An Art Lover's Guide to New York City

From old masters to contemporary artists, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to more than 2m artworks
From old masters to contemporary artists, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to more than 2m artworks | © Patti McConville / Alamy
Photo of Ryan Parkes
14 April 2021

New York City offers some of the best international museums, galleries, exhibition spaces and art tours in the world. So whether it’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art or cutting-edge contemporary galleries such as Pace, follow Culture Trip’s guide to art in the Big Apple.

Jack Hanley Gallery

Art Gallery
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Recycling Religion
© Ryan Parkes
Jack Hanley Gallery relocated to New York City in 2008 in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and is dedicated to showcasing some of the contemporary art world’s most talented creatives. Aside from a unique program of exhibitions, the gallery also offers organized projects, publications and limited edition posters.


Art Gallery
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A non-profit space for contemporary art, WhiteBox is dedicated to showcasing the meaningful nature of the artist’s practice. It offers exhibitions, performances, screenings, readings, lectures, and panel discussions designed to enrich the surrounding community and create an innovative environment for anyone interested in contemporary art.

Walter de Maria's New York Earth Room

Art Gallery
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Located in SoHo, the somber New York Earth Room was created by minimalist artist Walter de Maria. On long-term view to the public since 1980, this installation comprises a room filled approximately 2ft (0.6m) high with soil. Upon entering through the stairwell, the atmosphere becomes progressively pungent and heavy. Staring into the room evokes solemn expressions of the pastoral. This intimate interior piece provides a serene juxtaposition to the high-energy urbanity of the surrounding area.


Bar, Pub Grub
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Beverly's, Clockwork, 21 Essex Street, New York, NY. exterior storefront of local bars in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. Image shot 11/2019. Exact date unknown.
Courtesy of Robert K. Chin - Storefronts / Alamy / Expedia
Famous for the graffiti art that adorns virtually every surface, Clockwork Bar revels in aggressive guitar and vocal riffs from the likes of Misfits and Black Flag, the music complementing the layers of graffiti art from unknowns on the walls, ceilings, seats and tables. Clockwork is highly interactive; the patrons are the artists. Come early enough in the day with a loaded spray can and the bar owner will be all smiles.

303 Gallery

Art Gallery
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Regent?s Park, London, UK. 4 October, 2018. Frieze London features more than 160 of the world?s leading galleries with the opportunity to view and buy art from over 1,000 of today?s leading artists. Image: Jeppe Hein. I Believe In You (handwritten), 2018.
© Malcolm Park editorial / Alamy
303 Gallery references Alfred Stieglitz’s famous artist collective, originally located in Room 303 of the Anderson Galleries building. With a rich history in New York City (first established at 303 Park Avenue South in 1984 and moving to the East Village, SoHo, and finally Chelsea), 303 Gallery has worked with some of the art world’s best names, including Christopher Wool, Robert Gober, and Andreas Gursky.

Pace Gallery

Art Gallery
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Michal Rovner Night exhibition at the Pace gallery, Chelsea, New York City, United States of America.
© Joe Bird / Alamy
Pace is one of New York City’s most established contemporary art galleries, representing a long list of significant artists from around the world. A must-see for anyone gallery-hopping in Chelsea, Pace exhibits some of New York City’s most prominent and groundbreaking exhibitions.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum, Park, Shop, Church, Building, Theater, Art Gallery
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NEW YORK CITY - JUL 17: In the Metropolitan Museum of Art's on July 17, 2014 in New York. The Charles Engelhard Court in the American Wing.
© Oleksandr Prokopenko / Alamy
Located on 5th Avenue along the famous Museum Mile, the Metropolitan Museum of Art houses some of the world’s finest, most enriching works of art. From civilization’s oldest artifacts to modern-day works of painting, sculpture and photography, you can travel through time and space in a singular afternoon at one of New York City’s most prized institutions.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

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The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture houses over 11 million items
© Douglas Lander / Alamy Stock Photo
New York is experiencing some major social shifts; minorities whose voices were previously silenced are using art as a medium of social and cultural expression. Through art, these New Yorkers create a dialogue with the city and its inhabitants. The Schomburg Center in Harlem is home to more than 1,000 collections on its website, and hosts over 300 recorded programs on Livestream, as well as mounting a number of digital exhibitions.
These recommendations were updated on April 14, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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