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Exhibitions at NYPL

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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

  • Digging Up the Past: A History of the Schomburg Center

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    The Schomburg Center is the world’s leading institution for the collection, preservation, and interpretation of materials related to the global black experience. Today, the Center cultivates a growing archive of over ten million items, and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year. Digging Up the Past: A History of the Schomburg Center marks our 90th anniversary, and it offers visitors a peek at the Library’s beginnings and evolution.

    Read More ›
  • 100 Years of the Picture Collection: From Abacus to Zoology

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends May 15th, 2016.

    The New York Public Library is celebrating the centennial of its Picture Collection with a new exhibition in the Wachenheim Gallery at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Since its founding in 1915, the Collection has been an unparalleled and essential resource for artists and designers, students and scholars. Boasting close to 1.5 million images, the collection comprises more than 1,500 linear feet of materials—surpassing even the height of the Empire State Building. Images are organized according to roughly 12,000 alphabetical subject headings, from “Abacus” to “Zoology,” with many more thousands of subheadings. In fact, pictures of New York City alone are broken down into more than 300 different categories. Whether you are looking for pictures of people and objects seen from behind (“Rear Views”) or cats wearing clothes (“Animals as Humans”), the Picture Collection has you covered.

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  • Artists for LPA Share Shakespeare: "A More Personal Connection"

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends May 14th, 2016.

    The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is proud to present the unique exhibition, Artists for LPA Share Shakespeare: “A More Personal Connection” in the Plaza Corridor Gallery.

    To make the exhibition, we spoke with a diversity of theatre artists who use our collections, including actors, musicians, designers, and songwriters, and asked for their most memorable Shakespeare experiences, their favorite and least favorite plays, productions, characters, and actors; their greatest inspirations. Their responses are enlightening, and each has been paired with artifacts from our collections to further inform them: Find out how John Lee Beatty realized “that Hamlet had the best plot ever”; learn why being “madly in love” made As You Like It so personal for Jane Alexander; discover, as Derek McLane has, how plays of “lesser reputation” can lead to “a more personal connection.”

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  • Central Park: Mapping Landscapes

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends May 2nd, 2016.

    Central Park is one of New York’s most iconic public spaces and has delighted the senses of millions of visitors for over 150 years. But how well do we really know Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s 843 acre bucolic masterpiece? In this mini exhibit of antiquarian maps from the library’s Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division viewers can discover how the landscape of Manhattan was transformed from hardscrabble farmland into the most beloved and acclaimed urban park in the United States.

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  • Jenny Odell: Peripheral Landscapes

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Maps are known for providing information, but in their decorative elements they also convey our shifting ideas of exploration. Digital artist Jenny Odell captures this notion in three collages titled, Peripheral Landscapes, now on display in a free exhibition in the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division. The exhibition was made possible through collaboration between the NYPL Labs, the Map Division, and Electric Objects, maker of the EO1, an innovative new technology for displaying digital art.

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  • 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 ›
  • Printing Women: Three Centuries of Female Printmakers, 1570–1900

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends May 27th, 2016.

    Physically demanding and technically challenging, printmaking has often been considered man’s labor. As the Library’s unusual collection by forward-thinking Henrietta Louisa Koenen (1830-1881) demonstrates, engravings, etchings, woodcuts and lithographs executed by female printmakers have been around almost as long as artists started creating prints in the late fifteenth century. From 1848 until 1861, she collected an astonishing array of sheets by women artists from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Executed by experts and amateurs alike, these women pursued their craft as part of larger family workshops, as a means of self-realization and for the thrill of making and sharing pictures created in multiples.

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  • Robert A. Caro's "The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York"

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends April 7th, 2016.

    For more than a century, The New York Public Library’s world-renowned collections have inspired countless works of scholarship. Among them is author Robert A. Caro’s The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, written during his residency at the Library in the early 1970s. Considered one of the most revealing biographies of the 20th century, The Power Broker tells the story of how urban planner Robert Moses radically transformed New York into the city we know today.

