Museum Mile and More

Museum Mile and More, New York, New York (A)

Officially comprised of eight museums, Museum Mile of NYC claims the stretch of street on Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 105th. This guide is an overview of the core museums plus two extras just off the main route. Here, you’ll find millions of artifacts, paintings, and cultural treasures. Together, the “Museum Mile and More” will guide you down the streets of Manhattan and through the doors of history.
Image Courtesy of Melissa Ruttanai.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Museum Mile and More
Guide Location: USA » New York
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 5.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: Melissa Ruttanai
Author Bio: Melissa Ruttanai is an avid traveler and freelance writer. She's visited over 25 countries and has lived in both Japan and Thailand.
Author Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • The Frick Collection
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Neue Galerie
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • National Academy of Design
  • Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
  • The Jewish Museum
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • El Museo del Barrio
The Frick Collection

1) The Frick Collection

Open to the public since 1935, the residence of Henry Clay Frick will amaze you with its turn of the 20th century opulence. A millionaire by 30, Henry Frick was known for aggressive business tactics and heavy-handed dealings in the steel industry. However in his New York City mansion, you can see his softer side. The house is maintained much as it was in the late 1800’s with vestibules, garden court, music room, dining room, and library. Works from Degas and Goya adorn the walls alongside 3 Vermeers. Highlights include the Fragonard Room with gilded wall paintings, sculptures, chimney pieces, and bronze fixtures that Frick purchased for $5 million; and the Boucher Room adorned with 18th century French chairs, paintings, and fireplace. Audio tours are included with admission. Unfortunately, since the museum has few ropes and cases, children under 10 are not permitted. Hours: 10am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday and 11am-5pm Sundays. 212-288-0700.
Whitney Museum of American Art

2) Whitney Museum of American Art

With over 18,000 works of art, the Whitney Museum of American Art rotates its regular collection often. If you visit in the fall and come back in winter, you may feel as if you’re in a completely different gallery. Exhibits represent America from inception through the Great Depression up to the contemporary. Tours invite groups to sit and relax as they discuss pieces such as “Poker Night” a scene from A Streetcar Named Desire or George Bellows’ sports illustration of the prizefighters “Dempsey and Firpo”. Paintings are little windows into American history through which visitors can witness the social changes and emotional state of the country over the years. Artwork utilizes a spectrum of materials including: bronze, canvas, egg tempera, polymers, steel, wax, hair, crayon, and stone. Check their website for current exhibits. Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 11-6pm. Friday 1-9pm. Saturday-Sunday 11-6pm. 212-570-7789.
Image Courtesy of WikiCommons.
Metropolitan Museum of Art

3) Metropolitan Museum of Art

Choose a period over the past 5000 years and go! The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses over 2 million objects organized into halls and wings including: the American Wing, Arms & Armor, Egyptian Art, Greek and Roman Art, Africa and Oceania, Japanese Art, Southeast Asian Art, the Sculpture Court, and Medieval Art. When you need a break, take a rest at the Court Cafe and Wine Bar or the Roof Garden Café. Stop at the information desk within the Great Hall for details about youth programs, gallery talks, audio tours, and kid-friendly maps. Your admission also includes entry to The Cloisters Museum and Gardens further uptown. The Metropolitan Museum’s Hours: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:30-5:30pm. Friday-Saturday 9:30am-9pm. 212-535-7710.
Neue Galerie

4) Neue Galerie

Aimed at bringing Germanic culture to an American audience, Neue Galerie focuses on the progressive expressions during the turn of the 20th century in Austrian and German art. Opened in 2001, the museum houses important works that “bring a sense of perspective back to the Germanic culture of this period” in the fine arts, decorative arts, and architecture. Notable works include Gustav Klimt’s 1907 Adele Bloch-Bauer I, a masterpiece in gold and silver raised relief; and Alfred Kubin’s the Last King which many suppose influenced the dark humor in Tim Burton’s work. Keeping to the museum’s focus, an active list of programs includes recitals, lectures, and film screenings. Also on premises, the Viennese-style Café Sabarsky is vastly popular. Audio tours are included with admission. Guided tours are offered on the weekends. Hours: Thursday-Monday 11-6pm. 212-994-9493.
Guggenheim Museum

