Fall Review: 5 Must-See Art Exhibitions in NYC

By Go City Expert

New York City is an art mecca, home to some of the most prestigious art museums in the world. Although the Metropolitan and the Museum of Modern Art are great -- the city is chock-full of smaller galleries and lesser-known museums which house hidden gems. By compiling a list of unmissable exhibitions currently or about to be on display, we hope to provide an insider's guide to the best contemporary art exhibitions NYC has to offer.


Where: Swiss Institute, currently showing through Dec. 29

Who: Jill Mulleady

What: A conceptual exploration of the building itself, Fight-or-Flight is a multi-media exhibition by Los Angeles artist, Jill Mulleady. It features a fictional narrative of the land the Swiss Institute stands upon. Beyond the art, the space itself is a must-see. Originally built to house a bank in 1954, the structure has been converted into a multi-floor gallery. Situated right in the heart of the once-punk, now-trendy East Village, the Swiss Institute is the kind of noncommercial space (entry is always free) that rarely exists today. The gallery remains relatively unknown so therefore it is a must-see for contemporary art lovers. Specifically, Mulleady's show evokes questions of what New York was and what it will become.


Where: David Zwirner Gallery, Nov. 9 - Dec. 14

Who: Yayoi Kusama

What: Yayoi Kusama is a globally renowned artist. She is best known for her use of polka-dots and her forever Instagram-able Infinity Mirror Rooms. A product of a difficult childhood, Kusama has suffered from hallucinations from an early age. What does she see? You guessed it, lots of dots. She rose the ranks of the contemporary art world in the 1960s. Her work is deeply personal; she's gone on record stating that creating art has kept her from committing suicide. EVERY DAY I PRAY FOR LOVE will debut new installations, paintings, and sculptures by the 90-year-old artist, and of course - a new room. Her exhibitions are always a huge draw (the gallery told ArtNews they're suspecting over 100,000 visitors) and space is limited; so be sure to get there early before the line gets too long.

You'll feel very local standing in line in Chelsea, New York's art district - we promise.

Basquiat's "Defacement": The Untold Story

Where: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, currently showing until Nov. 6

Who: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and more.

What: Even after his death, Basquiat remained one of the most famous artists in the world. Born and raised in New York, he's become synonymous with the city itself. Basquiat's rags to riches story captivated the art world. He ran away from home at the age of fifteen, sleeping in local parks. But by the mid-1980s, he was one of the most popular artists alive. This exhibit specifically focuses on how social injustice shaped the artist's life. The centerpiece of the exhibition is The Death of Michael Stewart, a painting that commemorates and protests the killing of a graffiti artist by NYPD officers.

Also on display is work by the late artist's contemporaries (and other distinct New York personalities), Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. The exhibition serves as a portal into the Downtown art scene of yesterday; however, with its theme of social justice, it also feels chillingly current.

Additionally, the Guggenheim Museum is an iconic building. Because of its circular, Frank Lloyd Wright design, the art house is one of the most famous buildings in the world.

Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall

Where: Brooklyn Museum, currently showing through Dec.9

Who: Mark Aguhar, Felipe Baeza, Morgan Bassichis, Anna Betbeze, David Antonio Cruz, and more.

What: This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which took place at the Downtown gay bar of the same name. A police raid of the local drinkery turned into a protest and marked the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement. A few months ago, New York hosted the World Pride Parade to commemorate how far the community has come. Now it's the art world's turn.

Featuring work from over twenty post-Stonewall artists who identify as LGBTQ+, this multi-media exhibition provides an exciting glimpse into contemporary queer art. Looking forward as opposed to looking backwards, No Promised You Tomorrow is a bold testament to collective resilience and required viewing for straight and gay folks, alike.

Partial View of the Whitney Biennial 2019

Where: Whitney Museum of American Art, currently on display until Oct. 27

Who: Selected artists from the previous Biennial.

