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The Picturesque Metropolitan Museum of Art is the jewel of NYC galleries.

Adi Levin, Copy Editor

Pablo Picasso once said that “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Whether you want to expose yourself to more art to take a break from the stress of the school year or you’re just looking for an exciting day out with some friends, look no further than New York City.  The city, just a short train ride away, boasts countless museums, many of which are well-known throughout the world.

The Metropolitan Museum is the largest art museum in the country, and it is arguably New York City’s most famous museum.  Open from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays and until 5:30pm on Sundays and weekdays, the Met is a perfect destination for serious art aficionados. The museum’s collection is enormous, so it’s best to know exactly what you’re looking for when you go in.

You may even need to visit the museum over the course of a few days.  The Met has hundreds of rooms and over two million works of art, so you will definitely need some time to process everything.  For first-time visitors, the medieval collection, Greco-Roman sections, and the Egyptian Temple of Dendur are must-sees.

The medieval collection features model horses and knights bedecked in armor, while  smaller rooms on each side of the massive main hall contain artifacts and details about the Middle Ages.  Here, you can also find the Temple of Dendur, an original structure given to the museum by Egypt, which features intricate carvings and larger-than-life statues of Egyptian deities.

The museum’s permanent collection is incredible, and there are entire wings dedicated to art from all over the world.  One of the most notable sections is the wing devoted to European paintings, made up of dozens of rooms which display art from 1250 to 1800.

Another spot worth visiting is the Astor Chinese Garden Court, which displays architecture from the Ming Dynasty as well as art and artifacts from this period in the adjoining rooms.  The hefty $25 admissions fee can be daunting for some museum-goers.  Those in the know, however, are aware that the fee is just a suggestion, and you can pay as much as you want to enter the museum.

For lovers of modern art, the MoMa is the place to go.  The museum’s collection ranges from post-impressionist pieces from the 1880s to the more modern works of Pollock and Lichtenstein and the contemporary galleries, which feature artwork from 1980 to the present.

Visitors may recognize some of the museum’s more popular pieces, such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, and Dali’s The Persistence of Memory.  Their collection is easier to take on in a few hours than that of the Met, so it can be fun to stop by the museum for two or three hours, then grab lunch at a nearby cafe or restaurant.  If you have time to spare, you may want to visit the MoMA’s sculpture garden, where you can find sculptures like Isa Genzken’s towering Rose II or Picasso’s She-Goat. 

When you think of New York City art museums, large institutions like the MoMA or the Met come to mind immediately.  Many people tend to overlook the Neue Galerie, which exhibits Austrian and German masterworks.  The museum’s crown jewel is Gustav Klimt’s world-famous portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I. 

In addition to the magnificent painting, which has a history of its own, the museum features many of the Art Nouveau master’s preliminary sketches, as well as works by fellow Austrian artists like Alfred Kokoschka and Egon Schiele.  It’s important to note, however, that people aged sixteen and under must enter with an adult.

The Frick Collection is another one of New York City’s hidden gems.  The museum, specializing in European masterpieces, was established in the early 1900s, and the collection and the building itself are equally beautiful.  Be sure to check out the Frick’s upcoming exhibits, including Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time, which will be on display from the end of February to May 14.  The exhibit will highlight many of Turner’s greatest landscape and seascape paintings.

There is a set admission fee, but you can pay what you want on Sundays if you arrive at the museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Children under the age of ten aren’t allowed, so you don’t have to worry about noisy kids disrupting your museum visit.  Additionally, you can get in for free on Friday evenings, so the Frick could be the perfect place to go for a culturally-infused night out with friends or a significant other.

While there are other major art museums in the city, such as the Guggenheim and the Whitney, these are the perfect places to start, whether you’re a longtime art enthusiast looking for an exciting museum outing or someone who wants to learn more about the world of art.