The Onassis Cultural Center hosts some of New York's most intriguing art exhibitions in the basement of the lobby of the Olympic Tower in midtown. Though currently closed for extensive lobby renovations, the cultural center is dedicated to bringing Greek culture, both ancient and contemporary, to New York City. Even with the current temporary closure of the gallery space, the light-filled lobby of the Olympic Tower is home to impressive installations commissioned by the foundation that are worth a visit on their own.

And (the city) has made the name of Hellens attributable not to origin but to the mind
- Isocrates

What You Will See

The Onassis Cultural Center hosts rotating exhibitions throughout the year. While the center's emphasis is on contemporary work, the rich creative history of Greece is hard to ignore, and occasional exhibitions return to the classical world. The center commissions many new works, as well, as part of the Onassis Festival. This is the center of modern Greek culture in New York City and whatever exhibition they host is worth stopping by the free galleries.

Why You Should Go

There are more than a few places in the city dedicated to curating the art of the classical world, particularly ancient Greece and Rome. But few of them extend beyond the late classical period, let alone explore the exciting creativity coming from contemporary Hellenic artists. Whatever the exhibit, whether ancient or contemporary, stop by the Onassis Center for a welcome window into the magic of Greece.

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