Only in New York: World-Famous Paintings Exhibited in NYC

'Washington Crossing the Delaware' by Emanuel Leutze in Gallery 760 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
'Washington Crossing the Delaware' by Emanuel Leutze in Gallery 760 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art | © David L. Moore - US NE / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alex Schnee
7 September 2021

As the art capital of the United States, New York City has some of the most recognizable and influential works in art history. With so many museums, galleries and art tours on offer, it’s impossible to see it all unless you’re a local. However, if you know exactly where to look, you may be able to catch some of the world’s most iconic artworks right here in NYC.

'The Starry Night', Vincent van Gogh (1888)

Art Gallery
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Vincent van Gogh’s iconic masterpiece is easily one of the most visited and photographed works of art at MoMA. A member of van Gogh’s nocturne series, it’s a companion piece to his work Starry Night Over the Rhone (1888). The painting has numerous interpretations, which is why it continues to be one of the most captivating works of all time.

‘The Starry Night’, Vincent van Gogh | © Peter Barritt / Alamy Stock Photo

'Woman with a Water Jug', Johannes Vermeer (1660-1662)

Museum, Art Gallery
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Originally purchased for only $800, this painting was moved from Paris to New York. It’s one of the most visited works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and one of the most popular paintings by Vermeer, second only to The Girl With the Pearl Earring (1665). Painted in the baroque style, this piece harkens the golden age of Dutch paintings.
‘Young Woman with a Water Jug’, Johannes Vermeer, 1662 | © History & Art Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

'Washington Crossing the Delaware', Emanuel Leutze (1851)

Art Gallery, Museum
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Commemorating one of the most memorable moments of the American Revolution, Leutze created this oil-on-canvas painting in Germany before it was brought over to the United States after changing ownership several times. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, a Metropolitan Museum of Art security guard glued a picture of the Twin Towers to it. Famous for its striking patriotism, this painting remains both controversial and iconic.

‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’, Emanuel Leutze, 1851 | © Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo

'Portrait of Madame X', John Singer Sargent (1883-1884)

Museum
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John Singer Sargent is well known for his portraits, but none have left such a lasting impression as his Portrait of Madame X. While this famous painting attracts an untold number of visitors to the Met today, it was originally the subject of scandal as Madame X was thought to show too much skin. Consequently, Sargent’s career was relatively unsuccessful in France, though he found fame as an artist in America and Britain.
‘Portrait of Madame X’, John Singer Sargent, 1883 | © incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo

'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon', Pablo Picasso (1907)

Museum, Art Gallery
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Pablo Picasso changed the art world with his innovative vision of the human body. The subjects of this world-famous painting are five women from a brothel in Barcelona; consistently inspired by the odalisque, this work reflects a new way of perceiving themes of femininity that were also common among his contemporaries, such as Matisse and Manet.
‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ (‘The Young Ladies of Avignon’), Pablo Picasso, 1907 | © mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

'Black Lines (Schwarze Linien)', Vasily Kandinsky (1913)

Art Gallery, Building, Museum, School
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Considered one of the first purely abstract paintings, Kandinsky was afraid that the public would denounce the unusual aesthetic of Black Lines,which can be found at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum. However, he ended up becoming one of history’s most influential abstract artists.
‘Black Lines’, Wassily Kandinsky, 1913 | © Peter Barritt / Alamy Stock Photo

'Broadway Boogie-Woogie', Piet Mondrian (1942)

Art Gallery
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In this homage to New York City, Mondrian used lines to demonstrate a musical score (specifically jazz) and the grid of the city through visual art. It was originally purchased for only $800, and the owners later donated the artwork to the Museum of Modern Art, where it remains today.

‘Broadway Boogie-Woogie’, Piet Mondrian, 1942 | © Martin Shields / Alamy Stock Photo

'The Water Lily Pond', Claude Monet (1899)

Art Gallery
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One of a series of paintings Monet completed at his home in Giverny, these outstanding canvases occupy an entire gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Several of Monet’s iconic paintings are exhibited throughout New York City (Monet’s work and his influence can also be found at MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the New York Botanical Garden), but you can find some of his best, including The Water Lily Pond, at the Met.

‘Water Lily Pond’, Claude Monet, 1900 | © IanDagnall Computing / Alamy Stock Photo

'I and the Village', Marc Chagall (1911)

Art Gallery
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Chagall was one of the first artists to depict surreal visions of a dreamscape, and his astute observations made him one of the most fascinating artists of the 2oth century. You can also see his stunning work on the ceiling at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center.

‘I and the Village’, Marc Chagall, 1911 | © World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

'Christina's World', Andrew Wyeth (1948)

Art Gallery, Museum
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Wyeth did not originally receive much publicity for this painting, which was inspired by watching his crippled neighbor crawl across her family farm. Fostering an essence of magical realism, Christina’s World depicts the boundless strength of the spirit over the constraints of physicality. On view at MoMA, Wyeth’s majestic creation is one of history’s most widely recognized works of art.

‘Christina’s World’, Andrew Wyeth, 1948 | © Stanley Wilson / Alamy Stock Photo
These recommendations were updated on September 7, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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