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Art & Culture
From the bright lights of Broadway to fairytale castles in the Thousand Islands, discover treasures of art and great performances amid magnificent architecture and inspiring landscapes.
Art Museums & Inspiring Architecture
With New York City as its centrepiece, a vibrant art scene stretches across the state, from the Parrish Art Museum on Long Island to the Chautauqua Institution out west. Whether you prefer ancient art, cutting-edge or something in between, New York State has a museum to suit your taste. New York City has an astonishing variety of museums and galleries throughout its five boroughs. Located next to the magnificent Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum has a huge collection representing world cultures throughout the ages. Chelsea, a centre of the New York art world, features many art galleries. From the splendours of ancient Egypt to the beloved Impressionist paintings, great art awaits you at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections, the Met stands along the upper stretch of Fifth Avenue known as Museum Mile. Ten iconic museums range from El Museo del Barrio, specializing in Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American art, to the Guggenheim Museum, a Frank Lloyd Wright landmark called one of the greatest buildings of the 20th Century.
See more of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces, including the Darwin Martin House, in Buffalo. Nearby, see the Albright-Knox Gallery’s renowned collection of works by artists from Renoir to Jackson Pollock (visit his home/studio on Long Island). Across the street, the Burchfield Penney Art Centre highlights regional architecture, fine art, and crafts by Gustav Stickley and the Roycroft Community. In the Finger Lakes, the Corning Museum of Glass showcases more than 3,500 years of glass art—from ancient Roman portraits to Tiffany windows. The nearby Rockwell Museum of Western Art, celebrating American Western and Native American art, has a unique gift shop with Stetson hats, western-style art, and gifts like children’s cowboy and cowgirl outfits. Out west in Ogdensburg, the Frederic Remington Art Museum highlights one of the foremost artists of the Old West. In the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, explore Boldt Castle, an architectural work of art set on a heart-shaped island in Alexandria Bay. Created in 1900 as a monument of love, it’s decorated with carvings of cupids and roses and surrounded by Italian gardens and stone walkways.
New York has variety like nowhere else. Catch performances by world famous actors and musicians, as well as rising stars, at clubs, concert halls and theatres throughout the state. With bright lights, big names and all the excitement of New York City, Broadway Theatre captivates audiences from around the world.
Staten Island’s legendary St. George Theatre, decorated in grand baroque style, is renowned for great performances as well as for being the set for the wild battle-of-the-bands scene in the film School of Rock. In the Catskills, Bethel Woods Centre for the Arts was built on the hallowed grounds of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. Concerts in the open-air theatre range from Lady Antebellum to Yihan Chen. Nearby, the Forestburgh Playhouse presents a summer season of stars in Broadway musicals and comedies, from Guys and Dolls to Barefoot in the Park. Lively musical cabarets are held in the adjoining Tavern after evening performances. Capital-Saratoga’s first-rate venues like the Saratoga Performing Arts Centre (SPAC), Albany’s Palace Theatre, and Proctor’s in Schenectady attract top stars. Considered acoustically perfect, Troy Music Hall is a Beaux Arts gem.
Another architectural jewel, Troy’s EMPAC Centre (Experimental Media & Performing Arts Centre) is one of the most innovative performing arts centres in the world. The Chautauqua Institution has been rejuvenating the human spirit since 1874 with renowned performances and inspirational speakers. Places to stay in the lakeside Victorian village include the grand and historic Athenaeum Hotel
NYSDED-Photo by Darren McGee