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The New York Public Library will be closed September 5 through September 7 in observance of Labor Day.

Exhibitions at NYPL


Exhibitions and special displays at the Library's many locations showcase our rich and varied collections.

The New York Public Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Below is a selection of upcoming events.

Read the current issue of NYPL Now! online!

Current Exhibitions

  • Head Shots: Performer Portraits from Daguerreotype to Digital

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends December 30th, 2015.

    What is a “head shot”, and what would the performing arts be without it? As long as there has been photography, performers have used portraits to represent themselves for casting and promotion. The Library for the Performing Arts holds over 1,000,000 head shots in historical, modern, and digital formats. Unique archival collections from casting agencies, production offices, and publicists reveal the process of finding the right performer for each role. Visitors will see how images are posed, taken, and selected and understand how every step contributes to the very pragmatic aims of employment and publicity.

    Read More ›
  • Jill Kupin Rose Gallery

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ongoing.

    This ongoing exhibition consists of large wall panels with photographs, text, objects, and videos illustrating the history and the vast array of collections, services, and users of The New York Public Library's Branch and Research Libraries. The Jill Kupin Rose Gallery was created in 1998 by former New York Public Library Chairman Marshall Rose in memory of his late wife, Jill Kupin Rose.Read More ›
  • Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends September 30th, 2015.

    Thanks to the development of new technology and social media, more photographs are created, viewed, and shared today than ever before. Public Eye, the first-ever retrospective survey of photography organized by NYPL, takes advantage of this moment to reframe the way we look at photographs from the past. Ranging from photography’s official announcement in 1839 to manifestations of its current pervasiveness, this landmark exhibition, drawn entirely from the Library’s collections, explores the various ways in which photography has been shared and made public.Read More ›
  • Sinatra: An American Icon

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends September 4th, 2015.

    Frank Sinatra, an artist of such uncommon talent, was known simply as "The Voice." His impact on American culture is as striking today as it was during the height of his career. As the official exhibition of the Frank Sinatra Centennial, Sinatra: An American Icon showcases 100 years of Sinatra legacy and was curated by the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE, in collaboration with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Sinatra Family. Sinatra: An American Icon, presented in cooperation with the Sinatra Family, Frank Sinatra Enterprises and the Frank Sinatra Collection, USC School of Cinematic Arts, will feature never-before-seen photos, family mementos, rare correspondence, personal items, artwork and recordings. The exhibition's New York debut is presented in association with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven.

    Read More ›
  • The 75th Anniversary of the American Negro Theatre

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ends December 31st, 2015.

    The Schomburg Center celebrates the 75th anniversary of our renowned American Negro Theatre (ANT). Known to the locals as “The Harlem Library Little Theatre,” the ANT was founded in 1940 as a community space for thespians to work in productions that illustrated the diversity of black life. This exhibition is taken entirely from the Schomburg Collections and highlights the ANT’s stage productions from 1940 through 1949 with photographs, posters, playbills, and news clippings. Images include scenes from successful plays such as Anna Lucasta, studio workshops, and radio broadcasts featuring prominent talent like Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier and Lofton Mitchell, whose careers began at the ANT.

    The exhibition galleries are open Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

      Read More ›

Community Showcases

Select locations provide space to community groups, organizations or individuals to showcase works that the Library determines will further its mission.

  • NANCY EVERS: Photographs

    Bloomingdale Library
    Open now. Ends September 30th, 2015.

    Nancy is happy to be presenting her third exhibit of photographs at The Bloomingdale Library. A long-time West Sider, Nebraska born, she has had a lifelong love of music and is known professionally for her private voice studio, performances on Broadway and regionally, as well as her helming duties as musical director for many cabaret and theatrical productions. Her creative direction has turned toward the colorful and dynamic images exhibited here. Many of the same elements found in music are imprinted in her pictures. You can see—almost hear in her art—the same harmony, moods, patterns and rhythms.



    Artist statement:

    “I photograph anything and everything that catches my eye and inspires me. I love pictures that are charged with emotion at their core. I also love to collect colorful and dramatic objects, jewelry, clothing and other artist’s work. Color, pattern, rhythm...I guess that’s what I’m all about.”

    Read More ›
  • A Voyage in Visual Metaphors

    Aguilar Library
    Open now. Ends September 30th, 2015.

    Exhibit on 1st floor mezzanine

    The Months of August and September

    Art Show - Saturday August 29 & Saturday September 26 - 1-4:30pm!contact/c16fm

    Read More ›
  • Art Luminaries

    115th Street Library
    Open now. Ends December 31st, 2015.

