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Photograph: Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

The best Midtown art galleries

At these art galleries on and around 57th Street, you'll find a continuous series of blue-chip shows.

By Howard Halle
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During New York's mid-century heyday, the stretch of 57th Street between Park and Sixth Avenues served as the city's prime gallery hub—due, in part, to the proximity of MoMA over on 53rd Street. Today, the Midtown scene remains as relevant as ever, even with the presence of gallery districts in Chelsea, the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. Usually located on the upper floors of commercial buildings like the Fuller, midtown spaces are elegant, business-like and noted for blue-chip shows of contemporary and historical artists. If you want to find which places are worth a visit, consult our guide to the best Midtown art galleries. 

RECOMMENDED: See more of the best art galleries in NYC

Best Midtown art galleries

Photograph: Forum Gallery

1. Forum Gallery

Art Contemporary art Midtown West

While Forum Gallery, founded in 1961, specializes in the work of such contemporary realists as William Beckman and Odd Nerdrum, its program includes masters of modern and postwar art, ranging from Alexander Archipenko to Andrew Wyeth.

Photograph: 57W57ARTS

2. 57W57ARTS

Art Contemporary art Midtown West

Opened in 2014, 57W57ARTS is divided into a main gallery, another exhibition area called the Waiting Room and a third section called the Project Space. The gallery describes its program as being "influenced by modernism, conceptualism and craft" and while the work presented here spans multiple styles and mediums—painting, installation, photography, sculpture—there seems to be a noticeable lean towards geometric abstraction.

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Photograph: Eric W Baumgartner

3. Hirschl & Adler Modern

Art Galleries Midtown West

Part of the Hirschl & Adler Galleries founded in 1952, Hirschl & Adler Modern focuses on contemporary realist art as well as more abstract and conceptualist work from the 20th-century postwar era.

Photograph: Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

4. Howard Greenberg Gallery

Art Galleries Midtown East

Founded in 1981 and originally called Photofind, the Howard Greenberg Gallery was one of the first spaces to exhibit photojournalism and street photography. The gallery’s collection includes images snapped by Berenice Abbott, Edward Steichen and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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Photograph: Courtesy Jason McCoy Gallery

5. Jason McCoy Gallery

Art Galleries Midtown East

This contemporary art gallery has been a stalwart of 57th Street's gallery row for nearly 30 years.

midtown art galleries
midtown art galleries
Photograph: Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

6. Marian Goodman Gallery

Art Galleries Upper West Side

Opened in 1977, Marian Goodman Gallery has become a mainstay of the Midtown gallery scene with a stable—John Baldessari, Maurizio Cattelan, Gabriel Orozco, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Struth—representing some of the biggest names in art today. Favoring a program that leans towards Europeans with a conceptual bent, Goodman started her namesake gallery after running Multiples, a hugely successful publisher of editions. In 1995, Goodman opened her first gallery in Paris, which was followed by another in 2016. In 2014, she expanded to London.

Photograph: Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

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midtown art galleries
midtown art galleries
Photograph: Courtesy Alexandre Gallery

7. Alexandre Gallery

Art Galleries Midtown East

This elegant gallery focuses on well-established contemporary American artists, most of whom, like Will Barnet, Neil Welliver and William King, take a figurative or realist approach. But Alexandre also shows the work of historical modern artists—Charles Demuth, Stuart Davis—working in the decades before the mid-century heyday of the New York School.

Photograph: Courtesy Alexandre Gallery

midtown art galleries
midtown art galleries
Photograph: Courtesy Marlborough Gallery New York

8. Marlborough Gallery New York

Art Galleries Midtown West

Founded in 1963, Marlborough Gallery New York is one of the longest established of the city's blue-chip galleries. Its roster focuses on paintings and sculpture by prominent 20th-century and contemporary artists, with an emphasis on such critically acclaimed figures as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Frank Auerbach, Claudio Bravo, Richard Estes and R.B. Kitaj, among others. This group is joined by a new generation of artists, including Kcho and Rashaad Newsome.

Photograph: Courtesy Marlborough Gallery New York

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midtown art galleries
midtown art galleries
Photograph: Courtesy Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art

9. Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art

Art Contemporary art

A film and theater producer as well as an art dealer, Nahem hosts group and solo exhibitions of contemporary artists. One 2012 exhibit featured the work of Andreas Serrano of Piss Christ fame, which attracted the attention of Catholic League President and vocal Serrano critic Bill Donahue; when he attempted to visit the show, the gallery barred him from entering.

Photograph: Courtesy Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art

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