Museum of Art & Design: Comprehensive Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Museum History
  2. How to Get There
  3. Exploring the Exhibits
  4. Art Collections
  5. Design Collections
  6. Special Exhibitions
  7. Educational Programs
  8. Other Amenities
  9. Visitor Tips

Are you planning a trip to the Museum of Art and Design? Or perhaps you're just eager to learn more about this gem of a place? Either way, you've come to the right spot. This comprehensive guide will give you a deep dive into the museum's history, exhibits, collections, and much more. So, let's dig in and discover why the Museum of Art and Design is a must-visit for every art and design lover.

Museum History

Every great story has a beginning, and the Museum of Art and Design is no different. It all started in 1956, when an extraordinary woman named Aileen Osborn Webb decided to establish a museum dedicated to contemporary American crafts. It was a bold move at a time when fine arts like painting and sculpture were stealing the show. The resultant museum, originally called the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, was one of the first of its kind.

Fast forward to 2002, and the museum underwent a significant transformation. It not only got a new home at the heart of New York City—2 Columbus Circle—but also a new name: the Museum of Art and Design. This change reflected its expanded mission to celebrate creativity and craftsmanship in not just crafts but all forms of art and design.

Today, the Museum of Art and Design stands tall as a beacon of creativity, a place where art, craft, and design intersect. It's a living testament to Aileen Osborn Webb's vision, a place that honors the creative process, from the hand of the artist to the eye of the beholder. So, whether you're an artist, a designer, or simply someone who appreciates beauty, the Museum of Art and Design has something for you.

How to Get There

Ready to pay a visit to the Museum of Art and Design? Excellent decision! Now, let's talk about how to get there. Set in the heart of New York City, the museum is pretty easy to find. Here's a no-nonsense guide to help you reach your art-filled destination.

If you're a local or staying in the city, the easiest way is to hop on the subway. The museum is just a short walk away from several subway stations: Columbus Circle (A, B, C, D, 1), 57th Street (F), and 7th Avenue (B, D, E). If you're more of a bus person, you can take the M5, M7, M10, M20, or M104; they all stop near the museum.

For those who prefer driving, there are several parking garages in the vicinity of the museum. Do remember, though, that parking in New York City can be a bit of a challenge and might require some patience!

Finally, if you're coming from out of town, fear not. The museum is easily accessible from all major airports in New York City. You can take a cab or use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft, or if you're up for an adventure, navigate the city's public transit system.

Remember, the journey to the Museum of Art and Design is part of the adventure. So, soak in the city vibes, enjoy the journey, and get ready for a day filled with art and design inspiration.

Exploring the Exhibits

Once you've arrived at the Museum of Art and Design, it's time to dive into the world of creativity. With an array of exhibits that showcase the best of art and design, every corner of the museum offers a fresh perspective and a chance to learn.

The museum's exhibits are spread out over several floors. As you explore, you'll find a mix of permanent installations and temporary exhibits, all meticulously curated to provide a rich, immersive experience. The exhibits cover a wide range of mediums and styles, from painting and sculpture to graphic design and digital art.

One of the best parts about exploring the Museum of Art and Design is the chance to see artists at work. The museum boasts an open studio program where you can watch artists create their masterpieces right before your eyes. It's a truly unique experience that brings the creative process to life.

And don't forget to make your way to the top floor! Here, you'll find the museum's award-winning restaurant, Robert, where you can enjoy stunning views of Central Park and the city skyline while you relax and refuel.

Remember, exploring the exhibits at the Museum of Art and Design isn't a race—it's a journey. So take your time, follow your curiosity, and let the art inspire you.

Art Collections

Let's talk about the heart of the Museum of Art and Design: the art collections. These collections are the museum's treasure troves, filled with works that span centuries, continents, and countless artistic movements. You'll find everything from Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary installations that push the boundaries of what art can be.

Each collection within the museum is unique. There's the "Global Voices" collection, which showcases the work of artists from around the world, shedding light on diverse cultures and experiences. Then, there's the "Timeless Classics" collection, where you can marvel at pieces from art history's greatest masters. And who could forget the "Innovators and Icons" collection, which showcases pieces from artists who have forever changed the landscape of art and design.

And it's not just about looking at art. Many of the museum's collections are interactive, inviting you to touch, feel, and even create your own works of art. This hands-on approach to art is not only fun but also a great way to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the creative process.

If you're a fan of art, the Museum of Art and Design's collections will offer you an experience that's both enlightening and inspiring. So, go ahead, immerse yourself in the art, and let your creative spirit soar.

Design Collections

Now, let's shift our focus to another captivating aspect of the Museum of Art and Design: the design collections. Every piece here tells a story about the evolution of design, and how it shapes the world around us.

The "Innovation in Action" collection, for example, is all about how designers solve problems and improve our everyday lives. From furniture that fits perfectly into small spaces, to kitchen gadgets that make cooking a breeze, these are designs that truly make a difference.

Then there's the "Aesthetics of the Everyday" collection. This collection celebrates the beauty that can be found in ordinary objects. It might make you see the objects you use every day in a whole new light. After all, why shouldn't a coffee cup or a paperclip be both useful and beautiful?

