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The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House building with other buildings around it.

A Guide to Amazing Free Art You Can Enjoy Around NYC


New York City is one of the most expensive places to live in the world, but that doesn’t mean a day spent exploring the city’s dynamic art scene has to break the bank. Here are six great spots to check out first-rate artwork at no cost.

Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College

As part of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts on the Queens College campus, Godwin-Ternbach Museum boasts a collection of more than 6,000 pieces that date back to ancient times. Here, you’ll find paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings with roots in both Western and non-Western civilizations. Be sure to check out the exhibition of the moment. On display now is “Migrations: A Study of Arts & Identity.” Do be aware that the museum’s hours mirror Queens College’s academic calendar. Check the website to be sure it’s open before stopping by.

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park, set on 5 acres of waterfront landscape in Queens, features an always-rotating collection of artwork. The park shuffles through exhibitions regularly. A fun one to watch for soon is “Monuments Now,” which kicks off in May and will showcase various artists’ abstract takes on widely recognized monuments. This is an outdoor museum you won’t want to miss.

National Museum of the American Indian

Located in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan features works that “explore the diversity of the Native people of the Americas.”

American Folk Art Museum

Self-taught artists take center stage at American Folk Art Museum, which features more than 8,000 folk art pieces spanning four centuries and hailing from nearly every corner of the world. The works you’ll find at this Upper West Side Manhattan museum include paintings, photography, textile arts, three-dimensional pieces, and so much more – pretty much anything you can imagine.

Bronx Museum of the Arts

This contemporary art destination houses more than 2,000 pieces in its permanent collection and hosts an eclectic mix of exhibitions. The thought-provoking works you’ll find at the Bronx Museum of the Arts mesh with its commitment to promote “cross-cultural dialogues for diverse audiences.”

Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology

Are you a fan of fashion? The Museum at FIT in Manhattan showcases exhibits designed to entertain and educate. Its collection focuses on “directional” fashion, “the kind of fashion that makes fashion history.” FIT’s permanent collection includes more than 50,000 garments with some pieces dating all the way back to the 18th century.

Looking for more fun things to do in NYC? Or maybe you’re in search of storage tips? Check out the CitiWide Self Storage blog.

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