I spent five weeks in NYC and tried to go to a museum most days. Here's my best of!
I've put a more comprehensive list in Notion that has everything, including some places I wanted to go but didn't make it to. Since most people are pressed for time, I wanted to share my top museums [overall] and top three limited-time exhibits.
Museum of the Moving Image
It's a complete history of moving images, from the first people who took a few pictures quickly to how video and movie production is done today. Their interactive exhibits are a lot of fun for all ages, and, unsurprisingly, it's visually and acoustically engaging. The Jim Henson exhibit is incredible and gave me a totally different perspective of who he was as a creator.
International Center of Photography [ICP]
This has long been one of my favorite museums in NY. It usually has three exhibits and they vary quite a bit. I've seen everything from a retrospective on a specific fashion photographer to weird art photography to a deep dive on war photogs.
J.P. Morgan's personal library. The illuminated manuscripts and the antiquities are amazing. A classic Manhattan mansion that has some absolutely beautiful rooms.
An incredible museum about the history of immigrants to New York and how they lived. You get to walk through and see a preserved building to really understand their experience.
It's on a lot of people's list but I went on a whim and loved it. It's a decommissioned air craft carrier! They have the space shuttle Enterprise, a Concord, a submarine and tons of exhibits.
Bonus: Christie's / Sotheby's
On this trip I found out you can just go to the auction houses and see the art they are about to sell! I went to Christie's and they prefer you make an appointment but take walk ins. From what I understand Sotheby's is the same.
Top Limited Time Exhibits
Fragile Future @ The Shed
End December 19th, 2021 https://theshed.org/program/217-drift-fragile-future
#1 thing I saw. It's modern industrial art. Room scale. Make sure you see the performance.
Christian Dior @ The Brooklyn Museum
Ends February 20th, 2022, https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/christian_dior
One of the best fashion exhibits I've ever seen. I'm not a high fashion person but I thought this was engaging and showed the history and evolution of Dior.
Machine Hallucinations @ ARTECHOUSE
Ends January 17th, 2022 https://www.artechouse.com/location/nyc/
Fun projection mapping in a big gallery space. It's quick, like 30 minutes but enjoyable.