And let's not forget the "Future Visions" collection. Here, you'll find designs that are ahead of their time. These are the ideas that could shape our future, from sustainable materials to smart technologies.

So, whether you're a design professional, a student, or just someone who appreciates good design, the Museum of Art and Design's design collections have plenty to offer. Just remember: good design isn't just about how something looks, but also how it works and how it makes you feel.

Special Exhibitions

Let's move on to something that gives the Museum of Art and Design its unique pulse: the special exhibitions. These are often temporary and focus on specific themes or artists. They provide a fresh perspective and keep the museum experience dynamic and exciting.

Imagine walking into an exhibition titled "Unseen Perspectives", which showcases art from visually impaired artists. You'll see the world from a unique point of view and gain a new appreciation for the diversity of human experience.

Or perhaps you're more intrigued by an exhibition like "Intersections", which explores how art and design intersect with science, technology, and nature. Here, you might find a sculpture made from recycled materials or a painting inspired by mathematical patterns.

And who could overlook "Retrospectives"? These exhibitions delve into the life and work of a single artist, providing a deep understanding of their creative journey. Such an exhibition might focus on a renowned artist like Yayoi Kusama, or perhaps a local artist making waves in the art and design scene.

Special exhibitions at the Museum of Art and Design are not just about viewing art—they're about experiencing it, engaging with it, and seeing the world through different lenses. So, next time you visit, make sure you check out what's new—you might just find it to be the highlight of your trip.

Educational Programs

Visiting the Museum of Art and Design isn't just about viewing art—it's also about learning. The museum offers a range of educational programs that cater to various age groups and interests. Let's look at what you can expect.

First, there are guided tours. These aren't your ordinary walk-and-talk tours. These are interactive experiences where you're encouraged to ask questions, share your thoughts, and engage with the art in meaningful ways. Have ever you wondered why Picasso used so much blue in his early works? Or, how designers conceptualize and create ergonomic furniture? The knowledgeable guides at the museum can help you find the answers.

Then there are the hands-on workshops. Imagine rolling up your sleeves and creating your own pottery, or learning the basics of graphic design. These workshops are led by experienced artists and designers who can guide you step-by-step through the creative process. How cool would it be to take home a piece of art that you've made at the Museum of Art and Design?

Finally, there are specialized programs for youngsters. The museum believes in nurturing the next generation of artists and designers. From summer camps to weekend classes, kids can explore and cultivate their artistic talents in a fun and supportive environment.

So, if you're yearning to learn, or if you're looking for an enriching activity for the kids, don't overlook the educational programs at the Museum of Art and Design. Who knows, you might just discover a new passion or talent!

Other Amenities

But the Museum of Art and Design isn't just about the splendid art and design collections or the educational programs. It's also a hub of amenities that can make your visit even more enjoyable. So, what can you expect?

Let's start with the museum's café. This isn't your typical museum café with just a few tables and a coffee machine. Nope, this café is a gastronomic delight. You can sample a variety of mouth-watering dishes, sip on a cup of artisanal coffee, or choose from an array of refreshing beverages. And the best part—you can do all this while enjoying stunning views of the cityscape.

Next, there's the museum shop. Ever wished you could take a piece of art home with you? Well, at the Museum of Art and Design, you can! The shop features a wide range of art-inspired items, from prints and posters to jewelry and home décor. You can even find art and design books, making it a great spot for gift shopping or picking up a keepsake of your visit.

Lastly, for those of you who require special assistance, the Museum of Art and Design is fully wheelchair accessible and offers amenities like wheelchair loans and seating throughout the museum. There are also convenient parking facilities and restrooms on every floor.

So, when you plan your visit to the Museum of Art and Design, remember it's not just about the exhibits. It's about experiencing the entire package—the art, the learning, the food, the shopping, and the comfort. Sounds like a perfect day out, right?

Visitor Tips

Now that we've talked about what the Museum of Art and Design has to offer, let's discuss some tips to make your visit even more enjoyable. After all, a good outing doesn't just happen—it's planned!

First off, try to arrive early. The museum opens at 10 a.m., and getting there early helps you beat the crowds. Plus, there's something special about experiencing art in the quiet morning hours, don't you think?

Secondly, don't rush through the exhibits. Take your time. Art and design are about more than just looking—they're about seeing, feeling, and understanding. So, pause, observe, and let your mind wander. You'll be amazed at where it takes you.

Next, make use of the museum's resources. The Museum of Art and Design offers audio guides and informational brochures that can enrich your understanding of the exhibits. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask the friendly museum staff. They're there to help!

Lastly, remember to respect the art. Keep a safe distance from the exhibits and avoid touching them unless it's an interactive display. And of course, no flash photography—it's harmful to the art and often prohibited.

Visiting the Museum of Art and Design is more than just a day out. It's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of art and design, learn something new, and most importantly, have fun. So, follow these tips, and you're sure to have a memorable visit. Ready to plan your trip to the museum?

If you enjoyed our comprehensive guide on the Museum of Art & Design and want to explore the future of art and design, don't miss the workshop 'The Insane Potential of AI-Generated Art and Design' by Aunia Kahn. This workshop will open your eyes to the exciting possibilities that AI can bring to the world of art and design, and inspire you to think about the future of creativity in new ways.