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How to decide which art museum to visit

art museum

You’re heading to New York City for a day or two, you have limited time and a limited budget, but you also have an art lover in the family that really wants to go to at least one art museum, now how do you pick one?

Students often ask , when they’re headed to a big city, which art museum they should visit, and it’s not an easy question to answer. So instead, I’m going to provide you with some questions for you and your art lover to explore to make the best selection.

  1. Make a list of all of the major museums in the city. ( below is not a complete list)
    1. New York: MOMA: Museum of Modern art , Met, Guggenheim, The Whitney, The Frick . ( there are more , but these are some of major ones)
    2. Washington DC: ( the museums in DC are FREE , so it’s a bit easier to pop in and out to see just a few things) Renwick American Craft Gallery ( my favorite), Smithsonian, Hirshhorn, National Gallery of Art
    3. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of art ( note there are two buildings, the second is the Pearlman) , Rodin, Barnes Foundation
  2. Do a little research to find out the type of work that each museum focuses on. For example MOMA focuses on modern art, so if that isn’t your thing, you can quickly cross it off of your list
  3. Check what special exhibits will be there during your visits. All museums have both permanent exhibits ( you can see them anytime), and revolving exhibits focused on certain topics, themes, and or artists. If a museum has a special exhibit on a topic of interest, you might want to move it the the top of your list. It will be important to note if there is special ticketing for the exhibit, as sometimes general admission does not get you access to all parts of the museum.
  4. Many museums have special pricing on certain days of the week/ month, so check and see if you can plan your visit around one of those times. For example, in NYC, Friday after 5pm, it’s pay what you want. This is great, but it also means that sometimes parts of the museum are closed off.

Art Museums like the MET are HUGE, don’t make yourself feel like you have to look at EVERYTHING. Go to the sections that interest you the most, enjoy them, spend as much time with the work that you love as you want, and forgive yourself if you don’t get to every area.