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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.

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Current Exhibitions

  • Curators' Choice: Black Life Matters

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Now through August 15, 2015 - 6:00pm

    Curators’ Choice: Black Life Matters launches the Schomburg Center’s 90th anniversary year with an eclectic array of rarely seen collection materials that affirm the Schomburg’s mission to document and preserve black life, history, and culture. The curator of each research division presents selections that engage audiences with the rich matter of black life and cultural production—from documentary films to children’s books, from handwritten letters to historical audio recordings and LPs, from photographs to lithographs, and much more.Read More ›
  • Head Shots: Performer Portraits from Daguerreotype to Digital

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Now through August 8, 2015 (All day)

    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 ›
  • Headshots: Performer Portraits from Daguerreotypes to Digital

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Now through August 8, 2015 - 1:15pm

    What is a “head shot” and what would the performing arts be without them?  Almost as long as there has been photography, performers have used portraits to represent themselves for casting and promotion.   When reproducible photography was developed in the mid-19th century, performers eagerly adopted the new technology.  Headshots are neutral portraits, not in costume or character, but designed to show the potential of each performer at his/her best.   The entertainment industry has continued to use headshots, paired with resumes, in each new technological development in imaging and printing up from cartes de visites to the digital present day.  Whatever the format, every step contributes to the very pragmatic aims of employment and publicity.

     

    Read More ›
  • Jill Kupin Rose Gallery

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    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 ›
  • Lucia Chase: A Legacy of Dance

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Now through July 4, 2015 - 6:00am

     

               For three quarters of a century, American Ballet Theatre has been recognized as one of the great dance companies in the world, showcasing many of the finest dancers and choreographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Recognized by an act of Congress as America’s National Ballet Company, ABT has performed in all 50 states and serves as a cultural ambassador on its many international tours. For 75 years, ABT has stood as a pioneer in American dance. American Ballet Theatre's 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 11-July 4, 2015, celebrates the Company's 75 glorious years with programs that showcase its rich heritage.  

     

    Read More ›
  • Over Here: WWI and the Fight for the American Mind

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Now through August 15, 2015 (All day)

    Drawing from collections across The New York Public Library, Over Here: WWI and the Fight for the American Mind explores the manner in which public relations, propaganda, and mass media in its many forms were used to shape and control public opinion about the war while also noting social and political issues that continue to resonate, such as freedom of speech and the press, xenophobia, and domestic espionage.Read More ›
  • Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Now through January 3, 2016 (All day)

    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
    Now through September 4, 2015 (All day)

    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 Slave Route

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Now through May 20, 2016 (All day)

    The Schomburg Center’s Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery presents The Slave Route, a flash display of artifacts, documents, and photographs marking the 20th anniversary of The Slave Route Project, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s worldwide initiative “to break the silence” about the slave trade and slavery. From  shackles  to a runaway slave advertisement, from letters by Toussaint L'Ouverture and Frederick Douglass to a bill of sale from Peru for an eighteen-year old newly arrived African, these items from our collections trace or symbolize some of the routes taken by Africans in the Americas.

    Read More ›
  • William Meyers: Outer Boroughs

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Now through June 30, 2015 (All day)

    Photography’s longtime love affair with New York City has typically been centered on Manhattan, rather than on any of the city’s four other boroughs, the “outer boroughs.” For nearly two decades, between 1990 and 2008, William Meyers sought to correct this imbalance by taking his camera to overlooked and underexplored locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. The photographs in this exhibition represent Meyers’s selection of images from that project, printed as a portfolio and acquired by The New York Public Library in 2008. Organized visually rather than thematically or geographically, the images are meant to be encountered as the photographer did himself—“as a curious pedestrian willing to be surprised as he wanders the streets and boulevards of his city.” The photographs, the earliest of which were taken twenty-five years ago, also stand as visual reminders of New York City’s constant evolution.

    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.