    Large size photographs of Harlem Renaissance greats on display:


    1.  James Baldwin and Nina Simone, 1960s.  Photographer unknown. PSNYPL_SCG_662U. tif - Source: James Baldwin portrait collection

    2.  Alvin Ailey, Charles Moore and others in unidentified work, ca. 1960s. Photographer unknown.  Source: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater photograph collection

    3. Langston Hughes seated next to table with portable typewriter, ca. 1950s.  Photographer unknown  - Source: Langston Hughes portrait collection

    4. Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Billy Eckstine with Billie's chihuahua "Peppy," 1950s.  Photographer unknown.  PSNYPL_SCG_559U.tif - Source: Billie Holiday portrait collection5.  Zora Neale Hurston at Federal Writers Project booth at the New York Times Book Fair, 1937.  Photographer: Federal Writers Project, New York City Guide Photo. Digital ID 1953647 - Source: 

    Read More ›
  • Hermes Payrhuber | Hither Thither | Art in the Windows Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends November 30th, 2015.

    On view day and night

    The Art and Picture Collections at Mid-Manhattan Library present Hither Thither (From One Place or Situation to Another) a site-specific exhibition of video and sculpture by artist Hermes Payrhuber.

    Hither Thither, Payrhuber’s video, in the 5th Avenue vitrine, includes an integral acoustic component by acclaimed Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth.

    To watch the full video with sound click here.

    Hermes Payrhuber's Art in the Corner Room site-specific exhibition To the People of New York: Catalogue Raisonne, Exotic Ghost Stories for Adults is on view through January 5, 2016.

    Artist and Mason Gross School of the Arts Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Hendricks and artist, writer and archivist Sur Rodney join Hermes 

    Read More ›
  • Hermes Payrhuber | To the People of New York | Art in the Corner Room Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends January 5th, 2016.

    Unless there is a program or event the Corner Room, hours are the same as Mid-Manhattan Library hours.

    The Art and Picture Collections at Mid-Manhattan Library present To the People of New York: Catalogue Raisonné – Exotic Ghost Stories for Adults, a site-specific exhibition of sculptural reliefs, free standing pieces and photographs by artist Hermes Payrhuber. The work is an "insouciant refutation" of the separation between painting and sculpture as well as a merging of the most distinct elements of each medium. The works are sculpted out of Plaster of Paris, cardboard and painted with vivid colors, silver and gold leaves. This exhibition attempts to reconfigure the raw material of memory in order to draw attention to the various ways that we narrate our personal and collective history.

    Payrhuber’s work is a unique blend of

    Read More ›
  • Inked Dreams / Sueños de tinta by Laura Alvarez

    Bronx Library Center
    Open now. Ends September 30th, 2015.

    Bronx Library Center

                Latino & Puerto Rican Cultural Center                 

    Laura Alvarez


    Inked Dreams / Sueños de tinta

    Exhibit Opening Tour


    September 1, 2015

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm




    The meaning of the old school Americana tattoos is fascinating. I am a fan of images with a story behind them. Tattoos were mostly achievements or superstition. They are the proof that you lived and wear your story on body.  I took those stories and made them mind.

     This exhibit will be on view from September 1-30, 2015 on the 4th floor

    Please call in advance to arrange tours and group 

    Read More ›
  • Kevin Lustik Needlepoint and Cross-Stitch

    Kips Bay Library
    Open now. Ends October 1st, 2015.

    Kevin Lustik is a self-taught New York artist who has been sewing for more than 30 years, and his work was recently chosen for display by eleven branches of the New York Public Library, including the Kips Bay Branch.   Unlike most artists who use traditional oils, watercolors or clay, Kevin chose to employ needlepoint and cross-stitch to express his creativity  His paints are yarn and thread.  His brush is a needle.  And his canvas is cloth.  Kevin also created an original technique of embroidering yarn and thread into found photographs.   Read More ›
  • Pictures From Our Past

    Fort Washington Library
    June 5th, 2015 - September 3rd, 2015

    Currently on view at the Fort Washington Library, Pictures From Our Past: This is Washington Heights & Inwood! is an exhibition of selected historical images of Northern Manhattan, from West 155th to 212th Streets.  

    This 1925 photo depicts a southwest view from Hudson View Gardens, located between 182nd and 185th Streets. The castle in view was home to Charles Paterno, a doctor and real estate developer who later demolished it to make way for Castle Village. Many similar images in this exhibition present a pictorial essay of Washington Heights and Inwood during the early twentieth century, a time of rapid development for the area. The photographs, and one lithograph, are drawn from the over 800,000 images in the NYPL Digital Collections.

    Pictures From Our Past is presented in conjunction with NYPL‘s Bridging Our 

    Read More ›
  • Reflections: Rebecca and Sasha Rubenstein

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends September 12th, 2015.

    Mother and daughter Rebecca and Sasha Rubenstein love to draw, paint, take photos and visit museums together. Sasha is four years old and she brings a unique perspective to her artwork; whether she’s drawing super heroes or taking photographs of their dog Weezy, there is joy and freshness in her work that reminds her mom of why at a young age she wanted to become an artist herself. Art remains a major part of Rebecca’s life these days, in conjunction with being a librarian and a writer.


    Read More ›

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