"Museums Tell Stories So Much Better Than Textbooks Do." - Katherine Locke

Museum are everywhere in New York City and it's hard to decide which one to visit first.  On Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, there is a concentration of museums known as Museum Mile.  That may be a good place to start.

Nine cultural institutions that stretch along Fifth Avenue including, the Frick Collection (65th Street), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (82nd to 85th Streets), El Museo del Barrio (at 104th Street and dedicated to Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American art), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (88th Street), the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts (89th Street), the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (91st Street), The Jewish Museum (92nd Street), and the Museum of the City of New York (103rd Street).  Some of these museums are former mansions of wealthy New Yorkers.  The Vanderbilt family built and lived at what became the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.  Frick and his family resided on 65th Street & Fifth Avenue where the Frick's art collection is now housed.  

The idea of "a museum not for art's sake but humanity's sake" was first proposed by John Hay, once President Lincoln's private secretary.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art fulfills both of those goals.  The Met (as New Yorkers call it) has one of the largest and comprehensive collections of art in the world.  This amazingly immense and wonderful museum is New York City's most popular tourist attraction.  Allow much of a day to tour its many galleries.  Founded in 1880, the museum is located on Manhattan's fashionable Fifth Avenue between East 81st & 85th Streets on the edge of Central Park.  The Museum has a roof garden, the Iris and and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, that overlooks Central Park and where contemporary sculptures are displayed. 

Up the Fifth Avenue from the Metropolitan is the Guggenheim Museum at E. 88th Street.   This museum, known for its unusual architecture, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. 

A visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (classical and modern art) or the Museum of Modern Art (modern art and photography) is recommended.  Children will enjoy the American Museum of Natural History (dinosaurs and science), and a good but fun lesson on the history of immigration to American can be experienced at the Tenement Museum. 

A visitor can choose from many museums that highlight many different subjects:  

Time Out New York recently published an article on the Best 37 Museums in NYC.  Check it out too.