This compelling little museum, housed in a three-story town house from 1898, is one of Manhattan’s best-kept secrets. It displays 150 paintings by the prolific Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich (1874–1947), a Russian-born poet, philosopher and painter. His most remarkable works are his stunning depictions of the Himalayas, where he and his family settled in 1928. Indeed, his mountainscapes are truly a wonder to behold: icy Tibetan peaks in shades of blue, white, green and purple, channeling a Georgia O’Keeffe/Rockwell Kent vibe.
This is a curious and intriguing place. Free readings and concerts are offered here regularly; check the website for upcoming events.
The giant, white-marble house next door is the 12,000-sq-ft Schinasi Mansion. Built in 1909 for Morris Schinasi, a Turkish immigrant who made millions with his patented cigarette-rolling machine, the landmarked building is the only privately owned free-standing house remaining in Manhattan.