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Exhibitions at NYPL

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The New York Public Library offers free major exhibitions and special displays at three of its research library locations—the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Library for Performing Arts, and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture—and community showcases at many of its circulating branch locations throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. See what’s showing right now.

Current Exhibitions

Exhibitions are major presentations on wide-ranging subjects in galleries and similar spaces at research library locations.

  • Archives of Sound

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Archives of Sound is an interactive audio installation created by art collective, Kinokophone.  It is inspired by by The New York Public LIbrary for the Performing Arts's audio colelctions and features prominently unique recordings from The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, which is among the largest archives of its kind.  The installation experiments with new ways of presenting archival audio collections, explores sound technology's role in shaping experiences of the past and present and makes the behind-the-scenes world of the audio archives audible.  Listeners will discover the archival practices that bring the audio archive to life and explore aspects of the collection they may otherwise never see nor hear.

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  • Magical Designs for Mozart's Magic Flute

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends August 27th, 2016.

    Magical Designs for Mozart’s Magic Flute compares scenic and costume designs from a select group of 19th, 20th, and 21st century productions extolled for their remarkable visual achievement. Included are rare renderings from historic productions in the holdings of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Conceived and curated by acclaimed theatrical designer Judy Levin and organized by the Kent State University Museum in partnership with the Library, it includes designs, set models, properties, and costumes.

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  • Mozart Forever: Fifty Years of the Mostly Mozart Festival

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends August 27th, 2016.

    A companion to the major exhibition, Magical Designs for Mozart's Magic Flute, opening March 31, 2016, the corridor exhibition, Mozart Forever: Fifty Years of the Mostly Mozart Festival celebrates a festival that revolutionized New York City’s summertime music scene and renewed the world’s appreciation for one of Western music’s greatest creative minds. Through artwork, photographs, memorabilia, interviews, concert excerpts, and more, this display traces Mostly Mozart’s history, illuminating the path from its all-Mozart roots to its current ambitious, visionary place in the cultural landscape. Mozart Forever is located in the corridor near the Lincoln Center entrance to the Library for the Performing Arts. 

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  • The 75th Anniversary of the American Negro Theatre

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ends June 4th, 2016.

    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. Read More ›

Special Displays

Special Displays are smaller presentations at research library locations that draw from our collections and focus on a specific topic, including current events.

  • 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.

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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 the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division and 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 ›

Community Showcases

Community Showcases are presentations of different sizes at select branch locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island that speak to community interests and highlight the work of groups, organizations, and individuals.

  • 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. 

     

     

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  • BOBBI BECK: Looking Within Ourselves

    St. Agnes Library
    Open now. Ends June 27th, 2016.

    Bobbi Beck’s latest art exhibition will be displayed at the St. Agnes Library on the Upper West Side. These recent works express the emotions we all experience daily. Viewers often comment that she conveys many of the ups and downs we all share in this wonderful and sometimes trying world. Her work has been described as possessing hints of Dali, Escher, Beardsley and even Mucha, with organic forms spilling, warping, and exploding as if Gaudi himself were trapped inside her trying to get out. So come visit this thought-provoking exhibition and look closely at each piece. Can you see yourself or your own life experiences mirrored in these strange and telling pictures?

    Exhibition Visitor’s Comments: “Exotic and mysterious.” “I am a young artist and although art is my passion there are not many art pieces besides my own that I can relate to and identify with. Bobbi Beck’s art is so inspiring to me. She is my favorite living artist.” “All of your work expresses 

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  • Bronx Trees: photographs by Denise Orr

    Bronx Library Center
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    Denise, a long-time Bronxite, combines her love of the outdoors and photography in these pictures highlighting trees in different settings in our borough.

    Coming from a family of professional photographers, Denise has always been fascinated by the stories that pictures tell through the facts or in the imagination. 

    What do the pictures say to you?

     

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  • 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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  • Live Butterfly Display

    Grand Concourse Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    Come and observe the life-cycle of Painted Lady butterflies. 

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  • Museum of Maritime Navigation and Communication Takes Dock at St. George

    St. George Library Center
    Open now. Ongoing.

    MMNC Takes Dock at St. George: May through August 2016, at the St. George Library Center!  The Museum is kindly sharing several pieces of historic navigation and communication equipment from its collection, which spans the past several decades.  Please view the exhibit case in the Reference Room, on the lower level.  Special Reception with Museum founder Samir Farag on Saturday, May 21st at 2:00pm.

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  • NER BECK: NYC to Barcelona Found Street Art

    96th Street Library
    Open now. Ends June 25th, 2016.

