Want to SAVE, EMAIL, and PRINT your picks? Sign up for a Purple Passport account to get started.
W. 14th St. to W. 23th St., btwn. Seventh Ave. and West Side Hwy. (Chelsea)
New York, NY
Varies by venue
HOURS/TIMESVaries by venue
RESERVE IN ADVANCEYes - some galleries open by appointment only
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONNone
SUBWAY23rd St. (C, E)
As rents skyrocketed in increasingly posh SoHo during the 1990s, New York’s artistic community migrated to cheaper pastures. Their roost du jour is a few blocks west in Chelsea, where over 350 contemporary art galleries have set up shop. The artistic offerings are extremely varied–expect everything from international heavy hitters like Gagosian to smaller experimental galleries like Zach Feuer. With frequently changing exhibitions, even Chelsea’s most established galleries are always on the move.
GO HERE WITH
Art buffs; a date; friends
WHY WE LIKE IT
The galleries are mixed in with funky shops, cool cafés, and even the High Line park (which cuts right through the center of the neighborhood), making this a great area to spend a cultured weekend afternoon. And although the artwork on sale is pretty pricey, when we’re really looking to splash the cash on a wow-factor contemporary canvas, there’s nowhere better to do so than in Chelsea.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
Some of the galleries are getting a bit too mainstream. (Chelsea's cutting edge is worth preserving!)
GOOD TO KNOW
Tour guides like art critic Merrily Kerr and art history expert Rafael Risemberg offer comprehensive overviews of the hottest pieces on the block. Keep in mind that many galleries have restricted opening hours or are only open by appointment. If there’s somewhere you absolutely must go, it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure they’ll be open. If you’re striking out in Chelsea on your own, check out www.chelseagallerymap.com–it’s a really handy interactive map that shows what’s on at each gallery.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!