New York is up there as one of the greatest museum cities in the world! The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, The Whitney, the American Museum of Natural History and the list goes on and on. There are so many museums worth seeing that picking which ones to see during each visit is always a tough decision.
On our last trip we visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side, the new Whitney Museum in the Meat Packing District and the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. We had limited time so we choose to see highlights of each one.
During a previous visit I also made a quick stop at the Guggenheim as it’s such an iconic building. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go inside as I had only two full days in the city, but just seeing the incredible architecture from the outside is an experience. It’s a fabulous museum and if we’d had more time its high on my list!
While a person could spend hours or even days wandering inside The Metropolitan Museum of Art we had a long list of “must-sees” on this trip, so we picked a few highlights. We chose two of my personal favorites, The Temple of Dendur and The Costume Institute Exhibition. No matter how long I give myself I always wish I had more time…
Located inside the Egyptian exhibition is the Temple of Dendur gallery, which has floor to ceiling windows overlooking Central Park. The Temple dates from 10 B.C. and was given to the United States by Egypt. It has been in The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1967. I still remember the first time I walked into the room where it is displayed.
The tagline of this Blog is Travel, Fashion and Fun, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that my other favorite gallery to visit while at The Met is the Costume Institute. The exhibitions in this gallery are revolving and at times it is closed for new installations but we lucked out on this visit because it was open!
The exhibition we saw was called, China: Through the Looking Glass and it was SPECTACULAR! Everyone in our group loved this exhibit even my 6 year old and 12 year old boys. Most of the galleries didn’t allow photography so I don’t have many photos. If you find yourself in New York be sure to check and see if the Costume Institute is open. Here is the official museum text which explains the exhibit.
“This exhibition explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion is juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.”
The American Museum of Natural History, otherwise known as the Night at the Museum museum, was high on everyone’s list this trip and especially the kids! My Simon could spend days inside and wants to read every single word in every single exhibit! Of course we didn’t have time for that, so we settled on hitting some of the most popular permanent exhibits and two special exhibits. We let the kids choose which ones.
The truth is that while the special exhibitions can be fun to see, they do cost extra and the museum has so many amazing permanent exhibits it’s not really necessary. We ended up not really having enough time and felt like we were running through a bit. I would suggest no less than half a day at this museum.
This a big museum with a lot of twist and turns and it’s easy to get lost inside, even if you’ve been multiple times. Insert sheepish grin here… During this visit I discovered their fantastic app called Explorer! It’s great for not only giving you insight into each exhibit, but also guides you to each location. Once we downloaded the app we walked right to everything with no problem! We decided to try and locate some of the items from the Night at the Museum movies and found out the museum offers a Night at the Museum Tour that looks like fun. We found “Rexie”, the whale and squid and possibly “Dexter” the monkey!
The subway goes right to the American Museum of Natural History and as I mentioned in my New York! Overview! post the stations often reflect the area around where they are located. This one has so much incredible art and even fossils! The minute you get off the train you’re excited to see what’s next!
The Whitney Museum of American Art is located in the Meat Packing District, and the entrance to the building is located just at the end of the fabulous High Line Park, which would be a perfect end or beginning to your visit at the Whitney!
The kids and Tim spent quite a few hours there with friends while mom and I went shopping at some of the nearby stores. Priorities, right?! We joined them at the end just before the museum closed and I must admit I’m anxious to get back and see the rest. I think it will be my first stop on our next NY visit! The photo is of a piece by artist Chuck Close and it’s just one of the many amazing art pieces in this museum. The Whitney is open until 10 pm on weekends during the summer and it’s such a beautiful setting I think I would like to start my visit around 5pm and end it watching the sunset from one of the museum’s balconies! There are also some great spots to eat in the Meat Packing District, but I’ll save that for another post…