With its world-famous museums and dozens of galleries displaying works by both established and up-and-coming artists, New York City is home to a vibrant arts scene, and several new tours are a way to delve more deeply into this rich and diverse culture.
Don’t get a lecture on art — have a conversation about it with Wendy Lubovich, who leads private 90-minute tours of art galleries in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art through her company Walk of Art. An art educator who has worked in several museums, Ms. Lubovich says that her interactive and customized tours are meant to evoke the feeling that a curator is showing you art you’re interested in; in the Met, that could mean focusing on Impressionist paintings or seeing the American Wing. $100 a person.
Museum Hack also offers an exploration of the Met but with a different sensibility: The company prides itself on leading engaging tours of museums for people who don’t like museums and recently introduced the Big Gay Met tour, focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender works displayed at the Met, from ancient times to modern day. An example is the painting “Naked Man, Back View,” by the British artist Lucian Freud, of a man who lived his life as a drag queen. “There is a lot of gay art at the Met, but it’s usually not represented that way,” said Ethan Angelica, an art lover who created and leads the tour. Two hours, $59 a person.
For children between the ages of 2 and 4, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has Little Guggs on select Wednesdays and Saturdays through May. These hourlong visits, at which children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, include a short story, a trip to the galleries and various arts and crafts projects. $30, advance registration required. (For more information, email email@example.com.)
The Museum of the Moving Image, in Astoria, Queens, is dedicated to film, television and digital media and recently started offering hourlong Family Tours of its “Behind the Screen” exhibition, spanning 15,000 square feet. Visitors will learn how movie images are created and can experiment with sound effects, build their own short animation and dub their voice into a clip from a popular film such as “The Wizard of Oz.” $150 for up to 18 people.
Take to the city streets to learn about art with the two-hour East Harlem Street Art Walking Tour, offered by the travel company Viator. A professional artist leads a walk through the Upper Manhattan neighborhood to see historic street art and graffiti. Stops include the popular Graffiti Hall of Fame in the courtyard of the Jackie Robinson Educational Complex, where graffiti artists have adorned the walls for more than three decades. $35 a person.
Discover New York, a custom travel company based in the city, has two outer-borough art tours tailored to what clients are interested in. The Bronx has one of the city’s most exciting art scenes, according to the company founder, Kitt Garrett, because artists can find studio spaces at more affordable prices, compared with other neighborhoods. Her Bronx Diverse Neighborhoods excursion could include visiting Mott Haven, the Grand Concourse and University Heights to visit these artists in their studios and see notable galleries, or the day might be spent outdoors looking at sculptures and studying the art details in some of the more than 400 Art Deco buildings found throughout the borough.
Ms. Garrett also has an art tour of Brooklyn that hits Dumbo, Williamsburg and Bushwick, and includes visits to art galleries, spending time with an artist in her studio and looking at outdoor sculptures and murals. Both tours are five hours each and have a starting price of $1,950 for two people, including a car and driver, a licensed guide and all tolls and gratuities.
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