Opened in 1880 and situated on Central Park, this iconic New York institution contains 5,000 years of art – from prehistory to the latest in contemporary works – under one roof. That's range, folks. Its unparalleled collection comprises more than two million objects that include Old Master paintings, the Ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur and the museum’s famed period rooms. Sure, you'll never take it all in at once, but that's alright – just come back next time you're in NYC!
February 2022: NYC's cultural institutions are back, baby! We'll be updating this feature regularly to give you the most up-to-date info on what's open and what you absolutely can't miss right now at each institution. This fall, new highlights include the "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" exhibit at The Met Museum, a Dior exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and an Andy Warhol retrospective at Fotografiska.
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