As an artist who loves to travel, I tend to distill my trips down to
what I consider to be the essentials: art, books and coffee. As long as I
have those things in place, I know everything else about the trip will
be icing on the cake – or gilding on the canvas, for a more artistic
With that in mind, here are my top tips for travel to NYC if you’re an artist or just an art appreciator.
Kremer Pigments. I know I have mentioned this store before, but visiting in person was a real treat! With just a few exceptions, Kremer focuses on the raw materials needed to make paint, and has walls and walls of pigments in every shade and luster imaginable. They’re also known for their high-quality pigment paint palettes made in-house. Their pearl luster palette was a special investment during one of their rare sales, and I have enjoyed it so much that I treated myself to a souvenir of their landscape colors palette while I was in the store.
International Center for Photography. My husband is a photographer, so this museum topped his list of places to visit in NYC. We both really enjoyed the main exhibit, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “The Decisive Moment,” but my favorite was found downstairs, in “Multiply, Identify, Her,” which showcased various women artists across different mediums. I was excited to see collages by Wangechi Mutu, whose “Water Woman” sculpture is one of my favorites at Austin’s Laguna Gloria. I wasn’t aware that she made other types of art, so this was nice to see. I also really enjoyed Lorna Simpson’s “Redhead,” “White Roses,” “Big Yellow” and “Blue Wave” mixed-media collage pieces.
New York Historical Society. We saw the Bill Cunningham exhibit here,
which was small, but very impactful. He was such an interesting man,
and did so much to make women feel special and beautiful through his
artwork, without ever objectifying them or making them vulnerable to
ridicule. The exhibit also showcased some of his hats from his early
career as a milliner. I love that he had many acts in life.
The Strand. Everyone
knows about the Strand book store, but I must list it anyway! We only
made it through the first floor and somehow still left with a bag of
literary goodies to wedge into the suitcase.
Irving Farms Coffee Roaster was around the corner from our hotel, so we went there a few times to start our day.
Daily Provisions was about a half-block closer, for when we needed caffiene but our feet hurt.
Two thumbs up for the large ice cubes in the latte at Jack’s Wife Freda, where we had breakfast on our last morning in town.