Discover the best art galleries and art exhibitions in New York City – the ones that are hidden and thriving.
The city that never sleeps is one of the busiest urban centres in the world. Every newcomer who has ever arrived with a cultural suitcase has contributed to the sounds, tastes and textures of New York City.
Not only does NYC promote visibility but creates a space where people can safely come and see themselves reflected in the artwork. It also shows people that there is more to life than what meets the eye.
These ideas can be found within the secluded galleries scattered all around the concrete jungle. New York is situated in the Northeast region of the United States of America. Over eight million people call the Big Apple home and the city normally attracts up to 50 million visitors a year.
Over the decades many New Yorkers made it big and much of the fabulous wealth was reinvested into collecting some of the greatest artworks on the planet
So you can imagine how many art galleries there are. They are everywhere in New York City, from Brooklyn and Queens to the Upper and Lower East Sides of Manhattan.
And, of course, they are in Chelsea, which continues to have the larger concentration of spaces in a single neighbourhood—not just in New York, but in every city in the world.
By some estimates, there are something like 1,500 galleries in NYC alone.
With a lot of galleries, covering all periods in art history, it’s easy to see why so many exist.
If you are looking for stand out galleries on the streets of NYC then these cultural institutions are guaranteed to immerse you into the art world for life:
New York City: Mmuseumm 1 + 2
4 Cortlandt Alley
Only 20 square feet in size and big enough for three visitors at a time, this tiny space packs a big punch with its curated art.
Filmmakers Alex Kalman and the Safdie brothers started this project that specializes in the overlooked, dismissed, or ignored.
The location itself – a converted freight elevator that’s accessible from a sketchy alleyway – is also an anomaly.
240 East 26th St
Hidden in what used to be a blacksmith’s studio on East 26th St is an underground laser laboratory built decades ago by a scientist named Professor Jason Arthur Sapan.
He’s been making holograms at Holographic Studios since 1979.
The scientist is one of the pioneers of the craft and an instructor of Telecommunications at NYU, he founded what is now the world’s oldest holography gallery out of his love for the art.
Rubin Museum of Art in New York City
150 West 17th St
While the building itself may not be physically hidden (in fact it’s quite an impressive space), the RMA is a lesser-known museum with a collection that’s on par with the other major gallery heavyweights.
The exhibitions focus on Himalayan culture and are known for being very well-curated, well-rounded and authentic.
It is one of the most vibrant cities in the world because it welcomes different worlds of art. Both mainstream and hidden.