With its slow-paced lifestyle and picturesque setting, Long Island has attracted as many artists as its more famous New York neighbors. Discover a side of the city’s art scene you never knew existed at the best museums in Long Island, New York City.
Parrish Art Museum
A community mainstay, the Parrish Art Museum has exhibited the works of established Long Island artists and local schoolchildren alike. The more than 2,600-piece collection includes paintings by Fairfield Porter, William Merritt Chase, and more creatives who answered the call of Eastern Long Island’s landscape.
Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill, NY, USA, +1 631 283 2118
Long Island Children’s Museum
Little Long Islanders are sure to savor their time at the Long Island Children’s Museum. Since opening in 1993, the museum has inspired “millions of aha moments” and enriched the lives of children through hands-on, interactive exhibits, educational and entertaining events such as museum sleepovers, and empowering exhibitions, including Broken? Fix it! and Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea.
Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave, Garden City, NY, USA, +1 516 224 5800
African American Museum of Nassau County
One of the only African American museums in New York, the African American Museum of Nassau County is a crucial component of Long Island’s art scene. The museum, which opened in 1970, explores the history of African Americans on Long Island as well as the contributions of African Americans through exhibits such as Women of NASA and the mathematics-focused African Genius. Commemorations of events like Black History Month and Kwanzaa and the lives of figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. make this museum a pillar of its community.
Hofstra University Museum
For 82 years, Hofstra University has been educating Long Islanders, reaching an even wider audience with the opening of the Hofstra University Museum in 1963. The museum’s 5,000-piece permanent collection, which represents 3,500 years of human history across six continents, includes art from modern-era American artists, ethnographic artifacts dating from 5,000 BCE, and much more.
The Heckscher Museum of Art
The culture and landscape of Long Island have inspired artists for decades, as evidenced by the locally focused offerings at The Heckscher Museum of Art. Among the museum’s 2,500-piece collection spanning 500 years are numerous works by Long Island artists, including Arthur Dove, Helen Torr, and George Grosz. With exhibits such as Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum and Ebb & Flow: Seascape and Shoreline Views, the attractiveness and talent of Long Island are on display here.
The Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave, Huntington, NY, USA, +1 631 351 3250
#OnThisDay in 1849, American artist William Merritt Chase was born! Chase was a brilliant observer of contemporary life, an innovative painter, and an influential teacher. He also spent a great deal of his time on Long Island, opening the Shinnecock Hills Summer School in 1891. There, Chase adopted the plein air method of painting, and often taught his students in outdoor classes. He later established the Chase School in New York, which later would become Parsons School of Design! [Chase, Shinnecock Hills, ca. 1890s, Oil on panel.] #happybirthday #artistbirthday #artistsoninstagram #williammerrittchase #chase #shinnecockhills #educator #art #museum #artmuseum #heckschermuseum #huntingtonny #longisland #painting #paintingenpleinair #pleinair #oilpainting #beach #landscape
Maple Lane Museum Complex
Explore the lost Long Island at the Maple Lane Museum Complex, home to more than 12 historic buildings dating from 1750 to 1900. Here, you’ll make yourself at home inside pre-electricity family houses, take in the view from atop a 160-year-old lighthouse, and discover an 1822-established schoolhouse, an 18th-century barn, and much more.
Maple Lane Museum Complex, 54325 NY-25, Southold, NY, USA, +1 631 765 5500
Pollock-Krasner House and Studio
Fans of abstract art shouldn’t miss the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio, situated in the former residence and workspace of abstract expressionism pioneer Jackson Pollock and his wife and fellow artist Lee Krasner. A National Historic Landmark, the artists’ East End property, which has retained many of the couple’s furnishings and artifacts, is now home to a permanent collection spanning 30 years in their careers.
In an area as historically rich as Long Island, Gallery North, established in 1965, stands out for its contemporary art offerings. The not-for-profit gallery’s exhibits showcase painting, digital art, film, and more in its unending exploration of the arts on Long Island. Particularly modern is the spot’s annual Deck the Halls exhibit, where gallery-goers can snag original art for holiday giving.
Gallery North, 90 N Country Rd, Setauket- East Setauket, NY, USA, +1 631 751 2676