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7 Best Museums to Explore in New York City

Whether catching a Broadway show, taking the subway to the Bronx zoo, or grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor, there are many ways to experience the unique culture of New York City. The city is home to some of the best museums in the world, featuring everything from a curated collection of fossils to post-Impressionist artwork. Here are 7 of the best museums in the Big Apple:

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Founded in 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as “The Met,” is the largest museum in the United States. It showcases over two million works of art from around the world, spanning over 5,000 years of history. The museum is far too large to see everything in one day; so first-time visitors may wish to focus on the permanent collection. The collection features items from Ancient Egypt, Greek, Roman, and Islamic art exhibits as well as Medieval collections, American, European, and Asian art.

American Museum of Natural History

This museum is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is comprised of 27 buildings spanning four city blocks. It features 45 permanent exhibitions, a planetarium, and a library. Visitors can expect to see over 32 million natural specimens including humans, plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and cultural artifacts. Some of the most fascinating exhibits include life-sized dinosaur fossils, a 94-foot blue whale, and “Lucy,” one of the most complete skeletons of early hominids.

The Guggenheim Museum was designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Modern Museum of Art

The Modern Museum of Art (MoMA) is one of the world’s largest and most influential museums, featuring a collection of modern and contemporary art. The collection holds over 150,000 individual pieces and includes drawings, paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, works of architecture and design, books, film, and electronic media. Visitors can enjoy viewing works of art by Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol, and many others.

Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim features a collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and Contemporary art works as well as special exhibitions. The building itself is a work of art, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and has been designated the youngest New York City Landmark.

9/11 Memorial and Museum

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is located at the World Trade Center site and is focused on honoring the victims of the September 11 attacks. Exhibits explore life prior to the 9/11 attacks, events that occurred the day of the event, and the aftermath. The memorial exhibition commemorates the lives of those who perished in the attacks, and the Foundation Hall holds both the last column and the slurry wall.

The 9/11 Museum stands in memorial to the thousands of victims who lost their lives in the September 11th attacks.

Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney’s permanent collection contains more than 21,000 pieces of 20th and 21st-century American art and focuses on exhibiting the work of artists who are still living. Visitors can expect to see a variety of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installation art, video, and photography.

Museum of Moving Image

The Museum of Moving Image is the only museum in the United States that focuses on film, television, and digital media. The purpose is to explore the art, history, technique, and technology that goes into creating moving images. The museum is appropriate for people of all ages, and includes classic memorabilia such as the full-size mechanical Linda Blair doll from the Exorcist movie, multimedia interactive exhibits, and a theater that shows a wide variety of rare works.

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