9 Instagram-Worthy Art Spaces in New York

Photo of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor7 June 2017

As if New York City streets aren’t photogenic enough, step inside these world-famous art spaces for a treasure trove of picture perfect scenes—because art and travel are a match made in heaven.

The rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum, Park, Shop, Church, Building, Theater, Art Gallery
Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York City.
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art is the largest art museum in the United States | © Horizon Images/Motion / Alamy Stock Photo
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was not only the second most Instagrammed museum in 2016, but according to artnet news, the space ranked number 18 out of the 20 most Instagrammed locations in the world last year. It’s not difficult to see why, especially with the building’s spectacular Beaux Arts façade, grand, arched entrance hall and two million-plus artworks showcasing thousands of years of artistic accomplishment. Pair all of this with views of Central Park bordered by the spectacular Midtown skyline, a cocktail, and an expertly curated contemporary art installation, and you have the ingredients for a top-notch Instagram post. On view until October 29, 2017 is Adrián Villar Rojas’ The Theater of Disappearance.


Art Gallery, Museum

Located approximately 90 minutes away from Midtown Manhattan, Dia:Beacon is a 160,000 square-foot contemporary art space housed in a former Nabisco box-printing factory overlooking the Hudson River. Floods of natural light illuminate modern masterpieces by the 1960s’ and 1970s’ greatest artists, from Michael Heizer to Louise Bourgeois and John Chamberlain. There’s no filter necessary amid the vibrant hues of Dan Flavin’s minimalist light installations, or when standing in front of the entrancing patterns of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings.

The Guggenheim Museum

Art Gallery, Building, Museum, School
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, New York, USA.
The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright | © Dorling Kindersley ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
A historic feat of modern architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the swirling spirals of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are independently Instagram-worthy. But with striking modern and contemporary artworks by Ellsworth Kelly (below), Wassily Kandinsky and Pablo Picasso placed between the picturesque curves of each ascending level, it’s practically impossible to find an un-photogenic angle of this Upper East Side institution.

Storm King Art Center

Museum, Park
© Victoria Lipov / Shutterstock
Rolling hills and lush meadows dotted with large-scale sculptures by Alexander Calder, David Smith, and Mark di Suvero—these are the breath-taking panoramas that Instagram was made for. Whether you venture up the Hudson River Valley for spring blooms or fiery fall foliage, Storm King Art Center is stunning year-round. Roam the sculpture park’s 500 bucolic acres, capturing Storm King’s impressive collection of monumental installations in detail, or stand back and snap those awe-inspiring vistas.

The Cloisters

Building, Monastery, Museum, Park
Overlooking the Hudson River flowing just beyond the meandering pathways of Fort Tryon Park below, the Cloisters is an amalgamation of five authentic medieval French cloisters. An Upper Manhattan-based affiliate of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the museum houses 5,000 medieval artifacts inside, surrounded by peaceful herb gardens. Airy archways and intricately sculpted columns are the perfect subjects of moody black and white studies, or capture the gardens and stained glass window panes in all their technicolor glory.

The Whitney

Building, Museum, Art Gallery
From the Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again exhibition at the Whitney Museum.
‘Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again’ takes a new look at Warhol in the 21st century | © Whitney Museum
From fully-immersive VR installations to eye-catching modern canvases, the Whitney is rife with abstract patterns and bold colors. Also one of the most widely-Instagrammed museums in 2016, the Whitney’s outdoor spaces offer views of the surrounding Meatpacking District and glimpses of New York City icons like the Empire State Building. So get up close (but not too close!) and personal with artworks in the museum’s collection, or snap photographs of the cool location.


Museum, Art Gallery, School
MoMA PS1 offers a series of dance parties each summer
MoMA PS1 offers a series of dance parties each summer | © MARKA / Alamy Stock Photo

An affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1 is dedicated to the exhibition of experimental contemporary art. Aside from the range of Insta-worthy works on view by artists like Pipilotti Rist and James Turrell, MoMA PS1 provides a packed calendar of after-hours events, from boozy parties to concerts and performances. More than an exhibition space, MoMA PS1 is an energetic cultural center with no shortage of lively photo ops.

Museum of Modern Art

Art Gallery, Building, Museum, Opera House
Entry to the Museum of Modern Art (founded in 1929) in Manhattan.
The Museum of Modern Art moved to its current location in 1932 | © littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock
Chances are the Instagram feeds of art lovers around the world are already crawling with details and installation shots from MoMA. But with so much to see in the museum’s collection, outside in the sculpture garden, and throughout the Midtown-based building, there’s more than enough photographic material to go around.

New York Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden, Museum, Park, Zoo
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and pond with water lilies, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
New York Botanical Garden | © MShieldsPhotos / Alamy Stock Photo
It may be a horticultural hotspot first, but the New York Botanical Garden knows how to put on a newsworthy exhibition. The sprawling Bronx-based garden is known to host special art shows, and this year, New Yorkers are graced with new works by celebrated American glass artist, Dale Chihuly. Towering over grassy lawns, hiding amid exotic flowers, and floating in ponds and streams, Chihuly’s arresting glass works are perfect for Instagram: colorful and bizarre. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that one of the world’s premiere botanical gardens—the largest in any American city, for that matter—serves as the exhibition space.

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