Museum of Arts and Design

As a boutique-style venue with a speciality niche, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is truly a hidden cultural gem in New York City. This 54,000-square-foot facility celebrates various elements of contemporary design in textiles, architecture, manufacturing, fashion, digital publications and other sectors. Instead of just browsing galleries, visitors have the chance to walk inside studios that provide a real-world glimpse into modern design.

Overall, this museum appeals to those who are fascinated by abstract and futuristic genres of contemporary art. Most of the galleries have much more than mere paintings and traditional installations on walls. Freestanding sculptures, accessories, jewellery and other masterful creations are proudly centrally installed in rooms that allow guests views from just about any perspective.

A Modest Beginning For the MAD

Museum of Arts and Design
In 1956, American philanthropist Aileen Osborn Webb officially founded the Museum of Contemporary Crafts. About two decades later, this venue expanded into a facility in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Director Paul J. Smith was heavily credited with the rapid evolution of the museum during the early years. The move was accommodated by a renaming to the American Craft Museum. In 2008, another significant change led to an occupancy in the unique Simona Chazen Building, which has an ultramodern architectural style that's unlike anything else in the vicinity. This seven-story building has distinct glazed glass and stone tiles that create a stunning artistic expression. This new chapter in the organisation's history was accompanied by a renaming to the Museum of Arts and Design.

Location in Manhattan

The Museum of Arts and Design is conveniently located along Columbus Circle, which is one of the most recognisable traffic roundabouts in Midtown Manhattan. Served by multiple lines of the NYC Subway, the 59 Street-Columbus Circle provides great access to the museum and the surrounding area. Additional public transit options at Columbus Circle include Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) buses. The wide radial lanes and shoulders on this busy traffic circle also make it easy for taxis and private vehicles to quickly drop off an pick up passengers. Before or after a visit to the MAD, there's plenty to do and see at the nearby Central Park. In fact, the museum literally sits at the southwestern corner of this lush urban park. Bike rentals and horse-drawn carriage rides are easily accessible in the boundary between Columbus Circle and Central Park. Featuring dozens of high-end retailers, the Shops at Columbus Circle is an indoor shopping center that's just a short walk away from the museum.

Highlights of the MAD

The MAD has compiled an extensive collection of artefacts relating to modern design and crafts across an array of niches worldwide. All of the items on display and in the inventory are works that have been created after 1950. Instead of reserving precious space for permanent exhibits, the MAD often displays temporary or rotating presentations. Visitors are strongly encouraged to truly engage in the design process by attending various educational seminars and lectures that are held in intimate settings. The 7th Floor lounge and the Theater are popular venues that host interactive sessions between artisans and visitors. Other meetings and interactions often occur at the Barbara Tober Grand Atrium. It's common for guests to actually see artists and designers create preliminary models of works that will ultimately be displayed in the museum's galleries and in other worldwide exhibits. The educational outreach programs at the MAD tend to attract plenty of school and university students from the New York City metropolitan area. Nevertheless, all guests are more than welcome to walk into the museum's classrooms and learn about exciting topics on crafts and design.

Visiting Museum of Arts and Design

Location: 2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY, 10019

Click here to visit Museum of Arts and Design official website.

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2 Columbus Circle
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