    As a resident researcher, Caro delved into the Library's historical collections to create a multidimensional narrative about how Moses became the most powerful man in New York by building landmarks such as the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Jones Beach, Lincoln Center, the Triborough Bridge, and more. 

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  • The 75th Anniversary of the American Negro Theatre

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ongoing.

    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.

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Community Showcases

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

  • Amelia Coulter | Love Letter | Art in the Windows Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends February 29th, 2016.

    On view day and night

    The Art and Picture Collections present the second site-specific exhibition Love Letter by artist and culiniarian Amelia Coulter.  The marketplace and our familiar understanding of decorated sugar cookies requires them to be small, concise icons, decorative and most often representative. The artist continues to explore the medium of sugar cookies and parchment paper as she pushes the possibilities of reframing these materials as forms of expression.

    What if the space were filled with cookies and the parchment they are baked on, in a celebratory way, but very different than what we may normally expect? What if the traditional color was removed? Would they mean and define something else? How do they interact with one another, and with light and shadow if they are somewhat mobile and float in space? 

    For this exhibition, Amelia Coulter set up a playful exercise, as she looked at typography and letterforms, collected quotes and texts, 

    Read More ›
  • Anita Thacher - Caravan

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends January 1st, 2018.

    We are pleased to invite you to the viewing of the site-specific installation Caravan, a lively painted frieze by Anita Thacher in The Community Room on Lower Level 2 of the Mulberry Street Branch of the New York Public Library.  Playful shapes and colors address the architecture of the room in a long march along one wall, while the shapes are echoed in neutral gray and white along the facing wall. These flag-like bands of rough cotton are embellished with barely visible gold embroidery threads in tribute to historic friezes. Library patrons of all ages – from babies to seniors set Caravan in motion. The work is on display indefinitely, during library hours.

    A reception for Caravan will be held on Saturday December 12, 2015 from 2 - 4:30 pm in the Community Room of Mulberry Street Library on Lower Level 2. 

     

     

      Read More ›
  • Bobbi Beck: Facing Myself

    Grand Central Library
    Open now. Ends March 30th, 2016.

    An exhibit of autobiographical artworks 

    Bobbi Beck's artwork combines her daily life experiences with many of the same emotions and feelings that we all confront throughout our lives. Her unique style works perfectly as a vehicle and voice that speaks a visual language that almost everyone can identify with. Viewers have commented that her artworks convey many of the same ups and downs that are dealt to use in our own wonderful and sometimes scary world today. Many have often described her completely original work as possessing hints of Dali, Escher, Beardsley and Mucha, with organic forms that seem to spill, warm and explode as if Gaudi were somehow trapped inside her trying to get out. So come visit this thought-provoking art exhibit, look closely at each piece, and see if you can see any of yourself or your own parallel like experiences mirrored in these strange and telling pictures. This exhibition is currently at the beautiful Grand Central branch of the New York Public 

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  • Carla Lobmier | Scrolling Confluence | Art in the Corner Room Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends May 26th, 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 present Scrolling Confluence as part of Art in the Corner Room exhibition series, by artist and educator Carla Lobmier. This site-specific exhibition, a companion to Lobmier's Art Wall on Third exhibition  Scrolling Confluence: Supernova, features a series of large-scale watercolors painted on vellum. The imagery is influenced by a world narrative beginning with India and Egypt, continuing with medieval manuscript illumination, the Renaissance, Japan and the final scrolls referencing the technologically-driven present. The exhibition also showcases soundscapes accompanying the scrolls.

    In the 5th Avenue and 40th Street windows one 

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  • Carla Lobmier | Scrolling Confluence: Supernova | Art Wall on Third Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends April 6th, 2016.

    The Art and Picture Collections present Scrolling Confluence: Supernova, as part of Art Wall on Third exhibition series, by artist and educator Carla Lobmier. This site-specific exhibition, a companion to Lobmier's Art in the Corner Room exhibition Scrolling Confluence, consists of ten vertical rice paper scrolls presented in diptych format. Each scroll is painted with watercolor, and the compositions feature graphite drawing woven into the bursting watercolor paint. 

