America's only nonprofit institute focused solely on drawings, the Drawing Center uses work by masters as well as unknowns to juxtapose the medium's various styles. Historical exhibitions have included work by Michelangelo, James Ensor and Marcel Duchamp, while contemporary shows have showcased heavyweights such as Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly and Richard Tuttle. As to the themes themselves, expect anything from the whimsical to the politically controversial.

Artist lectures and performance-art programs are hot tickets here; check the website for upcoming events.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby SoHo & Chinatown attractions

2. Broken Kilometer

0.13 MILES

Occupying a cavernous ground-floor space in SoHo is this 1979 installation by the late American artist Walter De Maria. The work consists of 500 solid…

3. Donald Judd Home Studio


The former home and studio of the late American artist Donald Judd offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and artistic practices of the minimalist…

4. Museum of Chinese in America

0.28 MILES

In this space designed by architect Maya Lin (designer of the famed Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC) is a multifaceted museum whose engaging permanent…

5. New York Earth Room


Since 1980 the oddity of the New York Earth Room, the work of artist Walter De Maria, has been wooing the curious with something not easily found in the…

6. Artists Space

0.31 MILES

One of the first alternative spaces in New York, Artists Space made its debut in 1972 with a mission to support contemporary artists working in the visual…

7. New York City Fire Museum

0.33 MILES

In a grand old firehouse dating from 1904, this ode to firefighters includes a fantastic collection of historic equipment and artifacts. Eye up everything…

8. Italian American Museum

0.35 MILES

This humble museum offers a random mishmash of historical objects documenting early Italian life in NYC, from Sicilian marionettes to old Italian comics…