December 11, 2014


Let me guess: you’ve been to NYC and you’ve “done the whole gallery thing.” Yeah, yeah. Good try. If you want to get off the beaten track, this is how to do New York’s museums like never before.
FYI, if you haven’t been to NYC or done the main galleries, here are my top ten, in no particular order: The MoMAThe MetThe GuggenheimThe GagosianThe New MuseumThe Brooklyn MuseumThe WhitneyPace WildensteinDavid Zwirner and Anything in Chelsea.
But now, here are The Other Ten:

 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY (see map)

The MoMA’s little sister is a rebel! More of an exhibition space, PS1 houses installations and boundary pushing shows. It really is contemporary art at its best. As described on its website, “A catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses, and trends in contemporary art, MoMA PS1 actively pursues emerging artists, new genres, and adventurous new work by recognised artists in an effort to support innovation in contemporary art.”
Now Showing: The Little Tings Could Be Dearer, Bob and Roberta Smith: Art Amnesty, Francesco Vezzoli: Teatro Romano, Zero Tolerance, Samara Golden: The Flat side of the Knife. 

 233 5th Ave, New York, NY (see map)

Yes, you read that right. Push your comfort zones and go and check out an exhibition at the Museum of Sex. Don’t be shy! You may even learn something. As stated by the museum itself, “’Only in New York,’ as the expression goes, could this particular Museum of Sex been born in a city bold enough, bad enough, bizarre enough and brazen enough to have a sexual history unlike that of any other city, and with the financial and media platform that made this history known and relevant far beyond the boundaries of the five boroughs.”
Now Showing: The Eve of Porn: Linda Lovelace, The Sex Lives of Animals, Grumildos and Funland: Pleasures and Perils of the erotic Fairground. 

Image via Alfred Gracombe 
 Central Park W & 79th St, New York, NY (see map)
Mind = Blown. A digital video system projects the most spectacular stars and planets in an extraordinary, out of this world (get it?) show across the theatre’s 67-foot-wide hemispheric dome. Go check it out and be amazed at the power of the cosmos, the unknown and the majestic nature of the universe.
Now Showing: Dark Universe.

 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY (see map)

BRB, finding my Zen. Often overlooked, the sculpture garden at the MoMA is one of my favourite places to visit in NYC. In such a busy city, it’s nice to find a beautiful space to reflect and surrounding yourself with amazing sculpture.

 Central Park W & 79th St, New York, NY (see map)

Oh so pretty! Get out of the city grind and see some butterflies! Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon frolicking with the prettiest insects ever?

 141 Wooster St, New York, NY (see map)

Sometimes art baffles me. This is one of those times. This room, full of dirt, has to be seen to be believed. A quick run down: an interior earth sculpture 197 cubic metres of earth, 335 square metres of floor space, 56 centimetre depth of material, weighing at a total of 127,300 kilograms.

215 Centre St, New York, NY (see map

Chinese art is where it’s at. More accurately, it was where it was at about five years ago. The collectors actually have money, the artists are incredible and their economy is stable. Add the billions of people that live there and you have the recipe for one booming art market. Go and check out the exhibition that’s on now, immerse yourself in Chinese culture and learn a thing or two to get ready for Art Basel Hong Kong next year.
Now showing: Waves of Identity: 35 Years of Archiving.

 1 E 70th St, New York, NY (see map)

Frick, that’s a lot of money. With the money Henry Clay Frick earned from his multiple businesses, he built the incredible Frick Mansion on the Upper East Side of NYC, used now to house his collection of artworks, made up predominantly of old masters and major European artists, along with 18th Century French sculptures and furniture. Take a step back in time and go and check it out. #Fancy.

1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY (see map)

This one is for all the photography lovers out there. The ICP is “dedicated to the practice and understanding of photography and the reproduced image in all its forms.” It’s chock full of the most inspiring imagery you may ever have the chance to see, in the most inspiring city you may ever be in. If it resonates with you, go check out the school diagonally across the road.
Now Showing: Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis.

180 Greenwich St, New York, NY (see map)

Give peace a chance and go pay your respects and simultaneously gawk at the amazing architecture that is the 9/11 Memorial. Peaceful and environmental, the 9/11 memorial is simply divine. As written on the website, “The Memorial features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The Memorial Plaza is one of the most eco-friendly plazas ever constructed.” (Also, did you know there’s a tree that survived the 9/11 attacks? It was found, burned and gnarly, at Ground Zero and was restored to health by the good folks at NYC’s Parks and Recreation. Go and check it out while you’re down there.) 

And if you really need a few more while in the city that never sleeps...
The Trash Museum (one man’s trash?)
The Houdini Museum (if you can find it
The Museum of the American Gangster (#CrimePays)
The Museum Of The Moving Image (catch it while you can) and  
The Cloisters (green out).
Words: Amy Finlayson