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Best Contemporary Art in New York

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Tucked away in Queens is an old-fashioned testament to film and television. The actual studios of the one-time Paramount East Coast production house are closed, but the museum provides tours about film making where you can see makeup, costumes and well-known movie sets. There are several theaters for film screenings and a gift shop for souvenir hunters.

This powerhouse in the modern art world doubles as one of the best-known museums on the globe. Its galleries burst with intriguing exhibits showcasing mediums ranging from painting and drawing to print and illustration. Photography fans will also find a lot to love at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). Classic artworks closely associated with the museum include Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe and Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Should your appetite for food begin to compete with your appetite for art, there is a charming restaurant on site, as well as a gift shop to browse on your way out.

With a permanent collection numbering over two million individual works of art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply the Met, is not only a New York City landmark, it is the United States' largest art museum and the fifth-most visited museum of any kind in the world. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the museum encompasses more than 1.5 million square feet (139,355 square meters) of exhibition space. European paintings on display include those by world-renown masters like Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Titian, and Vermeer. The vast collection has been split between several galleries, arranged by geographic origin and other thematic schemes. The Egyptian art gallery is especially enticing, as are the Met's repositories of Asian, African and Medieval art. Others include Islamic, Roman, and Greek art, the Arms and Armory section, the Costume Institute, and European Decorative arts. When weather permits, contemporary sculptures are displayed at the open-air roof garden. Apart from being a treasure trove for art lovers, The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a fun-filled and educational experience for all ages.

Since the Brooklyn Museum opened in 1897, it has been one of the highlights of the city's cultural map. The exhibits are located in a building designed by architect Stanford White. Choose from among Pacific, African and New World art, Asian art, Egyptian and ancient Middle Eastern art. Also see the vast collection of decorative art, European, American and contemporary such as paintings and sculptures. The collection of Egyptian art is vast, and the American section includes pieces by masters Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent. This place is a must-visit for those who are interested in historical art.

The Whitney Museum of American Art places an emphasis on modern American art. It has grown in popularity in recent years, and thanks to an expansion in 1998, there is now a permanent collection on display. Select pieces are housed in the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Galleries on the fifth floor, including art by Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe and Alexander Calder. The building, designed by Marcel Breueritself, resembles an upside down pyramid and is an extraordinary sight.

Located in Chelsea, David Zwirner's Gallery is a must-visit for those looking to see works by established and upcoming artists. The establishment encourages innovation, and you'll find works of prominent names including, Luc Tuymans and Neo Rauch displayed in it's spacious premises. The photography section is noteworthy, with realistic shots and some really eye-catching displays.

A not-for-profit institution which was founded in 1928, the SculptureCenter promotes experimental art by artists from all over the country and beyond. Located in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, this venue hosts exhibitions that present sculptures that are stark, unique, and intriguing. Among the artists whose work has been displayed include Lara Schnitger, Elizabeth Neel, and Ann Sperry.

This Manhattan museum is housed in a modern building with a resemblance to that of a Tetris game. All aspects of design, and every medium of art, are represented at this impressive museum. Whether it's architecture, interior design, fashion or folk crafts, the collections here encompass much of American object art. The museum also offers a wide range of workshops, programs and tours, giving anyone a chance to join in, whether you're an art student or a casual visitor.

Acquavella Galleries was first established in 1921 by Nicholas Acquavella and remains, to this date, a family-owned business. When the gallery first opened, it dealt exclusively with Renaissance art work by Italian artists before diversifying their collection to include major art works produced in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Boasting an international clientèle of museums and private collectors, the name Acquavella has come to be synonymous with exceptional taste. Housed within a French townhouse, the Acquavella Galleries continue to host prestigious exhibitions featuring works by artists like Monet, Picasso, Degas, Matisse, Thiebaud, Bonnard and Dubuffet.

This museum first opened to the public in a schoolroom in 1969 to promote a wider knowledge of artists from the Caribbean and Latin-America. Located on 5th Avenue just overlooking the Central Park, the Barrio Museum has the distinction of being the only Latin American museum in the Northeastern United States. Its permanent collection, with an emphasis on the autochthonous peoples in the Americas, is composed of over 8000 paintings, prints, drawings, photos and sculptures. Through rotating exhibits and outreach programs, their mission is to educate and promote Latin American art and cultural heritage.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts, housed in what used to be a synagogue, exhibits a variety of contemporary and 20th-century art. There is a permanent collection displaying the works of artists from Asia, Latin America and Africa. The museum also offers some great educational programs and lectures. There is a cafe on site, and several neighborhood restaurants nearby.

New York is one of the most culturally and artistically vibrant cities in the world. The art scene here is one that is unique and unrivaled in its glamor and flamboyance, and several art galleries and museums keep NY at the cutting edge. The New Museum of contemporary art focuses primarily on "new art and new ideas." The artists featured here are modern and unpredictable, with displays designed to enthrall and intrigue. The museum also has a store where you can find books, CDs, DVDs, gifts and more on contemporary art.

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