NYC's top permanent historical museum exhibitions

We've selected our favorite museum collections that explore cultural and natural history.

0

Comments

Add +
  • The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History 

  • The Cullman Hall of the Universe at Rose Center for Earth and Space (at the American Museum of Natural History)

  • "Spotlight on the Permanent Collection" at the Museum of Sex

  • Photograph: Markus Hartel

    "Banking in America" at the Museum of American Finance

  • "Behind the Screen" at the Museum of the Moving Image

  • Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art

  • Photograph: Courtesy The Morgan Museum & Library

    "Music Manuscripts & Printed Music" at the Morgan Library & Museum

  • Photograph: Steel; Stone and Backbone; New York Transit Museum

    New York Transit Museum

  • Photograph: Bruce White

    "9/11 National Tribute Quilt" at the American Folk Art Museum

  • Photograph: Courtesy Louis Armstrong House

    "Satchmo's Stuff: Highlights from the Museum Collection" at the Louis Armstrong House Museum   

The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History 


The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History   
In addition to its dazzling 94-foot model of a blue whale, the hall features dioramas of two-ton walruses, arctic polar bears and a pod of dolphins. Walking through the cavernous, blue-lit room, filled with ambient ocean noises, gives one a sense of trolling the ocean floor. Central Park West at 79th St (212-769-5100, amnh.org). Daily 10am--5:45pm. Suggested donation $19, seniors and students $14.50, children 2--12 $10.50, children under 2 free.

The Cullman Hall of the Universe at Rose Center for Earth and Space (at the American Museum of Natural History)
Using videos and artifacts, this installation illustrates how planets, stars and galaxies were likely created. A section on supernovas, featuring animations and images, explains that the atoms in our bodies—as well as those in space objects like the 15-ton Willamette Meteorite, on display—were birthed by the massive explosions. Central Park West at 79th St (212-769-5100, amnh.org). Daily 10am--5:45pm. Suggested donation $19, seniors and students $14.50, children 2--12 $10.50, children under 2 free.

"Spotlight on the Permanent Collection" at the Museum of Sex
This erotic artifacts at this exhibit, regularly refreshed with goodies from the museum's storehouse, range from vintage sepia-toned pornographic photos to lifelike synthetic sex dolls. The museum ventures into salacious fine art as well, with pieces by Keith Haring and Pablo Picasso. 233 Fifth Ave at 27th St (212-689-6337, museumofsex.com). Mon--Thu, Sun 10am--8pm; Fri, Sat 10am--9pm. $17.50, seniors and students $15.25, children under 18 not admitted.

"Banking in America" at the Museum of American Finance
Arranged as a series of lecterns illuminated by a semicircle of classic banker's lamps, this history of the U.S. financial industry also offers enlightening insights into the journey of a check once you deposit it and the onerous language of credit-card contracts. It's not strictly business, though: The exhibit also explores some of history's most infamous bank robbers and shows off notable piggy banks. 48 Wall St at William St (212-908-4110, moaf.org). Tue--Sat 10am--4pm. Through Apr 10: $5, children under 6 free.

"Behind the Screen" at the Museum of the Moving Image
This expansive exhibit traces the history of how film, television shows and videogames are made with approximately 1,400 artifacts—including toys, costumes and cameras—from the museum's collection. There's plenty of interactive fun, too: Visitors can observe the goings of camera-control room at a Mets game and and try their hand at creating a stop-motion short film. 36-01 35th Ave at 37th St, Astoria, Queens (718-777-6888, movingimage.us). Tue--Thu 10:30am--5pm; Fri 10:30am--8pm; Sat, Sun 10:30am--7pm. $12, seniors and students $9, children 3--18 $6, members and children under 3 free; Fri 4--8pm free; film tickets free with museum admission.

Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art
Get a new perspective on the sprawling five boroughs by visiting this 9,335-square-foot replica of the city, which was constructed by Robert Moses for the 1964--65 World's Fair. Its structures were last updated wholesale in 1992, but the adopt-a-building program, launched in 2009, has financed some new additions, such as Citi Field. Visitors can take home a "deed" to their own apartment for a donation of $50. Flushing Meadows--Corona Park near 111th St and 49th Ave entrance, Flushing, Queens (718-592-9700, queensmuseum.org). Wed--Sun noon--6pm. Suggested donation $5, seniors and students $2.50, children under 5 free.

"Music Manuscripts & Printed Music" at the Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan's collection of printed scores, manuscripts and other musical matter includes artifacts connected to such esteemed composers as Johannes Brahms, Frdric Chopin, Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler. Other rarities include two letters written by a 13-year-old Mozart and music handwritten by Beethoven. 225 Madison Ave at 36th St (212-685-0008, themorgan.org). Tue--Thu 10:30am--5pm, Fri 10:30am--9pm, Sat 10am--6pm, Sun 11am--6pm. $15; seniors, students and children 12--16 $10; children under 12 free. Fri 7--9pm free.

"Steel, Stone & Backbone: Building New York's Subways 1900--1925" at the New York Transit Museum
If you've ever wondered how NYC's first subway line was hatched, check out this exhibit, which documents the construction of the city's premier functioning subterranean line. Photographs and videos capture the dedicated sandhogs (the workers) toiling underground and the methods they used to bore the tunnels. Also cataloged are the dangerous accidents that hampered their efforts. Boerum Pl at Schermerhorn St, Downtown Brooklyn (718-694-1600, mta.info/mta/museum). Tue--Fri 10am--4pm; Sat, Sun 11am--5pm. $7, seniors and children 2--17 $5; Wednesdays seniors free.

"9/11 National Tribute Quilt" at the American Folk Art Museum
In 2002, the Steel Quilters of United States Steel Corporation, a small group of women from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, assembled the 8-by-30-foot quilt, which depicts the Twin Towers against the NYC skyline. The names of the victims are inscribed on its three-inch squares, which were sent by more than 500 individuals from  50 states and countries such as Canada and Spain. 2 Lincoln Sq, Columbus Ave at 66th St (212-595-9533, folkartmuseum.org). Tue--Sat noon--7:30pm, Sun noon--6pm. Free.

"Satchmo's Stuff: Highlights from the Museum Collection" at the Louis Armstrong House Museum   
The jazz great's possessions—including his gold-plated trumpets, photographs and handmade collages—make up the foundation of this collection, which is displayed in his former residence. The holdings also include the horn player's audio tapes, which makes it possible for Armstrong's gravelley, joyful voice to greet visitors. 34-56 107th St between 34th and 37th Aves, Corona, Queens (718-478-8274, louisarmstronghouse.org). Tue--Fri 10am--5pm; Sat, Sun noon--5pm. $10; seniors, students and children $7; children under 4 free.

RECOMMENDED

 

See more in This Week in New York

  1. 1
  2. 2

Users say

1 comments
Gingi
Gingi

Museum listings