    The content of this body of work is more personal, as it looks at the intuitive aspect of making art and the artist's own practice. Where do ideas come from and how do they burst into an artist's imagery?  How do visual ideas expand to attract and inspire communication with viewers? Are we aware of meaning as it is forming? Is there something akin to an animal’s instincts that drive 

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  • Joan Meyer: Paintings

    Ottendorfer Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Joan Meyer is a New York City based artist who has been refining her style and skills for over 30 years. Her earliest artistic influence came from a combination of tutoring from her professional artist sister and learning basic woodworking from her father. This creativity was fed through a very active imagination and hours of exploration and invented games in the rich countryside, streams, and forests of upstate New York where she spent her childhood. 

    Meyer's work has been recognized in Art in America Magazine, The Miami Herald, Interview Magazine, South Florida Magazine, Time-Out New York, and Art & Antiques Collector's Sourcebook. She has won numerous awards and fellowships, had five solo shows, and has been in hundreds of group shows all over, and spoke as a guest artist at art schools and museums. Her work is in public and in many private collections. 

    Read More ›
  • Librarians' Choice

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends June 30th, 2016.

    Sherri Machlin and Jennifer Craft curate early paintings of Fred Gutzeit: Four Paintings on View at the Mulberry Street Library.

    From artist Fred Gutzeit: "In 2013, I did a show of my work in the Mulberry Street Library called an An Earlier Bowery. These paintings and prints spanned the early 1970s to 1993. Sherri Machlin and Jennifer Craft liked these works enough to request more of my paintings for an extended loan. Their choices represent an earlier time in my development as a painter. Three of the paintings are from the early 1970s, when I first moved to the Bowery. The fourth and earliest (1966) was from when I left New York to go back to Ohio for three years (though I had started working on it as a series of prints when I first moved to New York in 1963. ) I came to the City to be immersed in the art world. I wanted to apply myself to current art trends while keeping in touch with art history and the world 

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  • Logan Jacobsen - I Am Painter

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends March 4th, 2016.

    Check out Logan Jacobsen's exhibit called I Am Painter. His bright, abstract yet subtly figurative paintings can be viewed on the Gound Floor of Mulberry Street Library through March 4, 2016. 

    From the artist - Hi my name is Logan Jacobsen and I am an artist. Why am I an artist? Funny you should ask. I orginally titled this show "I am Painter". I think I just wanted a strong title. I then realized I got the title for the show "I am Painter" from the movie I am Legend, which is about a guy living alone in a post-apocalyptic world. Now certainly my life is not that desperate, but I feel alone in New York City. I am an only child of the divorce era of the 70’s. I grew up on Cape Cod, MA. There was no Internet and not a lot kids in my neighborhood, so I turned to art as an outlet.

    I can’t Read More ›
  • Michael Palladino | Vortex | Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends February 22nd, 2016.

    The Art and Picture Collections present Vortex, two site-specific exhibitions of the same title, created by artist and designer Michael Palladino along time user of the Picture Collection. Palladino's Art Wall on Third exhibition features his wood relief murals with whitewash and encaustic wax leading to his Photo Walls in Picture Collection exhibition of enhanced digital photographs with encaustic wax, mounted on wooden trays. 

    The series Vortex is influenced by the Ether series an earlier body of work by Palladino. Both series contemplate atmospheric gasses that can be viewed as either ethereal or toxic. 

     

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  • Mija Jung's "Selfie 2015"

    Seward Park Library
    Open now. Ends February 24th, 2016.

     

    ‘Selfi 2015’

    Self-portraits by Mija Jung

    http://www.mijajung.com

     

    In ‘Selfi’, I explore my constantly changing perception of the world and myself. Mirroring my self-image has been challenging as I age. The self-portraits in ‘Selfi’ reveal the changes I observed on a daily basis over the course of nearly four months in 2015.

