Museums in New York

Hello all!

I’m back from my whirlwind trip to NY and I just wanted to share some thoughts from my travels. Today New York’s museums. Here are a run down of the ones I visited.

Ohhh…. And this is my attempt at taking poncey shots from the top of the empire state building.

Museum @ FIT

The museum galleries of the fashion institute are only quite small BUT a rarity for New York they are actually free! This is a must visit for any fashion history fan and currently on display are some amazing highlights from the collection including gorgeous pieces by Charles James and Alexander McQueen. My only issue was the heavy shaking you could feel from the subway whilst in the galleries.

Charles James at Museum at FIT

The Frick

This is what you call a personal collection! The Frick collection was formed by Henry Clay Frick
And is still kept in the building that was originally his house. What I like about this collection is you get a real sense of Fricks personality as you wander round the museum, and you actually see the paintings where he originally chose for them to be hung. This is definitely what I would call a relaxing museum to visit. My highlight was the Fragonard room, which was seen as a ladies room; ethereal and light. The Fragonard panels honestly transport you to a different, dreamlike world.

Guggenheim museum

This was my least favourite of the museums I visited. I’m not the biggest modern art fan and a lot of the pieces here were too abstract for my liking. I feel that you get a lot more for your money at the other museums, as even for a student entry to the Guggenheim is $18. If you are interested in modern art check out the contemporary galleries at the Met or MOMA instead which I feel offer more. Needless to say the Frank Lloyd Wright building the museum is housed in is sensational.

Neue galerie

I didn’t make it to this museum, but I did pick up the brochure and I have to say it looks fantastic. I think if you are into your German and Austrian artists this is the museum for you. Lots of art nouveau here, I will definitely be visiting the next time I am in New York.


Another amazing museum filled with absolute delights. I went on a Friday afternoon which is free. This does mean it is incredibly busy, but very much worth it. Here are a few of my personal highlights from the museum.


The MET is THE New York museum. As much as I enjoyed the other museums the met just has everything one could want (like the V and A only bigger). I was so excited to get to see some of my favourite pieces of art in the flesh. Especially the John Singer Sargeant works. Madame X has always been one of my absolute favourite paintings and to see it up close I have to admit moved me. I also really liked seeing the works by Signac and Monet and really getting to understand their brushwork up close.

Not only does the met have wonderful art, but there is also wonderful design. The museum has amazing room settings allowing you to truly understand how furniture would have fitted together. I liked this Art Nouveau room setting the best.

Then of course there is the costume collection (currently closed, another reason I need to go to New York again). The current major exhibition is Schiaparelli and Prada: impossible conversations. Schiap is my favourite designer of all time, so of course I was going to enjoy the exhibition, but I really appreciated the thought process and the thematic approach to the display. Items were really well displayed to allow you to get close enough (but not too close of course) and see both back and front of items. From an exhibition design point of view it was one of the best exhibitions I have ever been to I think.

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

One thing that New York museums made me think is how lucky we have it here in the UK with so many of our museums being free. New York museums are pricey, and I actually think we get too much here for free. I mean everything you get at the V and A and not to pay anything for it??? Personally I think there should be a charge, but that is just my two penny worth : ).

In my following blog posts shopping in New York AND getting to hear Tavi Gevinson and Iris Apfel speak.

2 thoughts on “Museums in New York

  1. Looks like you had a great time, love the Sargeants. when I was a student in the late 80s the V&A did try to instigate a £5 admission charge – there was OUTRAGE which went as far as I DIDN'T PAY AT THE V&A badges to counteract the Did Pay badges, how times have changed.

  2. I think if you live in a city it is great for galleries to be free, because it means you can go regularly – if I had to pay I just wouldn't go. Whereas when it is free I can go for a short while without feeling I have to 'get my moneys worth'. I love the fact that it encourages people to appreciate galleries and museums, and really it is just another kind of public service, like a park or a library. I find it very egalitarian 🙂Penny Dreadful Vintage

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