The best museum exhibitions in NYC

Searching for listings and reviews for the best New York museum exhibitions and shows? We have you covered.
Photograph: Shutterstock
By Howard Halle |

New York City has tons of things going for it, from incredible buildings to breathtaking parks. But surely, the top of the list includes NYC’s vast array of museums, covering every field of culture and knowledge: There are quirky museums and interactive museums, free museums and world-beating art institutions like the Metropolitan Museum. Between them, they offer so many exhibitions, of every variety and taste, that it's hard to keep track of them. But if you’ve starting to suffer a sudden attack of FOMA, fear not! We've got you covered with our select list of the best museum exhibitions in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to museums in NYC

Best museum exhibitions in NYC

Photograph: Courtesy Shady Ladies Tour
Things to do, Walks and tours

Shady Ladies of the Met Museum

icon-location-pin The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park

Discover the true stories behind the muses of some of the Met’s most fabulous artworks, including nude models in ancient Greece, Venetian poets and courtesans, and the true identity of John Singer Sargent’s Madame X.

The Jim Henson Exhibit
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image
Things to do, Exhibitions

"The Jim Henson Exhibit"

icon-location-pin Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria

Can you imagine how grim our world would be without the influence of Jim Henson? For those of us who learned comedy, whimsy and even literacy from Sesame Street and the Muppet franchise, Museum of Moving Image has provided the ultimate treat: a permanent exhibition featuring more than 47 Muppet and puppet characters; 27 screens of archival footage from The Dark Crystal, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock and beyond; and stories of how the great genius and his architects brought to life some of our favorite characters.

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Photograph: Kellen Anna-Marie, courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art, Masterpiece

“Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin”

icon-location-pin The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park

Ever since Howard Carter uncovered the tomb of King Tut in 1922, people have been fascinated by Ancient Egyptian treasures. The Met recently acquired one such object—a gold-leafed covered coffin for a High Priest from Egypt’s Ptolemaic period. It's on display, along with 70 other Egyptian artifacts from the Met’s collection.

Jacob A. Riis, An Italian Home under a Dump, c. 1890
Photograph: Courtesy the Museum of the City Of New York
Things to do, Exhibitions

“Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis”

icon-location-pin Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem

Germs, bacteria, viruses—New Yorkers encounter them by the millions every day while going about their business. Just thinking about what could be covering those poles in subway cars is enough to make your skin crawl. But contagious  bugs have always been part of city life, and in this exhibition, the Museum of the City of New York charts the history of diseases in Gotham, and the many strategies that municipal authorities employed to combat them. 

Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room at the Rubin Museum of Art
Photograph: David De Armas
Things to do, Exhibitions

"Gateway to Himalayan Art"

icon-location-pin The Rubin Museum of Art, Chelsea

Do you enjoy the Rubin but feel a bit lost within the dizzying array of deities that figure in its works? This exhibition is the perfect initiation to the wide cast of characters that, by turns, traipse gleefully and skulk threateningly through Himalayan art. Don't miss the display explaining the process of Nepalese lost-wax metal casting and the life-size reproductions of murals from Tibet's Lukhang Temple.