Museum of Chinese in America

Museum of Chinese in America

Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, this museum presents Chinese American history through innovative and interactive exhibitions. Founded in 1980, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) hosts many programs and events and is a cornerstone of the Chinese community. The building was designed by Maya Lin, the creator of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.

Exhibitions & Artifacts

MOCA strives to present Chinese culture and heritage through a thought-provoking showcase of exhibitions and cultural programs. The museum not only endeavours to engage people in the appreciation of Chinese American history but also to educate visitors and the community on issues that are history in the making.

Some past MOCA exhibits include “ Many True Stories: Life in Chinatown On and After September 11th” and “Here & Now: Chinese Artists in New York”. China’s beloved tradition of puzzles and its influence on arts and culture in America is explored in “ Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind”.

MOCA also boasts one of the most important archives of materials that tell the story of Chinese life in the United States. Highlights of the special collections include “ Recovering Chinatown: the 9/11 Collection” which displays items that show the impact of the 9/11 attacks on the neighbourhood which is just ten blocks from Ground Zero. The “ Cheongsam (Qi Pao) Collection” showcases Chinese design and fashion with 77 custom-tailored Chinese dresses (cheongsam) from the 1930s and 1940s.

Programs & Workshops

MOCA hosts a variety of tours, programs, festivals and workshops that strive to engage the community and bring Chinese American history to life in a vibrant way.

From gallery talks to kid’s arts programs to walking tours for seniors, MOCA offers a broad range of educational programs that inspire a deeper understanding of Chinese American history and the local neighbourhood of Chinatown.

MOCA's History

The Museum of Chinese in America was founded in 1980. It began as a community-based organization on the second floor of a century-old school building (Public School 23) in downtown Chinatown. Public School 23, which operated from 1893 to 1976, was an integral part of the Chinese community during the late 19 th century.

In 2009, MOCA moved to its present site between Chinatown and SoHo. The beautiful building, designed by the renowned Chinese American artist Maya Lin, gave the museum six times as much space.

Taking a Tour of the Museum

MOCA offers many guided tours and programs as well as walking tours of Chinatown. All guided tours must be reserved in advance.

Groups of eight or more should contact the museum at least three weeks prior to book a guided tour of the MOCA’s galleries. Guided tours are available Monday to Saturday.

Self-guided groups of ten or more should contact the museum to reserve space a minimum of one week in advance.

Photography, use of cell phones and outside food and beverages are not allowed in the museum.

Visiting the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City

This museum is located at 215 Centre Street between Howard and Grand Streets in Manhattan. It is closed to the general public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Location: 215 Centre Street New York City, New York
Phone: 212-619-4785

For more information including hours of operation, admission prices and a schedule of events visit Museum of Chinese in America official website.