What: As the title suggests, the Whitney Biennial comes once every two years and provides a snapshot of what's going on in the contemporary art world. Taking over four of the museum's six floors, the massive exhibition is arguably the most important art event in America, because it introduces curators and audiences to lesser-known artists. Being featured in the Whitney Biennial can make or break your career. Sadly, the 2019 Biennial has officially closed. But the museum has left a smaller distillation of the art extravaganza up for display on the sixth floor. We couldn't think of a better way to close the year than looking at the future of American art.

As a bonus, the museum is also located at the foot of the Highline. The once above-ground subway line has since been converted into a public park, and provides a beautiful view of the Chelsea neighborhood. And if you're hungry, you're not far from the Chelsea Market, a massive indoor food court.

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Things To Do In NYC For Families On Vacation

With so many attractions and activities, an NYC family vacation is bound to be a memorable trip. Seeing the Big Apple is an unforgettable experience that children of all ages can appreciate regardless of their interests. It's also an educational experience allowing sightseers to tour some of the most iconic landmarks in American history. NYC has something for everyone in the family. If you're planning a family vacation to New York, you'll make the most of your trip for you and your family if you put some research into which sights you'll see. We've put together a list of some of the best places in NYC to bring the whole family. Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum A New York City must for all visitors. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are located at the southern tip of Manhattan. This site is one of the most important historical sights that kids visiting New York for the first time will want to see to get a greater understanding of not only New York history, but American history as well. From Battery Park, sightseers can take a free ferry to Ellis Island. The ferry ride itself is an interesting experience that gives passengers panoramic views of New York harbor. Once at Ellis Island, visitors can learn about New York's long history as a hub of immigration and the 12 million immigrants who first arrived in New York via Ellis Island. Admission: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tickets are included with the New York Pass. Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall Centrally located in Midtown Manhattan below Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall offer history, art, culture, and entertainment. Rockefeller Center is an iconic landmark that was originally commissioned by the wealthy Rockefeller family in the 1930's. Nowadays, Rockefeller Center is a National Historic Landmark. It's also a significant building architecturally as it showcases the Art Deco style of the early 20th century at its peak. Inside the Rockefeller Center, there is shopping, dining, and the Top of the Rock which offers birds-eye views of Midtown. Outside Rockefeller Center, there is a skating rink that young visitors can take advantage of during the winter months for some exercise. Visitors during the holiday season can also catch a glimpse of the famous Christmas tree that is put up each year in Rockefeller Plaza. The Radio City Music Hall serves as a venue for concerts throughout the year and is home to the famous Rockettes. This dancing troupe puts on a Christmas Spectacular each year that never fails to put the audience in the holiday spirit. Admission: Rockefeller Center Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Admission: Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum Although a newer addition to NYC's tourist offerings, this has quickly become one of the biggest attractions in the city. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was constructed as a tribute to the victims of the World Trade Center attack in 2001. The museum details the history of the event and shows different types of artifacts related to the attack. Set some time aside to get the full experience from this unforgettable landmark. The museum itself contains more than 10,000 artifacts, and the memorial contains two reflecting pools for sightseers. Admission: 9/11 Memorial & Museum tickets are included with the New York Pass. Central Park With The Family Central Park is one of the most scenic destinations in New York and offers a variety of activities for families, making it the perfect NYC family vacation thing to do. Make unforgettable memories with your family on a group bicycle or walking tour that explores Central Park sights you'll recognize from some of your favorite films. Even New York natives can get lost in the extensive grounds of Central Park. Among the many family activities in the park are boat rides, touring Central Park zoo or exploring Belvedere Castle. A day in Central Park will tire out even the most energetic kids. The park also provides great photo opportunities thanks to some of the beautiful scenery. Admission: Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Yankee Stadium For sports-loving families, Yankee Stadium is an interesting sight to visit both during and outside of the baseball season. Yankee Stadium is open for tours throughout the year, and the stadium has artifacts from baseball history on display. Yankee Stadium is a good destination for families wishing to get out of Manhattan and see some other boroughs. Located in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx, Yankee Stadium gives New York visitors a chance to ride the subway and experience everyday life for a typical New Yorker. Admission: Yankee Stadium Classic Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Remember To Save On Attraction Admission Many of the great attractions in New York City have something special in store for the entire family. Whether you're interested in sightseeing, taking a tour or enjoying art at a museum, an NYC family vacation is easy to plan with The New York Pass. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, you'll be paying the admission price for your entire family at the door for each venue. Consider using the New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way you can save more and see more. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
Casey Makovich

