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“Little-known gem of a museum” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17th Street, New York City, NY 10011 (Chelsea)
+1 212-620-5000
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Ranked #81 of 1,633 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: The Rubin Museum of Art is an arts oasis and cultural hub in New York City's vibrant Chelsea neighborhood that inspires visitors to make powerful connections between contemporary life and the art and ideas of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions. With a diverse array of thought-provoking exhibitions and programs-including films, concerts, and on-stage conversations-the Rubin provides immersive experiences that encourage personal discoveries and spark new ways of seeing the world. Emphasizing cross-cultural connections, the Rubin is a space to contemplate the big questions that extend across history and span human cultures.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Little-known gem of a museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

The Rubin Museum specializes in the art of the Himalayas, defining the Himalayas broadly to include India and Mongolia as well as Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Most of the space is devoted to temporary exhibits, drawn either from the museum’s own excellent collection or from outside lenders, with several exhibits running at any given time. The exhibits often include videos.

For example, the day we were there was an exhibit, borrowed from a museum in Vienna, on the Naga peoples of far eastern India. This exhibit included beautiful statues and textiles, some fascinating videos depicting Naga ceremonies, and even a couple of human skulls turned into artworks (the Naga are, or at least were, headhunters).

The display at the Rubin is magnificent. The building is a former department store adapted perfectly to museum use. Every item on display is well-lit and given ample space in which to breathe.

The bookstore has a superb collection of Himalayan-related items – books, CDs, textiles, reproductions. The museum’s Café Serai serves delicious South Asian food.

We visited on a Sunday in September, and there were only a few other visitors. On the one hand, it’s a delight to spend time in a first-class museum so uncrowded. On the other hand, a museum this good should be better-known and better-attended.

Visited September 2013
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124 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great collection of Himalayan art”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

It's a small sized collection of select Indian, Chinese and Tibetan art that's exhibited really well. It's informative, there are interactive kiosks where you can learn more, the exhibit descriptions themselves tell a story. The shrine room is a must watch!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, NY
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
62 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“Himalayan Art in a Serene Setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Rubin Museum of Art: Himalayan art in a serene setting. Thoughtfully planned galleries, centered by a six story spiral staircase. An elegant and relaxing museum.

Visited September 2013
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Silver Spring, MD (USA)
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Collection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Worth the trip if you have never been. I learned many new things about Asian culture. Displays and write-ups were educational, and several staff members offered to go into greater detail.

Visited September 2013
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New York, New York, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Peace, Calm, Quiet”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Although I love the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it has become so popular that it's hard to find a quiet spot. The Rubin Museum is a small, beautiful jewel of a place. You can breathe there. They do have tours available, if you want to learn more about the art works, and they have some of the most innovative programming of any place in the city. Check the website before you visit--they have films, concerts, and lectures.

Visited May 2013
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