    Confronting my self-image sparked an inner and outer exploration of my artistic progress. I found the process of making self-portraits meditative and soothing. It became a reflection of my emotions in each unique moment. Eventually, my emotions controlled the drawings.

    As I created the portraits, I looked into a mirror, searching for imperfections on my skin such as lines, bumps and spots. In this artistic moment, I drew each day with a mirror in front of me. Instead of using color, I drew with a black and white charcoal pencil. It 

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  • Montaje del Monte Jubilando con Mami II A Tropical Tribute by Linda Caycedo

    Bronx Library Center
    Open now. Ends February 29th, 2016.

    Linda Caycedo was born in Jamaica Queens, NY, of Puerto Rican parents, and  the youngest of six siblings.  Linda jubilated (retired ) from the NYPL in 2014, after serving 35 years at library branches in the Lower East Side, Harlem, Midtown, and the Bronx. Before retiring , her last position was at the Bronx Library Center/ Latino & Puerto Rican Cultural Center. There she was inspired to transform the Puerto Rican Heritage Room into a cultural heritage gallery for local artists to share their work with the NYC community.

    Linda is very grateful to the Bronx Library Center’s Puerto Rican Heritage Gallery for giving her the opportunity to share her love of family and Puerto Rico’s natural beauty. Well equipped with her retirement gift of a Canon camera, Linda has captured many extraordinary moments while spending time with her mother  during the last two summers. Linda is especially thankful for her loving and supportive husband and family.  She hopes you will 

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  • Sandra Caplan: Pastels

    Jefferson Market Library
    Open now. Ends December 31st, 2016.

    "The challenge in my work for a number of years has been the exploration of the possibilities of still life painting, whether in oil on linen, watercolor, in pastel or charcoal.  I begin with a central focus of flowers on a table covered with different fabrics in solid colours or patterns.  The placement of fruit, vegetables, various objects, personal and otherwise, but characteristic of the place in which I am living at the time, add focal points.  These are arranged and rearranged until I find connections or relationships between them through color, shape and symbol.  Sometimes, the objects or fabrics used refer to memory of past incidences: people and places I have known and loved. This whole might be set in a close or distant view that serves to extend the spatial possibilities of each work and that evoke an ambience of warmth and light.  On the other hand the still life may be contained in a dense, closed interior, surrounded by a city or patterned fabrics suggestive of 

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  • Street Theater: Scenes from the Show

    St. Agnes Library
    Open now. Ends February 29th, 2016.

    On display until February 29 at St. Agnes Library is Sandra Jetton’s Street Theater: Scenes from the Show. Sandra is a graduate of Rollins College and a student at the International Center for Photography. She and her husband, film producer David Picker, are Upper West Side residents. See her website www.sandrajettonphotography.com for further information.     Read more about Sandra here.     Read More ›
  • Two Point Perspective City Scapes

    Hamilton Grange Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    The New Heights Academy 8th grade art class is proud to present "Two Point Perspective City Scapes", an illustration of two point perspective using the New York City landscape as inspiration. Drawn by Ruby Aday's 8th grade art class, these graphite on sulfite paper works of art are on display at the Hamilton Grange Library's Teen Center. 

    Read More ›
  • Yuko K. - Days of the Happy Elephant

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends March 10th, 2016.

    Yuko K. - Since I was a small child, I have been inspired by many imaginary animals in children’s picture books and cartoons from around the world. Many of the charming characters I encountered opened the gates to my mind, bringing to me excited daydreams that flew away from the reality of being a disciplined child. These memories and inspirations naturally let me put myself in a place to create characters and express my ideas through illustrations of imaginary animals. When I started to draw my elephant, I wanted to express our human inner peace, gentleness and love, as seen in their joyful and playful features. I am glad if my elephants can convey happy vibrations, for not only children, but also for adults with a child’s mind to share.

    On View at the Mulberry Street Library, Children's Floor (Level L1) through March 10th, 2016. 

     

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