Say “New York City” and the first thing that comes to mind is, simply, “art.” Where else will you find so many famous art museums? The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established in 1870, is the largest art museum in the US and one of the three largest in the world, with the most significant art collections. MoMA. The Guggenheim. The Whitney Museum of American Art. Rubin Museum of Art is devoted to art of the Himalayas, and The American Folk Art Museum focuses on traditional folk art and the works of contemporary self-taught artists from all over the globe. And, outside Manhattan, New York visitors quickly discover the tradition of exciting and significant art collections continues statewide.
Brooklyn Museum is among the largest and most famous art museums in the US and its collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art representing almost every world culture. The Parrish Art Museum, founded in 1898 and now in a vastly expanded new building, showcases the works and story of America’s most enduring and influential artists’ colony, Eastern Long Island.
Albany Institute of History and Art is also among the oldest museums in the country. It’s famous for its significant Hudson River school paintings, and is a major repository for the region’s heritage.
Fenimore Art Museum offers a rich collection of American, folk and American Indian art, as well as American decorative arts and, not surprisingly, has a large collection of material associated with Cooperstown’s native son, James Fenimore Cooper.
Contemporary and avant garde artists have a home in New York art museums too. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo was founded in 1862, and is among the oldest public art institutions in the US: it’s dedicated to the appreciation of contemporary and modern art. In the Hudson Valley, Dia: Beacon focuses on art from the 1960s to the present, and at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo), you’ll encounter unique, renowned and emerging artists.
RoCo initiated the monthly First Friday Citywide Gallery Night for the City of Rochester; First Friday Art Walk in Binghamton, and Kingston First Saturday also host monthly art gallery openings to encourage patrons to gallery hop.
Not all the art is silent, either: The 1836 Greek Revival mansion that houses Cayuga Museum’s exhibits captures the region’s history and art, and is also home to Case Research Lab, the birthplace of talking movies.
Some exquisite art lives outdoors, too. In the lower Hudson Valley, Storm King Art Center celebrates the works of more than 100 leading sculptors in a gorgeous natural 500-acre setting. The Griffis Sculpture Park, one of America’s largest and oldest sculpture parks, presents over 250 large-scale sculptures in miles of hiking trails for a truly unique experience between art and nature.
In New York's art museums, it’s always the right time - and place - to commune with art, indoors and out!