Michael’s Mysterious Museums

By Michael Sheridan

Features and Lists Co-Editor

If you’re like me, you love art. And if you love art, chances are you love art museums. However, it can be tiresome to constantly go to the Met, MoMA, Guggenheim, and Frick Collection to see fine art. Yet there are many more art museums in New York City beyond these top institutions. Here’s a list of museums in the city that might be interesting if you’re looking to go a bit off the beaten path.


The New Museum


Probably the most well-known entry on this list, the New Museum is often overlooked even by those who have heard of it. A relatively new museum (no pun intended), the institution serves to showcase contemporary art. Nothing older than 1960 is ever typically displayed, and shows tend to be even  more contemporary than that. This is a great place to discover successful but lesser known artists of today. It is likely that most of these artists are still living! The price for students is $12. My tip is to do research before you visit and make sure that the museum isn’t in between major exhibitions, otherwise it will not be worth the visit.


The Morgan Library and Museum


If you’re into books, libraries, or just beautiful photograph-worthy spaces, then this is the place for you.  The room containing the actual library of Pierpont Morgan is a bibliophile’s dream and makes the visit to this otherwise small museum worth it. The Museum also rotates through exhibitions with a more traditional approach to art, although occasionally a more modern show is held here. Cost of admission is $13 for students.


The Museum of Arts and Design


You’ve most likely walked past this museum dozens of times. Located in Columbus Circle this small museum highlights the arts of fashion, industrial, and graphic design. The shows vary widely, so do research to make sure the museum is showing something you are interested in and that there are even shows running. Just like the New Museum, if you come in between major exhibitions, the offerings are extremely limited. Don’t miss the gift shop as it houses many unique and innovative products, especially jewelry. The restaurant, “Robert,” while expensive is a great place to take a date or to simply  treat yourself. The view of Columbus Circle and Central Park is simply stunning! The cost is $12 for students.



The Skyscraper Museum


While you may have heard of the first three, the Skyscraper Museum is virtually unknown. However, it makes sense that New York, with our dozens of skyscrapers would have such a museum. The museum itself is quite small, and is dedicated entirely to the history of the skyscraper, its role in New York and other cities, and the future of urban construction. The highlight of the museum is the many models they have on display of the various buildings of the world. Cost is a mere $2.50 to students.


Museum of Food and Drink


Technically this museum is still a work in progress, yet a gallery space has opened to house temporary exhibits about history relating to food and drink and the impact it has had on culture. The best part of this museum however, is the many free samples they give out. In addition, the museum hosts weekly cooking classes ranging from cuisines found all over the world. The museum’s website has a detailed schedule of the cooking classes offered. Pay close attentions as some are 21+. Tickets are $10 a person.


International Center of Photography


Everyone these days thinks they’re a world class photographer because they own an iPhone and can use Instagram filters. Come see some of the best photographs in the world in this space, which houses temporary and frequently changing exhibitions. The photographs are often political and extremely artistic, so if you’re unfamiliar with modern art, this might not be the place to start. However, if you’re up for a new experience and are willing to engage with the art and be challenged to think, then this is the place for you. Tickets cost $14.


Japan Society


This museum houses artwork produced in Japan or by Japanese artists. The museum offers an interesting contrast to the barrage of western artists and artworks that fill almost every other museum in the city (and country). The space is also extremely peaceful, featuring an interior garden and waterfall, making it the perfect place to contemplate the art. Admission is $10 for students.


Now that you have some new ideas of where to go, get out there and try something new! Netflix will still be there when you get back.

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