The New Museum is an essential stop for anyone interested in experiencing all the very best contemporary art has to offer. The New Museum is known for putting on exhibitions that promote acclaimed living artists working on the front lines of contemporary art—which means you never know just what you’ll see when you’re here—but visitors to the New Museum with a passion for forward-thinking art will not be disappointed.
New Museum History
The New Museum was founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker, who had served the previous decade as a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It was Tucker’s contention that many acclaimed art museums struggled to bring the same sort of gravitas to contemporary art that they bestowed on their older works. She established the New Museum with the goal of fostering a space where emerging artists could present their work to an engaged audience free of the burdens of conventional museum periodization.
In its early years, the New Museum cycled through a number of locations and projects, all while its reputation grew in stature and acclaim. In 2007, the New Museum moved into its current location at 235 Bowery, where it occupies five floors of gallery space and remains devoted to hosting cutting-edge shows and displaying outstanding works of contemporary art.
What’s at the New Museum
As a facility devoted to profiling the contemporary art scene, the New Museum specializes in presenting temporary installations. This means each and every trip one makes to the New Museum could be radically different depending on what’s showing at the time. Recent exhibitions at the New Museum have featured work by artists like Faith Ringgold and Robert Colescott, as well as themes such as “Art and Mourning in America” and “Gender as a Tool and Weapon.”
The New Museum also has a permanent collection numbering several thousand pieces. Some of these works are on display at the site from time to time, while the majority of them may be viewed online as part of the New Museum website’s digital archive. Every three years, the New Museum organizes its much-anticipated Triennial, which is intended to survey the state of the contemporary art world at its given point in time.
The New Museum Store sells a variety of art-related products that might interest guests who enjoy their visit. Their selection of books is particularly impressive, but they also sell all manner of accessories, apparel, home-décor items, and souvenirs perfect for the kids. And, if you can’t make up your mind on the spot, their online store carries much of this merchandise, too.
Tips for Visiting the New Museum
- The New Museum is included on the money saving New York Pass.
- The New Museum strongly recommends you reserve your admission ahead of time by purchasing an advance timed ticket. The New Museum usually makes these advance tickets available for purchase anywhere from two to four weeks ahead of time.
- Each Thursday evening between the hours of 7:00pm and 9:00pm admission to the New Museum is available via a pay-what-you-wish policy. The suggested donation amount is two dollars.
- Parking near the New Museum, like parking for many popular attractions found throughout Manhattan, is not going to be cheap or easy. However, you will find several garages available to you a few blocks north of the museum. For more information on parking at the museum, check out the museum’s official website. Or, consider taking public transportation: there are numerous options in the area.
- The New Museum frequently hosts special events. Be certain to check out their online calendar for details regarding what might be happening when you’ve scheduled your visit.