Museum Madness: A Guide to Free NYC Museums
October 3, 2017
Although it can be daunting to begin your journey into art appreciation, New York City’s world-class art museums merit exploration.
Luckily, you have to look no further than your student ID. Being an NYU student guarantees you free admission to the top two art museums in New York, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art admits by donation, allowing you to pay nothing, or a humble price of your choosing, which is perfect for college students.
The Met is everything you would imagine to be — regal, majestic and grandiose. The high ceilings and beautiful soft lighting that frame timeless artistic masterpieces give the building a natural air of self-importance. Expect to find anything from ancient Greek art to 19th century European art pieces by greats like Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Claude Monet.
There are 19 different ongoing exhibitions at The Met, ranging from Korean Art to nihilistic post-World War II art. Cool exhibitions that recently opened include Rodin at The Met, which celebrates the life and artwork of Impressionist revolutionary Auguste Rodin, and Portable Storage, which explores the history behind woven bags from nomadic tribes in the Middle East and the Caucasus. For an art history geek like myself, this museum was by far the coolest to visit. What can beat centuries of art?
The MoMA itself is an artistic study in contrast. Its architecture is industrial and urban, which is a juxtaposition to the organic artwork that hangs on the walls (or from the ceiling). It’s what a building would look like if it personified a stream of consciousness.
My two must-see exhibits are the “Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait,” which chronicles the artistic career of the influential painter, printmaker and sculptor over the span of more than 60 years, and the Max Ernst exhibition, a collection of artwork from the so-called father of modern art. MoMA staples are the sculpture garden, an avant-garde study of nature versus man, and the Art Lab, which allows kids to express their inner Picasso. An upcoming exhibit to look out for is “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” which looks at fashion through a socio-political and cultural context.
Out of the three museums, the Whitney is the only one that focuses on American art, and specifically art made from the 20th century onward. An exhibition to definitely look at is “An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections From Whitney’s Collection, 1940-2017.”
All three of these museums are fabulous adventures for all NYU students. Whether it’s a short trip or a whole day, these three museums are sure to surprise and entertain you.
Email Jendayi Omowale at [email protected]