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9 Top-Rated Museums in New York City

New York is home to some of the finest museums in the world. From the art collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim to the historical displays of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Museum of Natural History, there is a vast array of options. As tempting as it may be to try to see everything, people with limited time are well advised to focus on a couple of museums, or even one, rather than trying to see it all. The MET is the largest museum in the United States and a day here can seem like only an hour. Some museums are closed on Mondays and hours may vary throughout the week.

1 Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art amaianos / photo modified
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art, known more commonly as The Met, is a world class museum and an important tourist attraction in New York. It carries a diverse range of collections, with over 2 million works of art. This is one of America's most famous museums and among the finest in the country.

Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028-0198, United States

Official site: http://www.metmuseum.org/

2 Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art Ray_from_LA / photo modified
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Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA as it's usually called, contains one of the world's largest and best collections of modern art. The museum features architecture, drawings, paintings, photography and prints. Notable works by Picasso, Dali, Magritte, Wyeth, Warhol, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Monet are on display.

Address: 11 West 53 Street

Official site: http://www.moma.org/

3 American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History Daniel Bonatto / photo modified
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The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869 and is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. The museum's permanent collection millions of pieces related to human evolution, ocean life, fossils, and space. The Hayden Planetarium adjoins the museum. The museum has regularly changing exhibits and also offers many programs designed to engage visitors, and entertain families.

Address: Central Park West at 79th Street

Official site: http://www.amnh.org/

4 Solomon R Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum
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The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum is as famous for the building as it is for the collection. The unique structure was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1943 and features a huge spiral ramp that joins, what he called, one continuous floor. The museum displays an extraordinary collection of modern art, with pieces by all the great masters, from Picasso and Chagall to Leger and Manet.

Address: 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128-0112, United States

5 Frick Collection

Frick Collection
Frick Collection Rev Stan / photo modified
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The Frick Collection was the art collection of Henry Clay Frick. He bequeathed his collection and his mansion to the city of New York, upon his death in 1919. The mansion, which serves as the gallery, was built in 1913-14 and cost an estimated $5 million to construct. Frick laid out the structure with the intention of leaving the house as a public gallery. The collection, while relatively small includes many fine pieces. On display are old master paintings, French furniture, Limoges enamels and Oriental rugs. Turner, Constable, More, and Vermeer are some of the notable artists whose works are on display.

Address: 1 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021-4907, United States

Official site: http://www.frick.org/

6 National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian
National Museum of the American Indian Ken Lund / photo modified
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The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is home to over a million works and documents concerning Native American peoples and their customs. Much of the collection, most of which is in storage at any given time, was acquired by George Gustav Heye. The museum is housed in the neoclassical Alexander Hamilton Customs House. Exhibits change frequently.

The museum also hosts numerous public programs including music and dance performances, films, and symposia. It works closely with Native Peoples to preserve and protect their cultures traditions and expressions.

Address: One Bowling Green

Official site: http://nmai.si.edu/home/

7 Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Ellis Island Immigration Museum
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Ellis Island served as America's immigration depot from 1892 to 1954. Nearly 17 million people passed through its gates. After $156 million of restoration, it is now a national museum.

The Ellis Island Immigration Museum offers exhibits and programs about the history of Ellis Island and the immigration process. Immigrants were processed in the "Main Building" at Ellis Island. Today, the Main Building is a three floor museum, containing a variety of self-guided permanent exhibits.

8 Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Museum of American Art
Whitney Museum of American Art Smart Destinations / photo modified
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The Whitney Museum of American Art is one of the premier showcases for American art. It was founded in 1930 by sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney after the Metropolitan Museum of Art turned down her collection of works by living artists. The Permanent Collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and prints. Artists on display feature such names as Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper John and many others.

The building designed by Marcel Breuer for the Whitney is an important landmark in modern architecture. Each floor is cantilevered over the floor below permitting and ever expanding display area.

Address: 945 Madison Avenue

Official site: http://whitney.org/

9 Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
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Although it is not a museum, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts lies at the heart of cultural life in New York. It is an arts complex which comprises numerous organizations, some of which include the Metropolitan Opera, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center Theater, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet, among others. It spans more than 16 acres and features a fountain by Philip Johnson and a sculpture by Henry Moore.

Address: 10 Lincoln Center Plaza

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