Between 82nd and 104th Street in Manhattan, near Central Park, is the largest concentration of museums in the world, including the legendary Metropolitan Museum of Arts and Guggenheim Museum. Since 1978, this district nicknamed the Museum Mile has brought together nearly a million people every year, for an evening, on 5th Avenue. That evening, pedestrians are king, museums are free, we draw and dance in the street! It's the Museum Mile Festival, a good opportunity to discover the diversity and incredible wealth of New York museums!
In chic neighborhoods!
The Museum Mile is located on the Upper East Side, one of New York's finest and most luxurious neighborhoods. Located east of Central Park, it stretches from 59th to 110th streets.
Once a summer vacation spot for New Yorkers, then, at the start of the XNUMXth century, the home of wealthy industrialists such as the Vanderbilts and the Carnegis, the Upper East Side has always been chic. Today, billionaires, businessmen and stars have made it their home. Jackie Onassis, Gershwin, Marilyn lived there to meet Paul Newman or Robert Redford… Woody Allen plays the clarinet every Monday evening at the Carlyle Hotel!
The area is home to the famous 5th Avenue and Park Avenue and, if you want to do some shopping, you will find Bloomingdale's, the equivalent of our Galeries Lafayette.
The museum district
On 5th Avenue, it is between 82nd and 104th Street that the famous Museum Mile nestles. In the 1970s, to face the economic crisis and encourage the arts, nine major museums of the Big Apple, concentrated on just over a kilometer, organized themselves into a consortium, intended to ensure their promotion. Among the resources chosen, the Museum Mile Festival met with great success from its first edition. It must be said that the place is exceptional.
Within walking distance of each other are America's two most famous museums, the MET and the Guggenheim. Let's start with the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, which rivals the Louvre and the British Museum in terms of its size and the richness of its collections. Here, you have an appointment with Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Delacroix, Goya, Warhol, Bacon… Do not miss the reconstruction of the temple of Dendur, offered to the United States by Egypt in 1965.
Further on, the Guggenheim Museum offers walkers its unique architecture in the world with its famous spiral gallery! The work of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the great names in modern architecture, it houses the collections of modern and contemporary art by copper magnate Solomon R. Guggenheim. You can see, among others, works by Picasso, Giacometti or Kandinsky, not to mention temporary exhibitions that often create the event.
The other museums in the district are also worth a visit such as the Museo del Barrio, founded in 1969 by Raphael Montañez Ortiz, located on the edge of Harlem, a neighborhood once shunned by New Yorkers and tourists. It promotes Latin American artistic and cultural diversity and today has a major impact on the city's cultural life.
Both an art gallery and a history museum, the Museum of the City of New York houses a collection of heterogeneous objects. On the 4th floor, you can visit the luxurious Rockefeller bedroom.
Housed in the former home of the Warburg family, the Jewish Museum brings together the most important collection of objects and works of art that bear witness to the history of the Jewish people through the centuries. To the Neue Galerie, founded by Sabarsky and Lauder, German and Austrian art and design from the beginning of the XNUMXth century are in the spotlight. Temporary exhibitions feature works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Paul Klee ...
Finally, let us also cite the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, installed in what was the home of Andrew Carnegie Institut German Cultural Center is also part of it.
Art in the street
On June 3, 2008, from 18 p.m. to 21 p.m., the Museum Mile section is celebrating! For the occasion, it is closed to automobile traffic. The nine museums in the district open their doors to the public free of charge and many outdoor activities are offered… at the crossroads of our Night of Museums and the Fête de la Musique! Alone or with the family, the Museum Mile Festival is an opportunity for New Yorkers of all origins, but also for visitors from all over the world, to meet up for an evening, in a friendly and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
To the sound of jazz or classical music, you can walk among jugglers, dancers, magicians and theater troupes. Get down to making a chalk mural on one of the many art activity workshops, or take the opportunity to explore the New York Academy of Medicine or the Czech Center.
The MET or the Guggenheim are usually taken by storm. Fans of calm, admire the exhibitions in the Neue Gallery or the Museo del Barrio. If, however, you dare to brave the crowd, stop by the MET and consider going up for a drink at the Roof Garden. Located on the roof of the museum, it offers a breathtaking view of Central Park.
Visit the Museum Mile Festival website which will take place on June 3, 2008 from 18 p.m. to 21 p.m..
Museum Mile sites
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Museo del Barrio
Museum of the City of New York
National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts
Jewish Museum of New York
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Goethe Institut German Cultural Center