May 2021: With the status of the city's main cultural institutions constantly changing, including the best museums in NYC, we'll be updating this feature monthly to give you the most up-to-date info we can on what's open for in-person viewing, what cool and interesting things can be viewed online and what you absolutely can't miss right now at each institution. This month, new highlights include the Roof Garden Commission at The Met Museum, A KAWS retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum and a national survey of Latinx contemporary art at El Museo del Barrio.
New York City's cultural amenities are many, but none quite match the number, scale and variety of its museums. There is literally an institution for every interest, whether it’s in art, history, science or quirkier subjects.
The Metropolitan Museum, for instance, shelters 5,000 years of art history under its roof with a collection that runs the gamut from Stone Age objects to the latest examples of contemporary art. And speaking of the latter, there’s a host of institutions dedicated to cutting-edge art, from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of Art to the New Museum and MoMA, which re-opened in 2019 after a significant expansion of its space, and a total rethink of its mission.
There are dozens of other types of museums, too, some of which are encyclopedic (The American Museum Of Natural History), or focused on specific categories, such as NYC history (The New-York Historical and The Museum of the City of New York), architecture (the Skyscraper Museum), photography (International Center of Photography Museum), film (Museum of the Moving Image), sex (Museum of Sex), and even the subway (New York Transit Museum). And, of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, even if you don’t count all of the other museums in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
Is it a lot to take in? Certainly. But if you want find a museum with your name on it, look no further than our complete guide to the best museums in NYC, complete with highlights of current exhibitions at each. There's plenty to do and see around New York, that's for sure!
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best museum exhibitions in NYC