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The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's largest and most important art museums, and is located on the eastern edge of Central Park. It also comprises a building complex known as "The Cloisters" in Fort Tryon Park at the north end of Manhattan Island overlooking the Hudson River which features medieval art. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is often considered a rival to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Brooklyn Museum is the second largest art museum in New York and one of the largest in the United States. One of the premier art institutions in the world, its permanent collection includes more than one-and-a-half million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and the art of many other cultures.
There are many smaller important galleries and art museums in the city. Among these is the Frick Collection, one of the preeminent small art museums in the United States, with a very high-quality collection of old master paintings housed in 16 galleries within the former mansion steel magnate Henry Clay Frick. The collection features some of the best-known paintings by major European artists, as well as numerous works of sculpture and porcelain. It also has furniture, enamel, and carpets.
The Jewish Museum of New York was first established in 1904, when the Jewish Theological Seminary received a gift a 26 Jewish ceremonial art objects by Judge Mayer Sulzberger. The museum now boasts a collection 28,000 objects including paintings, sculpture, archaeological artifacts, and many other pieces important to the preservation of Jewish history and culture.
Founded in 1969 by a group of Puerto Rican artists, educators, community activists and civic leaders, El Museo del Barrio is located at the top of Museum Mile in East Harlem, a neighborhood also called 'El Barrio'. Originally, the museum was a creation of the Nuyorican Movement and Civil Rights Movement, and primarily functioned as a neighborhood institution serving Puerto Ricans. With the increasing size of New York's Latino population, the scope of the museum is expanding.
The American Museum of Natural History and its Hayden Planetarium focus on the sciences. There are also many smaller specialty museums, from the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design to the International Center of Photography and The Museum of Television and Radio. There is even a Museum of the City of New York. A number of the city's museums are located along the Museum Mile section of Fifth Avenue.
In recent years New York has seen a major building boom among its cultural institutions. In 2006 more than 60 arts institutions spread across the five boroughs, from smaller community organizations like the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn to major institutions like the Morgan Library, were undergoing or recently completed architectural renovations or new construction. In aggregate the projects represented more than $2.8 billion in investment. The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs budget for building projects was the largest in the city's history: $865 million from 2006 through 2010, up from a $339.6 million planned budget for the 2001-4 period. The Alliance for the Arts, a nonpartisan, nonprofit arts advocacy and research group, reported in 2003 that the economic impact of cultural construction projects in New York - including factors like jobs created and collateral spending in the city - between 1997 and 2002 was $2.3 billion, with an anticipated impact of $2.7 billion for the period from 2003 through 2006.
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