Located in the historic New York City Building in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Museum of Art (QMA) is an offshoot of the New York City Pavilion, originally a part of the 1939-40 World’s Fair for which the building was erected. After 1940 the building served a number of purposes, first as a recreation center for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, then as the home of the United Nations General Assembly, where many momentous motions were passed, including the division of Palestine and the creation of UNICEF.
In 1964 the New York City building was renovated to become the centerpiece of that year’s World’s Fair; it still houses the dramatic Panorama of New York that has become part of the QMA’s permanent collection. In 1972 the north side of the building was ceded to the Queens Museum of Art, then known as the Queens Center for Arts and Culture; preparations are currently underway to expand the Museum into the building’s south half.
Exhibitions at the Museum often feature items and artwork from the two World’s Fairs that have been housed here, as well as items on loan from outside institutions. The Partnership Gallery at QMA provides space for cultural organizations and other nonprofit organizations to develop exhibitions, as well as work by students in the Museum’s Department of Education. A variety of public programs are offered at QMA, including classes and workshops, music concerts and other performances, events catering to particular cultural groups, and a number of outreach programs aimed at schools, families, and those with special needs.
Queens Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Good (accessible by buses Q2, Q2A, and Q3. A 15-minute walk from Subway line 7 at the Mets – Willets Point station)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Wednesday–Sunday noon–6 p.m., Fridays in July & August noon–8 p.m., closed Monday–Tuesday (except Learning Programs & Workshops), New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
- Admission: By suggested donation; Adults $5, Seniors/Children $2.50, Members and Children (under 5) Free
- Tours: Museum tours are offered Sundays at 2, 3 and 4 p.m., and are free with admission (also available in Spanish). Private group tours of QMA exhibitions are available Wednesday–Sunday noon–5 p.m., for a fee of $75
- Membership: Individual membership begins with a $20 contribution. Benefits include invitations to special events and openings, free admission for one year, gift shop discounts and more.