Sotheby's Museum Network

Beyond TEFAF: The Museum Collections to Visit During New York's Spring Fairs

Front Facade of the Park Avenue Armory

Front face of the Park Avenue Armory

TEFAF Spring - New York

The beginning of May marks the occasion of the annual TEFAF Spring, European Fine Art Fair in New York City, on view from May 4 – 8 at the Park Avenue Armory. Originally organized in the Netherlands, TEFAF attracts around 75,000 visitors and is considered one of the world's leading art fairs. While TEFAF Maastricht covers over 7,000 years of art history and TEFAF Fall showcases fine and decorative arts from antiquity to 1920's; TEFAF Spring focuses exclusively on modern and contemporary art and design.

With New York's famous Museum Mile just a stroll away from the Armory, it's worth making a day of it and exploring the other leading exhibitions on view this season. Below are some of our favorite collections and exhibitions to supplement TEFAF... see you at the fair!

Facade of the Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art

Tarsila do Amaral at MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art has a collection that contains almost 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art including photography, paintings, sculpture, and installations. While TEFAF is underway, MoMA is showcasing a staggering ten special exhibitions along with their permanent collection. With summer travel season around the corner, we are warming up to Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil which explores the work and legacy of a daring Brazilian modernist.

Facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Modern Art at the Met

Considered to be one of the largest art museums in the United States, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the third most visited museum in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works consisting of art from classical antiquities to extensive collection of modern art. The Met's modern art collection alone occupies 60,000 square feet of space and contains many iconic modern masterpieces including Picasso's Portrait of Gertrude Stein, Jasper John's White Flag, and Jackson Pollock's Autumn Rhythm (Number 30). With the recent acquisition of the famed Lauder Collection, now is the perfect time to reconnect with the prestigious holdings.

Facade of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Peggy Guggenheim's Progressive Eye


The Guggenheim is home to a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and Contemporary art. Best known for its rotunda-filling special exhibition program, the museum is also worth a visit for its lesser-known permanent collection of masterpieces by Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró all collected by Peggy Guggenheim at a time when the work was deemed too controversial for most collectors.

Facade of the Cooper Hewitt

Facade of the Cooper Hewitt

A Diverse Collection of Design


One of the country's many Smithsonian Museums, the Cooper Hewitt is the only design museum in the United States devoted exclusively and equally to historical and contemporary design. Its collections and exhibitions explore approximately 240 years of design aesthetic and creativity. The collection has something for everyone - with galleries dedicated to architecture, sculpture, decorative arts, woodwork, metalwork, and pottery. Expect the unexpected...

Facade of the Met Breuer

The Met Breuer

Modern Architecture for Modern Art

The Met Breuer, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, occupies the bold landmark building of architect Marcel Breuer, providing a unique setting in which to experience art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Programs range from exhibitions and dance performances to artist commissions, residencies, and educational initiatives. One of the most celebrated exhibitions now on view is Leon Golub: Raw Nerve which The Wall Street Journal deemed, "some of the most potent political art of the part 25 years".

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