Rubin Museum of Art in New York

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Rubin Museum of Art in New York

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York displays art from the Himalayas, India and the neighbouring regions. With its renowned collection, the museum seeks to relate the art and the ideas it symbolises to today’s world. Located in the busy Chelsea neighbourhood, the Rubin Museum is a tranquil oasis thanks to its Buddhist and Hindu imagery and objects. It’s a great museum to visit for anyone already interested in or wanting to learn more about the art and culture of the Himalayas.

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The Story Behind the Rubin Museum

Donald and Shelley Rubin founded the Rubin Museum of Art in New York as a way to preserve and share their private collection with the world. The couple’s love of Himalayan art began with a chance encounter. In the mid-1970s, they saw a colourful Tibetan painting in an art gallery on Madison Avenue. Completely mesmerised by the painting, the couple acquired it, and over time they fell in love with more pieces, which they bought, and thus ended up with a whole collection.

In 2004 the museum opened in an impressive 6-storey building which was formerly part of Barney’s department store. The museum’s spiral staircase stems from its time as a luxury store.

Rubin Museum of Art in New York Art Rubin Museum of Art in New York Exhibition

Visiting the Rubin New York

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York explores the uniqueness and diversity of art centred around the Tibetan Plateau. A broad range of objects is on display: from textiles, paintings and sculptures to religious artefacts and installations. The museum has five gallery floors, with two floors allocated to the permanent collection and two to the temporary exhibitions. The permanent collection contains nearly 4000 objects, spanning more than 1,500 years to the present day, ensuring a very comprehensive look into the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions. Additionally, there’s a floor dedicated to social and emotional learning.

After admiring the art, you can get a more literal taste of the Himalayas in the museum’s Café Serai. In the gift shop, you’ll find fine artisanal goods such as textiles, jewellery, spices and incense. The Rubin also offers diverse, innovative programming with talks, film screenings, workshops, as well as music, dance and other live performances.

Practical Information

  • Opening hours:
    • Monday – Wednesday: Closed
    • Thursday: 11:00 – 17:00
    • Friday: 11:00 – 22:00
    • Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
    • Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
  • Location: 150 W 17th Street, Chelsea
  • How to get there: Take the subway line 1 to 18th St, the nearest stop. Alternatively, take the subway A, C, E to 14th Street (at 8th Avenue), 2, 3 to 14th Street (at 7th Avenue) or F, L, M to 14th Street (at 6th Avenue).

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In addition to the Rubin Museum of Art, there are many more top New York museums to visit.

About the Author

Hey there, I'm Eric! I'm a true New York fan with over 20 years of experience visiting and living in NYC. Here on my website, I share all my tips and valuable information to help you make the most of your trip. I personally test and regularly re-test everything on my site to ensure that what I write is useful, honest, and always up-to-date.
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