One Day in New York City Itinerary for First Time Visitors

One day in New York City will go by in the blink of an eye, but with a good itinerary, you can see some of NYC's most iconic sights and create powerful lasting memories from your trip. The key to seeing as much as possible, and enjoying it at the same time is an early wake-up time, good walking shoes and some sightseeing itinerary planning preparation. We've outlined the perfect one day in NYC itinerary below, but there are countless ways to tailor your NYC sightseeing itinerary to your travel style and interests. Save on Admission to Top NYC Attractions With The New York Pass, you can save big on admission to more than 90 attractions in the city. Experience the best of NYC and visit as many sites as you want each day for one low price with this flexible pass. Simply put, you decide what to see and when you want to see it! Learn more about our available passes and attractions. One Day in NYC Sample Itinerary Stop 1: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum Start your day of sightseeing in NYC early and plan to catch the first cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum (leaves Battery Park at 8:30 am). The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of the American Dream and an NYC must-see attraction. Getting in: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass. Please note: tickets to the Statue of Liberty pedestal and crown are sold separately and require advanced reservations. Stop 2: Wall Street Walking Tour No visit to the Financial Capital of the World is complete without seeing the sights of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. Go on a guided walking tour of the Financial District to make the most of your visit - your knowledgeable guide will provide entertaining and educational narration and context to all the sights you'll see, making sure you don't miss a thing. Sights you'll see along the way, include the Charging Bull statue, Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, and more. Getting in: Wall Street Walking Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. Stop for Lunch For a classic downtown lunch, check out Dominic's Italian Sausage, a food cart popular with the local residents and workers, or the trendy Ramen Co, home of the original Ramen Burger, one of New York's favorite viral foodie finds. Stop 3: Central Park Head to Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals and grab a bike to do some exploring--it's the best way to cover a lot of Central Park with a limited amount of time. Getting in: Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals are included with The New York Pass. Stop 4: Times Square [caption id="attachment_461" align="alignleft" width="4048"] Times Square at Night[/caption] After exploring Central Park, check another popular NYC destination off your list and head to Times Square to see the brilliant billboards, lights, and bustling city action. Times Square is home to lots of shops (many geared towards tourists, so it can be a great spot to pick up small souvenirs), street performers, restaurants, and attractions. Football fans will have fun exploring The NFL Experience, Times Square - a fully immersive football experience that puts you in the game and lets you test your skills against the pros with interactive combine events, a 4D cinema/thrill ride experience, tours of all 32 NFL franchises, and more. Visitors looking to experience some of the glamour of NYC will enjoy meeting their favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds New York. See over 200 impossibly lifelike wax figures - right in Times Square. You'll get to snap photos with everyone from Marilyn Monroe and George Clooney to Einstein and Maya Angelou. Getting in: Times Square is open to the public; The NFL Experience tickets and Madame Tussauds tickets are included with The New York Pass. Stop 5: Empire State Building Finish the day by visiting the Empire State Building for sweeping, 360-degree views of the city from this iconic landmark's 86th-floor observation deck. The ESB observatory is open until 2am every day, so it's the perfect way to end your one day in NYC itinerary. Getting in: Empire State Building tickets are included with The New York Pass. Remember to Save on Admission With this itinerary, you will be able to experience as many of the classic NYC landmarks without frantically rushing around too much. A lot of the activities and attractions mentioned in this post are included on The New York Pass–save money on admission to dozens of the most popular attractions in NYC is included for one low price. Save anywhere up to 40% off of the city’s most sought-after attractions with the pass versus regular gate admission prices. Learn more about The New York Pass here.
Casey Makovich

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