We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Hidden Gem”

Hispanic Society of America
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Sugar Hill to Washington Heights Walking Tour
Ranked #176 of 1,149 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Museum filled with paintings by El Greco and Velazquez, as well as many other Hispanic cultural artifacts.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

Paintings by El Greco, Goya, Velasquez, Murillo, Sorolla...and more in a very interesting gallery space together with religious artifacts. Definitely off the beaten track near the northern tip of Manhattan but totally free all the year round.

Thank neilepi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (95)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"spanish art"
in 10 reviews
"el greco"
in 19 reviews
"upper manhattan"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful ceramics"
in 2 reviews
"religious artifacts"
in 2 reviews
"research library"
in 2 reviews
"museum is free"
in 2 reviews
"new york"
in 9 reviews
in 31 reviews
in 9 reviews
in 9 reviews
in 23 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 12 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 2 reviews

44 - 48 of 95 reviews

Reviewed November 27, 2013

A lifelong New Yorker, I'd never been to Audubon Plaza and had to idea what to expect at the Hispanic Society. The building is very impressive, even though showing its age. I assumed I'd find works by Goya, Velasquez, El Greco and other great, famous Spanish artists. Seeing their original paintings is definitely worth the trip. After the large main gallery, I wandered into the side salon, and was suddenly surrounded by 360 degrees of jaw-dropping large murals. Having never heard of Sorolla, I was thrilled with the exuberant, colorful, richly varied scenes of life in Spain by an artist completely new to me. (I later learned his works were commissioned by the museum's founder, Archer Huntington). Discovering a painter with such irresistible appeal is an unforgettable highlight of any museum visit. Finding two more Sorollas upstairs was a delightful bonus for me.
Much of the collection is religious art -- not my favorite -- and a huge array of artifacts, some from the 14th century. It's probably something-for-everyone for the curious visitor; I especially enjoyed the tile collection depicting different occupations from a few centuries back. We arrived at 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon, and the guard told us a 45-minute tour would begin at 2:30. As we'd estimated, we'd pretty much seen everything by then. The website lists Saturday tours; if we'd known about the Sunday tour, we'd have timed our visit to take advantage of it. If you're going on a Sunday, it may be worth a phone call to check on tour possibility.

Although the museum's brochure has a great deal of information, I was surprised to find almost none about the building itself or about the museum's founder. There's very little on the website, either. I did some research later, and found that Huntington, who had inherited a railroad tycoon's fortune, purchased an uptown farm owned by John James Audubon and developed it into Audubon Terrace, with several cultural institutions including the Hispanic Society, in its 1908 neo-Renaissance building, to house his Iberian collections.

I learned that NYC designated an Audubon Terrace Historic District in 1979. The property originally included Audubon's house, where his friend Samuel Morse had transmitted the first long-distance telegraph message. (The Historic Commission report had other interesting info. If you're curious after your visit, check out www.nyc.gov/.../AUDUBON_TERRACE_HISTORIC_DISTRICT.pdf • PDF file)

The museum is just across 155 Street from Trinity Cemetery, on the National Historic Register. The fierce Battle of Washington Heights in the Revolutionary War was fought there. It's open to the public, and contains the graves of Audubon, John Jacob Astor, Clement Clark Moore, and other famous New Yorkers.

I'm glad I've finally discovered the Hispanic Society, and have been telling others about it. As others have suggested, it seems like a good investment to make a contribution at the entrance.

4  Thank carly5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I think back now and realize dozens of trips to NYC and we hadn't made it here yet? We rectified that this month, but boy am I kicking myself for not getting here sooner!

The draw for me was finding out that I could see Sorolla here in the US; he is not easy to find! Imagine, though, the glory of a room with 360 degrees of his murals?! Just astounding! And upstairs there are two more paintings by Sorolla as well as other Spanish greats with some handsome Velazquez, Goya, Ribera and the crème de la crème, gorgeous El Grecos. The Holy Family of his that is there is exquisite. We were also surprised to find two by John Singer Sargent there, one a copy from when he was copying Spanish masters at the Prado, and another Spanish Dance which is similar to El Jaleo at the Gardner here in Boston.

There is antique tile from Seville and other antiquities from Spain in the rooms off the galleries. It really is a very astounding collection hidden away in uptown!

Thank amybatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

This is an interesting collection of Spanish art, off the NYC touristic route...All the artwork was bought outside Spain, and it was very carefully selected by the owner...You'll find a statue of El Cid in front of the Main entrance and lot of masterpieces from Goya, El Greco, Sorolla, Zulbaran, Murillo, etc...Can 't miss Joaquin Sorolla's murals "Scenes of Spain', awesome neo-impressionism from " El pintor de la luz"..Catch the free guided tour every Saturday at 2 pm if possible...

Thank DamianPiedra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed August 21, 2013

The Hispanic Society is not located on Fifth Ave. in the "Museum Mile" but, wow, it was worth the effort to get there. Their website will tell you how to get to the museum.

The art is unbelievable. At the entry (no set admission fee, just donate what you want) you are greeted by Goya's huge "Duchess of Alba." I couldn't believe my eyes. Such a treasure of the art world tucked away here in this grand yet aging building. It's worrisome that there is no air conditioning or humidity control here: uncomfortable for the visitor but dangerous for the works of art.

There are paintings by Velazquez, Goya, El Greco. A whole room is devoted to huge dazzling paintings of "Visions of Spain" from the early 20th century by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. I could have spent all day just gazing at those. In addition there are decorative art objects, roman mosaics, sculptures, carvings, textiles, etc from from whole hispanic world--Asia, the Americas, etc.

The little store has a few postcards and books, but no good affordable little guide to the works. That would have been helpful, but the knowledgable guard let me leaf through the huge tome they sell to find out information when I wanted.

We got a snack across the street at the service station and walked over to a huge leafy cemetery and had a pleasant lunch break. The M4 bus back downtown runs right by the museum. I will definitely be going back when I'm in NYC again.

1  Thank sparkybuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Hispanic Society of America also viewed


Been to Hispanic Society of America? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing