Thu-Mon, 11am-6pm; Tue-Wed, closed
4, 5, 6 at 86th St.
$15, $10 students and seniors, children under 12 not admitted, children ages 12-16 not admitted without an adult
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
The Neue Galerie, just a few blocks from the Guggenheim, offers a welcome (if small-scale) alternative to that tourist magnet's frequently suffocating crowds. Devoted to 20th century German and Austrian art, this compact museum is housed in a gorgeous 1914 mansion once occupied by a Vanderbilt and designed by Carrere & Hastings, the architects of the New York Public Library. The Galerie opened in November 2001 and, while not quite a hidden gem, it certainly has been under-appreciated and under-visited by locals and tourists alike. Provocative, acclaimed exhibitions—such as 2004-2005's "Comic Grotesque: Wit and Mockery in German Art, 1870-1940"—and outreach programs (chamber music concerts, film screenings, and even cabaret) should help change that. And as word spreads about this institution’s excellent art collection of works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, various Bauhaus artists, and many others, its two floors of elegantly installed galleries should draw the volume of visitors they deserve. The museum was the very personal project of two men: the late art dealer Serge Sabarsky and his dear friend Ronald S. Lauder, the New York billionaire of Estee Lauder fame and (family) fortune. They bought the building together in 1994 and set upon creating the museum within—a labor of love that Lauder carried on in earnest after Sabarsky's death in 1996. The Neue Galerie is particularly notable for the way in which it juxtaposes paintings and decorative arts to immerse viewers and transport them back in time. Also notable: the museum is, in its words, "engaged in ongoing research related to the ownership history, or provenance, of works in its collection"—that is, to make sure that none of its treasures were unlawfully "appropriated" by the Nazis.Tours
Free Audio Tours available at the Lower Level but guided tours must be arranged in advance. Call 212-628-6200.
A cool, original location for a wedding, the mansion offers several event spaces for couples to reserve. Mingle with your guests among the Klimts and Schieles on the two gallery floors, or take advantage of the intimate, speakeasy feel of Cafés Sabarsky and Fledermaus.