There are New York City museums for just about anything you can imagine. Many are among the world’s best.
Latin Museums in NYC
New York City’s Latin museums include El Museo del Barrio, Hispanic Society, MoMA and the National Museum of the American Indian.
Hispanic Society is a research library and museum that holds the best collection of Spanish art outside of Spain. It has famous Goyas. The library holds priceless colonial treasures that are mind-blowing to see in person. Visiting the Sorolla room is liking going to the beach in Valencia, Spain. Europeans know about it, but New Yorkers don’t. When some of the collection traveled to Madrid during renovations, lines ran around the block.
MoMA isn’t a Latin museum, but the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America makes it one of the world’s leading centers for Latin American art. The Cisneros Collection is one of the world’s best collections of Latin American modern art. She was collecting when the art world didn’t think there was real art in Latin America. Cisneros funded the Research Institute to increase the academic representation of Latin American art because that will raise its value.
The National Museum of the American Indian is part of the Smithsonian. Its original focus was Native Americans of the United States, but it now produces excellent bilingual exhibitions about the Indigenous Americas.
African Museums in NYC
New York City’s African museums include the Schomburg Center, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Africa Center.
The Brooklyn Museum is not an African museum, but has a strong collection of African art, and functions as sort of a community center for Brooklyn’s African diaspora community.
The Most Popular Museums in NYC
New York City’s most popular museums are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, MoMA Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum.
Upper Manhattan Museums
These museums are above Central Park/110th St, or above 96th St on the East Side.
Uptown Manhattan Museums
These museums are in the Upper West Side, Central Park and the Upper East Side.
Midtown Manhattan Museums
These museums are between 14th St and 59th St in the Midtown section of Manhattan.
Downtown Manhattan Museums
These Manhattan museums are below 14th St.
Staten Island Museums
The Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Children’s Museum, National Lighthouse Museum, Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor, and Richmond Town are among the museums in Staten Island.
A Change is in the Works
Curators have begun adapting to the fact that modern and contemporary art was not only created by men, in Europe and the United States, from about 1860 to the present. The Museum of Modern Art completely restructured their exhibitions in 2019 to be more inclusive of gender, place and time. ¡Bravo!
A Euro-centric point of view no longer works. A lot of great art is coming out of storage as a result.
Why Take your Kids to Museums in NYC?
The artist who set auction records in 2017 for an American artist, a Black artist, and the first contemporary art made after 1980 to pass the $100 million mark, was Jean-Michel Basquiat, a Haitian–Puerto Rican from Brooklyn.
How did that happen? As a child his mother used to take him to the Brooklyn Museum. Take your children to the museum. You never know what might happen.