If you’ve lived in New York City for more than a year, you’ve probably been to the MOMA or the Met. While those are must-sees, the city has tons of museums that don’t get as much traffic.
This small museum in Chinatown tells the story of Chinese American immigrants in New York city throughout history. Each room highlights an important era in Chinese American history, from the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act, to WWII, to the modern age. The permanent exhibit is just the right mix of highly interactive, slightly eerie, and educational. Grab a bubble tea on your way back home in the café next door.
This museum is often overlooked because of its location in Astoria. The Museum of Moving Image is all about film, television, and digital media. If you’re a film major, you’ll want to see the permanent exhibit, which showcases film equipment throughout the ages. Temporary exhibitions explore everything from video games to stop motion animation. The museum also frequently holds screenings of international films.
3. Museums Belonging to Universities
New York City is home to may universities, and a lot of them have their own art galleries. The New Museum at the New School holds modern art from around the world. Many NYU students walk past the Grey Art Gallery every day without ever checking out its exhibits. Cooper Union Galleries holds work by students, faculty, and guest artists. Fordham University has its own collection of Greek and Etruscan artifacts. These museums are not as well-known as the bigger art museums, and you can often get in for free.
If you’ve ever admired New York City’s beautiful skyline, this museum if for you. This Battery Park museum is the only one in the world dedicated to skyscrapers. The core exhibit features amazing mini-models of Manhattan and historical pictures of the city as each new skyscraper was added. The museum is currently holding an exhibit about changing cities in the face of climate change.
This museum opened just four years ago. MoMath aims to inspire people to look at math at in a new light. The colorful and interactive exhibits will please even the most math-phobic. This isn’t going to be like your high school AP Calculus class!
This museum tells the stories of immigrants in the Lower East Side, which was a historic immigrant neighborhood. The museum is in the former tenement building, and tours are offered of the neighborhood as well as of the apartments that give you a glimpse into the life of an immigrant at that time, and you can even meet a costumed actor playing a tenement in the building.
You’ve probably been down to the subway a hundred times in NYC, but have you ever been to a museum that was located in one? The Court Street Station in Brooklyn is decommissioned, and it holds one of the biggest museums dedicated to urban transport in the nation. Here, you can find historical artifacts of the bus, bridge, rail and tunnel system of the MTA.
For fans of the macabre, the Morbid Anatomy museum features exhibits on death, anatomy, and medicine. The museum explores the histories that are often neglected in larger museums, and also holds frequent taxidermy flea markets, where you can buy antiques, taxidermy animals, and handmade jewelry.
MOFAD is the youngest museum on this list, opening in 2015. It’s the only museum where you can eat the exhibits! MOfad explores the culture, history, science, and production of food and drink. The museum currently operates MOFAD Lab, an exhibit design studio and gallery space in Brooklyn, NY, where Flavor: Making It and Faking It is now on show.
Don’t giggle just yet. This museum is not silly or obscene. MoSex explores the history of human sexuality, and does so in a fascinating and eloquent way. While this museum may not be for children, it’s extremely educational.