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Top 5: Free Museums in NYC

by Veronica An

Sep 8, 2014

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime

North America

Although New York City is notorious for being one of the world’s most expensive cities, cost should not prohibit visitors — and locals — from experiencing the rich arts and cultural attractions the city has to offer. In addition to completely free museums, almost all institutions offer free admission a few hours each week. The key to enjoying the Big Apple’s best museums for little or no cost is to know what to see and where to go before arriving.


The American Folk Art Museum, located at 2 Lincoln Place in the Upper West Side, has showcased local and international craft artists since 1961. Their charming collections emphasize self-taught artists and include paintings, textiles, sculptures and drawings.


When it was established in 2000, The International Print Center was the only nonprofit art space dedicated to exhibiting artists’ prints. Although the collection lacks multimedia variety, the museum is a singular experience that sets it apart from larger institutions.


The National Museum of the American Indian, one of the largest institutions dedicated to art and cultural preservation, is completely free. The institution is a branch of the Smithsonian and houses an extensive collection of historic and cultural artifacts from across the nation.


The Museum of Modern Art’s sister location, P.S 1 MoMA, features pay-what-you-wish admission. Converted from an old public school building, the collection focuses on site-specific and contemporary installations. The awe-inspiring art is a short train ride outside of Manhattan in Long Island City.


Additionally, the Metropolitan Museum of Art offers pay-what-you-wish admission; despite the steep suggested prices posted by the ticket counter. Plan on spending at least a day appreciating the institution’s varied collections and rotating exhibits.



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