New Museum

New Museum

If you are looking for something cool to do in the Lower East Side of Manhattan that is a little off the beaten path, check out the New Museum. This art gallery showcases an ever-changing program of contemporary art exhibits, housed within a cutting-edge building that itself is worth seeing for its award-winning architecture.

As Manhattan’s only museum dedicated to contemporary art, it offers visitors a true adventure in art and a unique museum experience.

No Permanent Collection

Since it was founded in 1977, the New Museum has showcased contemporary art from artists all around the world. There is no permanent collection; exhibits are constantly changing and cover a wide variety of genres. The exhibits are chosen to reflect the museum’s mission of offering “New Art and New Ideas.” Visitors will experience works in a broad range of mediums such as sculpture, painting, photography and video. The museum is known for showing works by renowned contemporary artists before they became famous.

What you’ll find at the New Museum are exhibitions that are constantly changing, from experimental film installations to large shows that immerse the viewer into the exhibition and take over several floors of the building. Some of the world’s leading collectors of contemporary art have had their holdings displayed at the New Museum. In an exhibition curated by world-famous artist Jeff Koons, select pieces from the celebrated collection of renowned collector and philanthropist Dakis Joannou were shown.

A New Building for the New Museum

The New Museum does not look like other museums. Opened in 2007, this unique seven-story structure spans 60,000 square-feet, offering far more exhibition space than its previous facility on Broadway. It was created by award-winning Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa whose firm SANAA was chosen to design the building after an international search. The New Museum is made up of off-center squares clad in shiny aluminum mesh, creating an effect that looks like stacked boxes rising above the street.

The interior of the building features skylights and light-filled spaces. The airy "sky room" on the seventh floor features a balcony offering panoramic views of Lower Manhattan. The innovative, state-of-the-art design earned the New Museum the honour of being named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the architectural seven wonders.

Events and Education

From discussions with artists to exhibition-related lecture series, the New Museum offers a busy schedule of events as well as film screenings and musical performances. The current program calendar can be found online at the New Museum’s official website.

The New Museum “First Saturdays for Families” program offers families with kids aged five to 15 the opportunity to experience the museum’s exhibitions and participate in hands-on art workshops led by museum educators, all free of charge.

Taking a Tour

Guided 45-minute public tours of the New Museum are free with admission. Led by trained museum volunteers, visitors will learn about the architecture of the building and the current exhibitions.

Group tours are available for a fee and must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance.

Self-guided tours can also be taken for a fee. Visitors must register ahead of time and will receive in advance tour materials to guide them through the galleries. A tour reservation form is available at the New Museum website.

Visiting New Museum

The New Museum is located at 235 Bowery at Prince Street, between Stanton and Rivington Streets in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. It is one and a half blocks south of Houston.

For detailed directions, admission prices and hours of operation call 212-219-1222 or visit New Museum official website.