Once every three years, the curators at New York's International Center of Photography set out on a mission to encapsulate the world. They scour every corner of the globe to collect the most interesting video and photography. The end result is an exhibit that reveals the Earth at present—its economic conditions, political instabilities, and social mores. The museum's other gallery spaces surround their visitors in works from the 19th century to modern day, offering windows into every era since Santa invented cameras as a new Christmas toy. These ever-changing exhibits showcase everything from evolving fashions to countries in the midst of full-blown revolution.
Hidden behind theses photographs' imagery, lies the minds of brilliant visual artists. Some of these masters speak at the The Photographers Lecture Series, a staple of the museum's research center since 1974. During these events, distinguished photographers discuss their work and how photography fits into the worlds of art, fashion, and journalism. The ICP's Library delves into these worlds even further with thousands of photobooks, periodicals, and digital files.
ICP's faculty also nurtures emerging artists. Together, they lead more than 400 continuing education courses, exploring areas such as digital photography and video. And for the most serious students, they offer a one-year certificate program and an MFA program.
A surfeit of sights competes for attention at this MoMA restaurant, and it’s difficult to say which is the most compelling. The Picassos and Mirós that reside in the sculpture garden are certainly worthy candidates, as are the towering floral arrangements bursting forth from the center of the room.
Standing at the intersection of contemporary art and design, The Museum of Arts and Design explores the way that artists and designers from around the world translate ideas in masterpieces that range from traditional to bleeding-edge. At its stunning Columbus Circle headquarters, visitors marvel at its glass-and-terracotta exterior before exploring a rotating collection that ranges from jewelry and delicate glass works to ceramics to architectural designs and furniture. This meshing of masterpieces has attracted more than a million visitors to the museum since it opened in 2008. The jewelry collection illustrates the transformation that took place in the world of studio jewelry from post–World War II to today, while woodwork by generations of well-known artists charts the evolution from handcarved pieces to astonishing works of machine-aided art. Other rotating exhibits the museum hosts explore topics such as glassworking, scent, and sculpture.
Travel back to experience New York’s past as a home for dinosaurs, Native Americans, and eventually art critics at the Staten Island Museum. Founded in 1881, the museum encapsulates the area’s geological and cultural history with more than two million artifacts. Exhibits showcase relics from prehistoric Staten Island residents; fossil, geological, and wildlife taxidermy samples; and the spark that lit the Statue of Liberty’s torch. Art collections from historical painters and contemporary artists provide a workout for right brains and scan-happy eyes. As part of an ongoing dream to make the exhibits bigger and better, the museum is expanding into the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, a 19th century dormitory for “aged, worn out and retired seamen.”
For more than 200 years, Madame Tussaud and her museums have delighted the masses with impressively detailed and meticulously maintained wax renditions of celebrities, musicians, political figures, and sports stars. For the special Halloween event, the museum turns off the lights to the mannequin menagerie and blurs the line between living and dead with the addition of live actors that seamlessly blend in with the paraffin personages. As you walk the halls, the actors wait for the right opportunity to surprise unsuspecting visitors by jumping out and reading popular Garfield comic strips.
The Merchant's House Museum transports visitors to 19th century New York with a full schedule of guided and self-guided tours through the home of the Tredwells, an upper-class merchant family who resided there for nearly a century. Built in 1832—when Andrew Jackson was president and Rockefeller was a mature -7—and a recipient of National Historic Landmark status, the house maintains cultural and architectural importance as it connects modern-day guests to domestic life in New York City in 1835–1865. Tucked neatly inside the three floors open to the public, more than 3,000 items volunteer an intimate tour of the past, including decorative arts, clothing, and photographs. Original furnishings and personal possessions pepper the Greek Revival interiors, which compose dated rooms such as servant quarters and formal parlors where the family gathered to play knee football. Ongoing structural restorations, meanwhile, ensure the house will continue to be a thriving historical spring for future generations.