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Nine Apps To Help You Navigate The NY Art World

From museum listings to opening nights--these apps promise to put the city's vast cultural offerings in the palm of your hand.


Image courtesy of The Lunch Club.

You like to think you’re a cultured city dweller. You've eaten from seemingly every cuisine in the world, you regularly catch underground plays and sketch comedy nights, and have even taken your out-of-towner parents to see an opera at the Met or a symphony at Lincoln Center--but you just can’t seem to master the Thursday night art gallery rush. There are just too many shows to keep track of, in too many locations, it’s just too crowded! And you can hardly think of a gallery-hopping itinerary after you’ve had that third glass of wine.

Relax: there are ways around the madness. And, you don’t even need to plan ahead.

It's an unstated fact that most openings take place between 6-8pm. The earlier you arrive, the less you have to deal with the storming crowds, the closer you can get to the art, and the more (free) wine there is to be had. With these apps, all you need to do is choose an area (Chelsea, the LES) and let these guys roll out your itinerary for you. You're welcome:

1) NY Art Beat
Scroll to the “Most Popular” list, which ensures you won’t be missing the shows that everyone will be talking about. You can bookmark what you’re interested in and instantly send an invite to your friends so you don’t have to show up alone. Browse exhibitions by popularity, media, location, or days left until the closing.

2) Street Art NYC
Because street art deserves to be observed, too--this app uses your phone’s GPS function to guide you to the nearest public art location. Constantly updated, this app even contextualizes the pieces for you so you get the full story behind the art. You can also use the app as a point of reference, since it houses hundreds of images and detailed information about street art all over the city.

3) New York Art
Browse galleries by area or category from your phone. You can view details of the exhibition at each one, like prices, dates, artist bios, etc.

4) Museum A GoGo
When galleries just aren’t enough and you need a museum fix, this app is your best friend. It locates where you're standing on a map and directs you to museums nearby you never even knew existed. You can check out an institution’s collection highlights, hours, even peruse the gift shop, all from the palm of your hand.

5) Cool New York
Like getting recommendations from your more-seasoned, cooler friend on how to really do art gallery night, this app makes you feel like an insider, complete with: tips from real people on what shows to check out, which shows you can rightly avoid, and where to have a nightcap afterward. You can see vivid photos of each show and gallery, too, so you can plan your attack once you get there.

6) Artsy App
After you master the New York art scene, why not the world? Browse the works of over 600 galleries, museums and international art fairs from around the globe. See a piece you like? Buy it through the app with the help of the curator. 

7) NYC Arts App
Search for events in every borough through carefully labeled categories like dance, film, galleries, museums, music, outdoor events, and Broadway. This app will give you all the arsenal you need to become the most interesting person in the world.

8) Museum Without Walls App
It’s only $1.99 to have access to a database of thousands of art works and architecture. With more than 4000 descriptions in New York alone, this app offers a vast wealth of content on each piece, and the many different ways to search for art.

9) Artforum App
This standard in art-world publications now offers its magazine as an app. Download it and get access to everything in the print issue, plus previews and reviews of shows. Its a good idea to read before checking out the open so you’ll have smart things to say about it.

Real talk.