The Metropolitan Museum of Art's four-block-long building, located in Central Park, functions as a time capsule, preserving hundreds of thousands of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that collectively demonstrate mankind's finest achievements. Founded in 1870 to bring fine art closer to the general public, the Museum has since become a means of exploring worldwide cultures through art.
With more than 400 galleries open to the public, seeing all the Museum has to offer is more of a lifetime achievement than an afternoon commitment. Paintings by preeminent artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh draw huge crowds, but unexpected treasures await those willing to dig deeper. One collection of galleries features the world?s most comprehensive collection of American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts. Another, equally compelling?and newly reopened?collection is devoted to intricate Islamic artwork from as far westward as Spain and Morocco and as far eastward as Central Asia and India. It's also impossible to overlook the galleries of Egyptian art and its approximately 26,000 artifacts, making it the largest collection of its kind outside Cairo.
The Met?s collection is so expansive that it cannot fit entirely in its Fifth Avenue location. Travel to Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, and you'll find the Museum's collection of reassembled cloisters, which opened to the public in 1938. These beautiful medieval structures currently house around 2,000 manuscripts, tapestries, and stained-glass artworks largely dating from the 12th century through the 15th century. Three of the cloisters even feature gardens planted in accordance with medieval tradition.
In 1899, program directors at what is today's Brooklyn Children's Museum decided to transform an old family mansion into a museum geared toward children. Anna Billings Gallup headed up the first crew of curators, who transformed the space into the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the world's first youth-geared institution of its kind.
Today, the museum preserves Gallup's world-renowned passion for educating children along with more than 30,000 objet d'anthropology, from shark jawbones to tribal masks. Eight standing exhibits, a greenhouse, and a garden aim to entertain kids and families and include an exploration of world culture. The Sensory Room provides an interactive experience for special-needs children, with visual, auditory, and motor-skills-related activities. The museum also teaches future generations about sustainability with a curriculum based on the building's own inner workings, which are certified green by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Like pigeons to a Central Park statue, the fragments of New York's history congregate at not-for-profit The City Reliquary Museum, which also acts as a civic organization that serves the five boroughs. There, past a bright red door and a canary-yellow awning, visitors find terracotta shards of landmark buildings, old-fashioned subway tokens, paint chips from the L train, and a wall of antique Statue of Liberty postcards. A shrine to Jackie Robinson celebrates a Civil Rights icon that contemporaries could have read about in an old-fashioned newsstand like the one preserved in an alcove in the next room. Other highlights of the museum include a rotating exhibition hall, a World's Fair archive, and a set of geological core samples that contain the seeds of the Big Apple. Through permanent display of New York City artifacts, rotating exhibits of community collections, and annual cultural events, The City Reliquary connects visitors to both the past and present of New York. The New York Post said the little storefront "celebrates Brooklyn?s underdog spirit with exacting curatorial detail," and the AV Club called it simply, warmly, "the city's oddest museum."
One of the Brooklyn Historical Society’s current exhibitions, “Inventing Brooklyn: People, Places, Progress,” traces the forces that transformed the area from its Native American origins to its present state as a thriving metropolis. That exhibit reflects the society as a whole, which was founded in 1863 to celebrate Brooklyn’s history and evolution. The museum also houses exhibits that extend beyond pure history, such as “Say Cheese! Portraits to Pics,” a record of family portraiture that includes vintage daguerreotypes, detailed Etch-a-Sketches from the 1960's, and modern digital snapshots.
To complement the exhibits, the society also runs the Othmer library, a nationally recognized research library with archives of local photography, manuscripts, and oral histories from more than 300 narrators, many of which focus on specific themes such as Brooklyn Navy Yard Workers or the Williamsburg Giglio Festival. The society’s staff also takes their expertise out into the community to helm walking tours that criss-cross the borough, host off-site exhibits, and work extensively in local schools.
The Brooklyn Museum is one of the largest art museums in the United States and one of the premier art institutions in the world. Its permanent collections include a wide range of objects from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, representing almost every culture in the world.
Reflecting the diverse scope and scale of science itself, the exhibits at the New York Hall of Science range from massive NASA rockets to holographic depictions of the infinitesimal atom. Originally built for the 1964 World's Fair to showcase technological advancements, the center has since transformed into an interactive museum and leading innovator in exhibit technology and educational programming that, since 1986, has seen more than 7 million visitors. Today, more than 450 interactive exhibits, along with 3D movies and live daily demonstrations, invite visitors of all ages to explore the world by watching living microbes thrive and evolve in a miniscule zoo, discovering the powerful mathematics hidden in everyday objects, and testing their understanding of physics and Plutonian trash talk in the science playground, along with the mini-golf course inspired by the cosmos. The youngest visitors can also enjoy a developmentally-appropriate science education of their own in Preschool Place.