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View of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photograph: Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum Mile Festival 2019 guide

Free exhibitions and more are part of Museum Mile Festival 2019, which turns Fifth Avenue into a big block party

By Howard Halle

Get ready for Museum Mile Festival 2019, continuing the annual cultural celebration hosted by some of New York’s premier institutions. Check out some of the best paintings at the Solomon R. Guugenheim Museum, Neue Galerie New York and Metropolitan Museum of Art. The best part? You can get into some of the museum exhibitions for free! Offerings include special events and performances, and the festivities are happening rain or shine. Here’s a museum-by-museum breakdown of what to expect at Museum Mile Festival 2019.

When is Museum Mile Festival?

Museum Mile Festival 2019 takes place on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 6–9pm.

Where is Museum Mile Festival?

Museum Mile Festival 2019 stretches along Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 110th Streets. This year's participating institutions include: El Museo Del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Neue Galerie New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Africa Center. 

How do I get to Museum Mile Festival?

Take the 4, 5, 6 to 86th St; 6 to 96th or 103rd St.

See a map of Museum Mile Festival

Best of the Museum Mile Festival 2019

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photograph: Wendy Connett

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museums Art and design Central Park

Exhibition highlights: “Camp: Notes on Fashion” explores the origins of camp’s exuberant aesthetic and how the sensibility evolved from a place of marginality to become an important influence on mainstream culture. The exhibition includes some 250 objects, including womenswear and menswear, as well as sculptures, paintings, and drawings from the 17th century to the present. “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” presents one of the most influential artistic movements of the 20th century through more than 130 instruments that made the music possible. Also on view are “The World between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East” and “The Roof Garden Commission: Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot”

2. Neue Galerie New York

Museums Art and design Upper East Side

Exhibition highlight: "The Self-Portrait, from Schiele to Beckmann" examines works primarily from Austria and Germany made between 1900 and 1945. Approximately 70 self-portraits by more than 30 artists—both well-known figures and others who deserve greater recognition—are united in the presentation, which is comprised of loans from public and private collections worldwide. Also on view are Austrian Masterworks from Neue Galerie New York and Eclipse of the Sun: Art of the Weimar Republic


3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Museums Art and design Upper East Side

Exhibition highlights: "Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection" celebrates the institution’s extensive 20th-century holdings through the intervention of six contemporary artists: Paul Chan, Cai Guo-Qiang, Jenny Holzer, Julie Mehretu, Richard Prince, and Carrie Mae Weems. Implicit Tensions: "Mapplethorpe Now" honors the legacy of the critically acclaimed yet controversial American artist Robert Mapplethorpe. "The Hugo Boss Prize 2018: Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat" presents new sculptures and a sound installation by Leigh exploring narratives of resilience and resistance.

4. The Jewish Museum

Museums History Central Park

Exhibition highlight: "Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything," the first exhibition devoted to the imagination and legacy of the influential singer/songwriter, poet, and global icon from Montreal, features large-scale, immersive contemporary artworks inspired by Leonard Cohen’s life, work, and legacy. The exhibition also includes a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings, and an innovative multimedia gallery where visitors can hear covers of Cohen’s songs by various musicians. Scenes from the Collection, featuring nearly 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art, is also on view


6. El Museo del Barrio

Museums Special interest East Harlem

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, El Museo del Barrio presents "Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019," a two-part exhibition featuring selections from the Permanent Collection (on view now) and a historic timeline of the institution (opening June 11). Featuring over 80 artists, the exhibition will reflect on the institution’s activist origins and pioneering role as an organization dedicated to presenting and preserving Puerto Rican, Latinx, and Latin American art and culture.


7. The Africa Center

Art Arts centers East Harlem

Exhibition highlight: “All Power to All People” by Hank Willis Thomas, a larger than life outdoor steel sculpture celebrating cultural identities in the African diaspora, is presented on the Center's public plaza in partnership with Kindred Arts Cultural Equity Initiative.

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