5) Guggenheim Museum

Financially supported by Solomon Guggenheim and artistically driven by Hilla Rebay, the Guggenheim Museum opened in 1959 with an impassioned dedication to modern and contemporary art. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the great rotunda is art housing art. Every three months, curators rotate exhibits within these spiraling curves, surrounding their themed showcases with both motion and emotion. The museum boasts the largest collection of Vasily Kandinsky’s work as well as an impressive permanent collection on the second floor. Check the website for film screenings, special performances, and children’s programs. Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 10-5:45pm. Friday 10-5:45pm. Saturday 10-7:45pm. 212-423-3500.
National Academy of Design

6) National Academy of Design

Opened in 1825, the National Academy of Design is a museum, art school, and an association of artists and architects. With over 7000 works in its collection, the museum focuses on “living history” through instruction and exhibition. They exhibit paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures from the 1800’s to present with a strong focus on showcasing recent works of living artists in their annual invitational. This museum ties together the past and the present in order to challenge the future of American art. With renovations due to finish in September 2011, check their website to view new educational forums, tours, talks, and programs. Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm. Friday 9a-5pm. Saturday 9-4pm. 212-369-4880.
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

7) Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Here, they pose the question: What is Design? In a mansion formerly owned by Andrew Carnegie, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum houses over 250,000 works of art that are meticulously cared for and exhibited to reflect the innovation of modern design. Drawings, paintings, graphic design, wall coverings, and textiles attempt to answer this question while more futuristic objects such as solar panels and polymer sculptures interject other possibilities. Currently rooms are arranged by themes such as Energy, Mobility, and Communication. After renovations in 2011, the upper floors will be a single sweep of open space and limitless arrangements. Children’s workshops and tours are available. At the information desk, inquire about the iPod Touch Guide which will allow you to comment on pieces, participate in audio/video tours, and search for specific projects. Hours: Monday-Friday 10-5pm. Saturday 10-6pm. Sunday 11-6pm. 212-849-8351.
The Jewish Museum

8) The Jewish Museum

Located in a mansion fashioned in the French Gothic chateau-style, the Jewish Museum opened in 1947 and is devoted to Jewish culture and history. With more than 26,000 objects, the collection is one of the largest in the world. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial pieces, and media materials chronicle the different eras within Jewish history both ancient and modern. Temporary exhibits are interdisciplinary and rotated regularly. On the top floor, free audio tours are available for the permanent collection in both adult and children’s versions. The exhibit is dedicated to the “Continuity and Change of the Jewish Journey”. Scales, bangles, tools, pottery, mosaics, furniture, and weaponry illustrate that journey. For younger visitors, a children’s center is available with colorful exhibits, interactive computers, and videos. Hours: Saturday-Tuesday 11-5:45pm. Thursday 11-8pm. Friday 11-4pm. 212-423-3200.
Museum of the City of New York

9) Museum of the City of New York

New York City is diverse, metropolitan and dynamic; and with over 1.5 million works of art, the Museum of the City of New York takes on the responsibility of representing its history, heritage, and future. The permanent collection includes decorative art, print and photography of the city and paintings and sculptures from New York artists. Additionally, the museum houses many objects unique to the city, including a Broadway collection with costumes, sets, and play scripts; a toy collection with over 10,000 objects; and a fashion and textiles collection with over 27,000 garments and accessories with some pieces dating back to the 1600’s. The museum often hosts events, lectures, and discussion panels for the public. Curator-led tours are available at an additional fee. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10-5pm. 212-534-1672.
El Museo del Barrio

10) El Museo del Barrio

Over 40 years old, El Museo del Barrio began as a small classroom showcasing Puerto Rican artists. Unlike many museums that are funded by wealthy patrons, the local community created the impetus for the museum as a call for social justice in the 60’s and 70’s. Now with 6,500 pieces in its collection, the museum is a “testament to all Latinos who’ve paved the way for others in New York” says the Director of Education and Public Programs, Gonzalo Casals. Focusing on the Latino experience in America, artwork ranges from Pre-Columbian and folk art to the modern and contemporary. With renovations completed in 2010, the museum holds several programs including: video/audio arts, spoken word, film screenings, and concerts. Check the website for upcoming events. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11-6pm. 212-831-7272.

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