  • Art Luminaries

    115th Street Library
    Now through December 31, 2015 (All day)

    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 ›
  • Barbara Madsen | Plastic Age: Further Removed | Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Now through August 17, 2015 (All day)

    She has had solo exhibitions at ULUS Gallery in Belgrade, Serbia in 2014; Millersville University, Pennsylvania, 2011; Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia; St. Lawrence University, New York; Miami University, Ohio; Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, and Edinburgh Print Gallery, Scotland. Her selected group exhibitions include the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, The New York Public Library, and the International Print Center in New York. International solo shows include Italy, Scotland, the Czech Republic, and Serbia; her work was selected for group exhibitions in Japan, China, Belgium, France, Spain, Serbia, Germany, Poland, India, and the United Arab Emirates.  Madsen's works are in the collections of The New York Public Library; the Library of Congress; Dartmouth College; University of Sharijah, United Arab Emirates; Guanlan Art Center in Shenzhen, China; and the Amoco Corporation.

    Read More ›
  • Love, Masks, and Flowers - Paintings by Rossella 'Blue' Mocerino

    Mulberry Street Library
    Now through June 30, 2015 - 2:15pm

    Love, Masks & Flowers 

    Paintings by Rossella BLUE Mocerino Mulberry Street Library 10 Jersey Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry St.) March 4 - ­June 30, 2015 Opening Reception March 9 from 5 - 6:45 PM

     

    Exhibition  is displayed on Lower Level 2 and Ground Floor.

    Library Hours Mon 12 -7 Tuesday 10 - 6 Wed 12 - 7 Thurs 10 - 6 Fri 10 - 5 Sat 10 - 5  Phone: 212-966-3424

     Artist will be present for the opening. 

    Use of library space by Rossella BLUE Mocerino for this exhibition does not indicate endorsement by the New York Public Library.

    Artist Rossella BLUE Mocerino has always been interested in the human figure but it was after attending the Venice Carnival in 1993 that she found her subject, masked figures, and her 

    Read More ›
  • Memorial Day Portraits- Artwork by Children

    South Beach Library
    Now through May 29, 2015 (All day)

    ​Children from Orange Line Studio, a neighborhood art studio for children, share stories and portraits of their grandparents and great grandparents in honor of Memorial Day and to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II. The portraits are on display from May 19, 2015 through May 29, 2015 at the South Beach Library.

    The South Beach Library is located at 21-25 Robin Road, Staten Island, NY, 10305. Phone: 718-816-5834. Library hours: Monday 11-6pm, Tuesday 11-6pm, Wednesday 11-6pm, Thursday 12-7pm, Friday 10-5pm and Saturday 10-5pm. 

    Use of library space by Jenya Frid, Creative Program Coordinator at Orange Line Studio, for this exhibition does not indicate endorsement by the New York Public Library.

    Read More ›
  • Ner Beck: A Traveling Photography Exhibition of Found Faces & Window Reflections from New York to Prague

    96th Street Library
    Now through June 27, 2015 (All day)

    Once you see Ner Beck’s photographs of found street faces and colorful window reflections, shot on the streets of New York City and Prague, you might think your eyes are playing tricks on you. See everyday discarded or ignored street objects come alive with humanlike faces staring right back at you. Many of these anthropomorphic objects seem to have voices that may speak directly to you. You might ask yourself “What’s going on here, are these things for real?” That visual dilemma is what makes these photographs so intriguing. Also included are prism-like reflections that appear to be collaged, but are randomly created when shop windows reflect and merge with other images mirrored from the opposite side of the street. Anyone who loves to walk and visually wonder at the lost or hidden side of cities will definitely get a mind giggle from this collection of quirky photographs that might change the way you view city streets. So, stop by the 96th Street Branch of the New York 

    Read More ›
  • NYC iSchool Art Exhibit

    Hudson Park Library
    Now through June 30, 2015 (All day)

    Students from NYC iSchool, a local public high school, created linocuts and screen print designs.

