Cheap NYC museums and exhibits
Clear Comfort, 19th-century photographer Alice Austen's family home, is also one of New York's oldest buildings, dating back to 1690. It now houses a large collection of her work, as well as frequent exhibitions of contemporary shutterbugs.
The Americas Society exists to provide public programming and forums to encourage ideas, discussions and debates about issues throughout the Western Hemisphere.
The Asia Society sponsors study missions and conferences while promoting public programs in the U.S. and abroad. The headquarters’ striking galleries host major exhibitions of art culled from dozens of countries and time periods—from ancient India and medieval Persia to contemporary Japan—and assembled from public and private collections, including the permanent Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III collection of Asian art. A spacious, atrium-like café, with a pan-Asian menu, and a beautifully stocked gift shop make the society a one-stop destination for anyone who has an interest in Asian art and culture.
The Bard Graduate Center is a Manhattan outpost for Bard College. The Center offers two degree programs: a Master of Arts and a Doctorate of Philosophy.
Rather than build a collection of its own, the Bard Graduate Center annually displays three exhibitions of items on loan from museums and private collections. The gallery will also host frequent talks and tours about current shows.
The history of this beautiful estate dates back to the 17th Century, when Thomas Pell signed a treaty with the Siwanoy Indians to purchase what is now the Bronx borough. Located within today’s Pelham Bay Park, the current house was built between 1836 and 1842, and was sold to the City of New York in 1888. Re-opened as a museum in 1946, it now offers tours of its furnishings, carriage house and formal gardens.
Located in a former military residence on the grounds of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, this small museum chronicles the mighty history of the former shipbuilding center—which, at its peak during World War II, employed close to 70,000 people. Permanent exhibits examine the yard’s origins and significance throughout history; for example, a number of massive vessels, including the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor and the Pearl Harbor casualty USS Arizona, were built at the Navy Yard. But the institution also looks to the manufacturing future of the space and increasing number of businesses moving in each year businesses (including Brooklyn Grange, which operates an apiary on site). The location includes a café, weekend bus tours ($18–$30) and an 8,000-square-foot exhibition space that features the permanent “Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future” exhibit, as well as rotating offerings. A free weekend shuttle departs from Jay St at Willoughby St every 15–20 minutes.
Founded in 1971 and featuring more than 1000 works, this multicultural art museum shines a spotlight on 20th- and 21st-century artists who are either Bronx-based or of African, Asian or Latino ancestry. The museum sporadically offers family programming.
Founded in 1863, the society is located in a landmark four-story Queen Anne–style building and houses numerous permanent and ongoing exhibits, including "It Happened in Brooklyn," highlighting local links to crucial moments in American history. A major photo and research library—featuring historic maps and newspapers, notable family histories and archives from the area’s prominent abolitionist movement—is accessible by appointment. The institution offers weekend and after-school programs for children.
CRS, as it is known, is an arts and healing center founded by writer and spiritual teacher Yasuko Kasak and artist and producer Christopher Pelham. As part of the space's Movement Works program, CRS offers curated works in dance, theater, video, clowning and puppetry. Previous artists have included Anemone Dance Theater, Artichoke Dance Company, Big Apple Playback Theatre, Yoshiko Chuma, Karen Kandell and Ruth Zaporah.