Opened in 1953, MoMA’s outdoor courtyard is a classic of midcentury modern design, the brainchild of Philip Johnson working in tandem with landscape architect James Fanning. A soothing oasis amid the bustle of midtown, the space is used for temporary sculpture exhibitions, and features a central pool traversed by a minimalist slab serving as a footbridge. 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY
Though NYC’s art museums (The Guggenheim, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney, etc.) are renowned for their permanent collections, their temporary exhibitions and their buildings, the latter can feel awfully crowded sometimes, what with all the tourists piling into the city, and ruining things for the rest of us. Which is why the New York region’s sculpture gardens are so great. Most (though not all) are far enough away from the crowds to give you room to breath, and since they're outdoors, you get the added benefit of communing with nature. Some sculpture gardens are right within the five boroughs, while some are short drive or day trip from Gotham, but either way, New York's sculpture gardens offer serene settings for contemplating art. To find out where you should go, consult our guide to The top sculpture gardens in New York.