    Art Teacher: Gretel Smith

    Participating Students: Patricia B., Isiah B., Mariella B., Alexis C., Tom C., Tenzin D., Philippe D., Alena G., Adrianna J., Rachel K., Maxwell L., Connor M., Ethan M., Sandi M., Wendy N., Arellana P., Athena P., Melissa R., Ray R., Mileida R., Mackenzie R., Jaritza S., Anson S., Max S., Nicholas S., Nasyria T., Teresa W. 

     

    Read More ›
  • Parade by Paul Adrian Davies

    Ottendorfer Library
    Ongoing

    Ottendorfer is proud to present Parade,  a photographic exhibition by Paul Adrian Davies. 

    Parades are a celebration of cultural identity and an affirmative of what Makes a community unique. New York is home to more parades than any other place in the world with over forty different parades held in the city each year. They range from the Nigerian Parade to the Norwegian Parade, from the Memorial Day Parade to the Mermaid Parade, and from the Bolivian Parade to the Brazilian Parade. Together these parades stand as a testament to the city's multiculturalism and diversity.

    Paul Adrian Davies is a Manhattan based street photographer with over twenty years experience who has lived on New York City's Lower East Side since 1982. He is originally from Wales. His work has been exhibited in various galleries in both the United States and several European countries. His images have been included in group shows at the New York Historical Society and the Museum of the City 

    Read More ›
  • Picturing Riverdale: A Community Photo Essay

    Riverdale Library
    Now through June 9, 2015 (All day)

    This exhibit is a pictorial essay of Riverdale as seen through the images captured by those who work live or play in our community. The images depict the everyday scenes that we encounter and often wish to share with others. It is a celebration of unexpected moments that are often taken for granted

    Read More ›
  • Praise be unto our Mothers: Art by Thaemas Maharriyum

    Inwood Library
    Now through May 29, 2015 - 5:00pm

    Thaemas A. Maharriym was born in Manhattan. He has been doing calligraphy forover twenty years. His art was display  on Connecticut Cable T.V. and at the YMHA here in Inwood. Master Du, a leading professor of art, praised Thaemas's art as original and refreshing. 

    Thaemas began writing poetry when he was a teenager and has continued to do so throughout his life. He has one book of poetry published entitled Love Comunings Soul Emgracings with the Spirit of the Unborn Child. 

    The art on display in Inwood Library is a tribute to motherhood. Poetry, calligraphy and art are united to celebrate the endless caring, work and love of our mothers. Motherhood is endless caring, work and love.

    Praise be unto our mothers!

    Read More ›
  • Susan Bee | The Challenge of Painting | Art Wall on Third Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Now through August 20, 2015 - 9:45am

    The Art and Picture Collections at Mid-Manhattan Library present the exhibition titled The Challenge of Painting featuring three oil and enamel paintings created by artist Susan Bee in 2014. These paintings highlight two related aspects of the artist’s work, her use of black and white film stills and her use of genre paintings from the 1800s.

    Susan Bee is a painter, editor, writer, and book artist, who lives in New York City. In 2015, her photograms and altered photos from the 1970s were exhibited at Southfirst Gallery in Brooklyn. She has had seven solo shows at A.I.R. Gallery, NY, and a solo painting show at 

    Read More ›
  • The Ancestors in our Hearts / Tanya Torres, Artist

    Bronx Library Center
    Now through May 30, 2015 (All day)

    Exhibit Description: The Ancestors in Our Hearts explores two important elements of Puerto Rican cultural heritage: the Taíno symbols and the black dolls. The Taíno symbols as interpreted by Tanya Torres and the black dolls as passed on to Mercedes Molina by her mother, are two examples of how both of these beloved cultural symbols continue to evolve and survive today in NYC in the hands of artists and artisans. The exhibition presents a series of paintings featuring Taíno symbols by Tanya Torres and several examples of the spiritual dolls of Mercedes Molina, each object in its own way functioning as a reminder of how history and culture regenerate and survive as they continue to be loved and carried in the human heart.

    Workshop Description: Taíno-Abstract Painting Workshop

    In this workshop you will choose a Taíno symbol to create your own abstract painting on canvas inspired by the paintings by Tanya Torres in the exhibition The Ancestors in Our Hearts. By 

    Read More ›

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