    Ner Beck’s photographs of found faces and reflections of New York and Barcelona are currently on display at the 96th Street branch of the New York Public Library. Similarities and contrasts existing between these cities should be of interest to anyone who enjoys visual strolling with a camera or just the eyes. Everyday he ventures out on a treasure hunt, roaming city streets in a search for new characters and images to add to his strange and unique collection. Finding anthropomorphic faces on common objects, where you never expected them to be, has been his passion and obsession for years. Recently he has been shooting all types of reflections with their overlapping layers of images that magically create shifting prismatic collages for the passerby. In an interview Ner discussed how seemingly ordinary subjects inspire him. “Some of the things that have always caught my attention were personal possessions that have been dropped or lost; time-worn tattered surfaces; abandon lots Read More ›
  • Renaissance Women

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    Renaissance Women is a traveling exhibition and series of panel discussions in NYC libraries. Sponsored by the National Association of Women Artists, Inc., it focuses on women artists, their artwork and process and the chellenges they face making art in the 21st century.  The exhibition runs at Mulberry Street Library in the Community Room on Lower Level 2 from May 3 - 31, 2016. There will be a panel discussion at Mulberry Street Library on Saturday May 7th from 2 - 3:30pm. 

     

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  • Time and Distance

    Seward Park Library
    Open now. Ends August 2nd, 2016.

    Dan Ault - Artist Statement

    This exhibition is a sample from my 35 years of making art. I decided to exhibit examples of work from various periods in my career to see both where I have been as well as where I am now. I hope you all enjoy the work as much as I enjoy presenting it. I have always been interested in incorporating illusionary space the actual space on the surface of my work. The dots and lines of color create movement in the piece and I like to create familiar shapes without referring to anything specific. I select materials according to the layer that I am working on, and by building layers I find that the different techniques and textures create levels of tension and unity that I can use to my advantage. When my work is going well I become very absorbed into the process and connected with the work. I know a piece is done when I no longer feel the need to fix anything. I believe that the important questions in life are never truly answered, but the search for 

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  • Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, Oliver Kellhammer, Marina Zurkow | Dear Climate | Art in the Windows Exhibition Series

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

    On view day and night

    The Art and Picture Collections present a site-specific exhibition created by Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, Oliver Kellhammer, and Marina Zurkow. The exhibition features imagistic and textual elements from Dear Climate, a multi-platform collaborative project aimed at locating new affective registers for responding to climate change. The exhibition features a digital screen that cycles through a series of posters at a varied pace, ranging from rapid to meditative; through which spectators can see readouts of “slogans”—surprising and enigmatic phrases that bespeak a non-anthropocentric, bio-centric value system in the making.

    Join us for An Artist Dialogue event on Saturday June 4th, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. The members of the Dear Climate team will lead audience members in activities and discussion designed to 

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  • Vithya Truong - Paintings

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends August 31st, 2016.

     

    Artist Bio - I was born and raised in Thailand to Vietnamese parents.  At age 12, I moved to a Chicago suburb to be with my extended family.  After college, I moved to New York City and completed my MFA (2007) at the New York Academy of Art.  Since then, I’ve been quietly painting in my little New York City bedroom/studio.

    Artist Statement - I am fascinated with how life informs painting, and painting informs life.  I rely on my life’s experiences and visual intuition to guide me. My subjects are ordinary and they usually come from my surroundings: my wife’s coffee maker, my daughters’ toys, her friends, or a picnic bench at the park.  When a subject sparks my interest, I quickly sketch it.  One of these sketches later becomes a reference for my paintings.  I prefer using these drawings to help me begin painting because they provide just enough information for a point of departure; therefore, I am forced to imagine, take 

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  • William Carroll | New York: My City | Art Wall on Third Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends August 16th, 2016.

    The Art and Picture Collections present New York: My City, a site-specific installation of two series of paintings titled NYC and RED, created by artist William Carroll. They consist of small paintings on paper capturing the urban landscape, and larger spray painted silhouettes of individual buildings. The images are inspired by long walks taken by the artist through all the five boroughs of New York City.

    William Carroll made hundreds of quick line drawings in ink on memo pads while on these extensive walks. The paintings focus on the dialogue between the various buildings, the abrupt changes in scale specific to New York, and the experience of moving through the city space. Retaining the simplicity and spontaneity of the original drawings, the paintings are like pages in a journal that relay information in as straightforward a manner as possible. These works are the artist’s way of documenting, and making tangible, the soul of the city.

    Critic and 

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  • Winona Barton-Ballentine | Wild Stainless | Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends August 15th, 2016.

    The Art and Picture Collections present Wild Stainless a site-specific exhibition of photographs by artist, musician, and mother Winona Barton-Ballentine.  The exhibition features a combination of photographic still lifes taken in and around the artist’s home in Woodstock, New York, where she moved immediately after the birth of her daughter in 2014. 

    The work is inspired by physical and psychological relationships to domestic space and landscape. The interior images act as puzzles incorporating materials such as fabric, ceramics, food, clothing, and at times the human form (of parent and child) which are indicative of certain cultural, social, and gender roles; of materialism, motherhood, and the history of domesticity. These elements are woven together into a simultaneously precise yet disorienting world that is tense and playful. 

    The second component are landscapes made outside the home using varying visual techniques. Here the neutral and lyrical 

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