plenty of flags from countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Look for vendors stationed along Eastern Parkway

  1. Brooklyn
  2. Mon Sep 1
More info

Space Shuttle Enterprise

  • Critics choice

In 1977, NASA conducted a series of tests on a new type of craft: the Space Shuttle. Now that prototype resides on the deck of the Intrepid in a specially designed pavilion. Visitors can walk close to and under the 180-foot-long, six-story Shuttle, the wingspan of which is more than 70 feet.

  1. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Pier 86, Twelfth Ave, at 46th St, 10036
  2. Mon Sep 1 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"Exposed: A History of Lingerie"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Whatever your interest in ladies’ undergarments, you’ll see more than 70 iterations from throughout history at the Museum at FIT’s new exhibit. From a circa-1770 whalebone corset to Rudi Gernreich’s wireless “no-bra bra” of the ’60s, the exhibit looks at how form and function have

  1. The Museum at FIT Seventh Ave, at 27th St
  2. Tue Sep 2 - Sat Nov 15
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"Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C.F. Martin”

  • Critics choice

With all due respect to Les Paul, few names loom larger in American luthier lore than Christian Frederick Martin. The German immigrant crossed the Atlantic in the 1830s and began fashioning six-strings in the Spanish style (figure-eights with super pretty rosewood inlays), but with sturdier and

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Mon Sep 1 - Sun Dec 7
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Radio City Stage Door Tour

  • Critics choice

This hour-long tour of the Art Deco theater includes a look at the Roxy Suite—created for vaudeville producer Samuel Lionel "Roxy" Rothafel when the stage opened in 1931—a meet-and-greet with a Rockette and a glimpse at the VIP-signed guest book. Attendees can even pose in a digitally

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Mon Sep 1 - Wed Dec 31
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"13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World's Fair"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

As one of the artists commissioned to make work for the 1964 World’s Fair, Andy Warhol, always the provocateur, plastered a sizable portion of the New York State Pavilion’s facade with enlarged mugshots of the city’s most wanted criminals from two years prior. The checkerboard of front and

  1. Queens Museum Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, , enter at 111th St and 49th Ave
  2. Wed Sep 3 - Sun Sep 7
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"Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Take a quiz to find out whether your body is guided predominantly by wind, bile or phlegm, the three forces of Tibetan medicine, then follow a customized path through this collection of paintings, medical instruments and texts. The items run from the 9th century to today, with a multimedia overview

  1. The Rubin Museum of Art 150 W 17th St, at Seventh Ave, 10011
  2. Mon Sep 1 - Mon Sep 8
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"Gilded New York"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The phrase more money, more problems would not have sat well with upper-class early-20th-century New Yorkers, who flaunted their wealth in the form of jewelry, furs and elaborate houses. This exhibit, the first in the newly christened Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, displays 100 glamorous

  1. Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave, between 103rd and 104th Sts
  2. Mon Sep 1 - Wed Dec 31
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"Behind the Screen"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

At the museum’s core exhibit (which was completely updated during renovations), you can put sound effects into film scenes, insert your voice into a part of The Wizard of Oz, or even make a short animated film and e-mail it to yourself. Learn about live video editing in the TV control room, where

  1. Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave, at 37th St, 11106
  2. Wed Sep 3 - Wed Dec 31
More info

The New American Wing

  • Critics choice

The Met's expansive galleries trace the evolution of American painting, sculpture and decorative arts from colonial days to the early 20th century. Gems include Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s iconic 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, which depicts the Revolutionary general looking

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Mon Sep 1 - Wed Dec 31
More info
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