With the first documented visit by a European in 1524, it’s an understatement to say that New York City is filled with rich history. The City’s depth of museums alone could consume a visit with over 80 spread across the five boroughs – 60 on the island of Manhattan alone. From the classic to the quirky, visiting any of the best museums in NYC is a perfect way to enhance any “Big Apple” experience. Museum Mile gets the majority of the attention, but there are numerous gems in Northern Manhattan. Here are our top five picks:
The Cloisters Museum
Celebrating 75 years, the Cloisters Museum, located in Fort Tryon Park, is a gorgeous gallery devoted to art and architecture of the medieval period of Europe. This Manhattan art museum is a branch of the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art and includes approximately 2,000 pieces of art. Even the buildings themselves were designed to resemble the style of that time which just adds to the incredible experience that you get from a visit to The Cloisters.
The Dyckman Farmhouse
The Dyckman Farmhouse is perfect for museum-goers that love the history of Manhattan itself. It’s the last remaining Dutch colonial farmhouse in the borough, built by William Dyckman all the way back around 1784. This beautiful piece of property holds the honor of being named a National Historic Landmark in 1967. Open from Friday-Sunday 11am-5pm, the farmhouse offers $1 self-guided tours for adults, and children under 10 are always free. What other attractions in New York City can you visit for a buck?
Photo Credit: http://www.biking-in-manhattan.com
El Museo del Barrio
New York’s Latino cultural institution established in 1969, El Museo del Barrio, celebrates the artistic scene of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. Starting modestly in a public school classroom by artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz, El Museo has grown since then and offers a wide range of collections and exhibitions, the entire collection containing a total of around 8,500 pieces. The Museo del Barrio is a dynamic museum that should not be overlooked when visiting New York’s Museum Mile.
National Jazz Museum in Harlem
For jazz lovers, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is a gold mine because it is 100% dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Harlem’s rich jazz history. There are weekly programs held at the museum such as the “Harlem Speaks” lecture series and the “Jazz for Curious Listeners” sessions that allow people interested in jazz to listen and learn about rare jazz recordings. If you want to get involved with the museum there are plenty of events, free courses, and other meet-ups you can attend.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jag9889/6313501882/
Studio Museum in Harlem
The Studio Museum in Harlem was the first museum in the United States devoted to African American contemporary art, founded back in 1968. Not only is this a special museum, it also has special offerings of studio space available for three emerging artists each year of African descent in their Artists-In-Residence program. Today it contains approximately 2,000 works, many of which were created by artists in the museum’s Artist-in-Residence program.