They might not be as famous as some of their fine arts counterparts on the far side of the East River, but Queens is home to a plethora of must-see museums. Travel by bridge or tunnel to experience everything from the innovative modern art exhibits at MoMA’s cutting-edge PS1 Contemporary Arts Center to the vintage video came collection at the Museum of the Moving Image.
PS1 Contemporary Art Center
Image via Flickr by jetportal
You wouldn’t expect to find a trove of modern art at a former public school, but such is the case with PS1 Contemporary Art Center. Officially affiliated with Manhattan’s famous Museum of Modern Art, PS1 hosts an eclectic collection with a reputation for edginess.
Here, you’ll find pieces from emerging artists, new genres, and innovative new works. Exhibits are always changing, so what you see depends on when you go. Check the PS1 website for a list of current exhibitions and events. An Instagram post from MoMA PS1 is certain to impress all of your hipster followers.
Also known as the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, the Noguchi Museum is home to some of the best examples of the Japanese sculptor’s work. Noguchi remains one of the most acclaimed sculptors of the twentieth century.
In addition to sculpting, he spent a lifetime creating ceramics, set designs, gardens, furniture, and lighting designs. The sculptor, who passed away in 1988, founded and designed the museum, which features a Zen-like outdoor sculpture garden and two floors of exhibitions. Located in Astoria on the East River, this fine arts museum is very close to a long list of top Queens hotels.
Museum of the Moving Image
Film buffs shouldn’t skip a trip to the Museum of the Moving Image. Perhaps Queens’ most inclusive fine arts experience, this collective features everything from classic film screenings to public discussion panels. At the core exhibition, you can peruse more than 1,400 artifacts, including historic film and television cameras, fan magazines, and video arcade games. Best of all, visitors can play with the museum’s video game collection. Check out the GIF Elevator exhibition for a fine-arts take on the Internet’s favorite form of moving image, the animated GIF.
Queens Museum of Art
Dating all the way back to the 1939 World’s Fair, the Queens Museum of Art hosts the famous Panorama of New York City, an excellent model of the five boroughs that gives you a distinct impression of what the city was like in 1992 when the model was built. You’ll also find the two World’s Fair exhibits and a number of contemporary art exhibits by local artists. The Queens Museum of Art is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, so you can stop by the nearby Unisphere for a photo op on your way to the museum.
It may not be the most famous of the five boroughs, but Queens retains bragging rights for its world-class fine arts museums. You can find a wide range of aesthetic pleasures here that span the spectrum from modern art to moving pictures.