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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

  • Curators' Choice: Black Life Matters

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ends August 15th, 2015.

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

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends August 15th, 2015.

    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
    Open now. Ends January 3rd, 2016.

    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 ›
  • The Genius of Geoffrey Holder

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends August 29th, 2015.

    Born and trained in Trinidad, Geoffrey Holderrevealed his genius in his long career in dance, theater, film, music, and art.   As a choreographer, designer, director and actor, Geoffrey Holder is well represented in all of the research and circulating collections of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  The multi-media exhibition will cover his performing career, his Tony-award winning work as director and costume designer for The Wiz, and contributions to the repertory of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Presented in association with Lincoln Center Out of Doors. 

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

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends August 17th, 2015.

    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 ›
  • Between the Flowers and the sea by Artist Estefania Velez

    Bronx Library Center
    July 13th, 2015 - July 30th, 2015

    Ms. Velez’ soothing watercolors deal predominately with the natural in order to convey

     how the natural world has been a source of comfort, color, and wonder throughout her life

       and her experiences in three countries that are, in some ways, worlds apart. 

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

    Please call in advance to arrange tours and group visits.

    Estefanía Vélez

    Ms. Velez was born in New York in 1993. She works predominantly in the medium of watercolor painting, but continues to experiment with a variety of mediums including ink, charcoal, and pastels. Estefanía completed her high school education at the High School of Art and Design, where she majorly honed her craft. She is now pursuing an 

    Read More ›
  • BOBBI BECK: A Frightful & Delightful Exhibition of Autobiographical Artworks

    96th Street Library
    Open now. Ends August 28th, 2015.

    Bobbi Beck does not hold back when it comes to expressing feelings and emotions with her unique style of autobiographical artworks. Her enchanting and sometimes fierce creations might have you scratching your head trying to figure out the hidden meanings woven into these visual narratives. Understanding the mysterious messages conveyed in her work may be as simple as looking at yourself in a mental mirror and seeing a reflection of your parallel life experiences. Viewers have described her completely original works as possessing hints of Dali, Escher, Beardsley and Mucha. These intricate fairy-tale images are meshed with living creatures, inanimate objects, nature, machines and human forms. So escape reality for a while and let your mind’s eye take a visual journey at the East 96th Street Branch of this New York Public Library exhibition.

    Exhibition Visitors’ Comments:

    “I am a young artist and although art is my passion there are not many art pieces besides my own 

    Read More ›
  • Dialogue of Arts

    Bloomingdale Library
    Open now. Ends August 31st, 2015.

    This exhibition presents about 130 beautiful art works by students 5-11 years old from the Sun Circle Art Studio. It is dedicated to an art language of different countries and cultures such as Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, India, Italy and France.

     

    Elena Komissarova is a director and founder of Sun Circle  Art Studio on the Upper West Side.  With her students she explores their natural curiosity and love of life, appreciation of the beauty of our planet and the whole history of mankind. It is all being reflected in her student's art works. 

     

    Come see the art works on display in the Bloomingdale Library Children's Room.

    Read More ›
  • Dreamy Views

    Ottendorfer Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Lola Saenz is a self-taught artist and believes in following her dreams: "To create artwork and share it with the world."

    Saenz has been working on a body of work that consists of her self-portraits and a New York City view series. Her paintings express her emotions, perceptions and pieces of her imagination. They express location and dislocation, loss and distortion. She sometimes uses poetry to complement her paintings. 

    The result is art that speaks all languages, and sings to spaces deep within each viewer, creating an environmnet in which feeling and responding are both comfortable and natural. This is art for more than the eye to see.

    Read More ›
  • Embedded Memories by Drew Martin

    Hudson Park Library
    Open now. Ends July 31st, 2015.

    Embedded Memories is a show by the artist Drew Martin (b. 1969) about childhood dreams in the most literal sense. The work consists of three 4’x8’ panels of vintage sheets and pillowcases from his childhood with prints of Walt Disney characters, the Peanuts gang, Star Wars, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and the Bernard Kliban tabby cat with red sneakers. A fourth panel displays a Thomas the Tank Engine sheet and pillowcase from the early childhood of his own kids.From a graphics point of view Martin has always appreciated the scale, imagery and daily exposure of these linen prints. Psychologically, he likes how they are part of our culture’s “sweet dreams” send off each night for little kids separated from their families by the dark solitude of the night.Embedded Memories is Drew Martin’s third show in five years at the Hudson Park branch of the New York Public Library. The first show, TogetherAlone, in 2010, included 40 of his small, black line drawings, some of which were 

    Read More ›
  • Judith Meyerowitz: Photographs

    Jefferson Market Library
    Open now. Ends July 31st, 2015.

    Judith Meyerowitz is a digital photographer of nature landscapes with an interest in water, barks, reflections and refractions.  She has exhibited at galleries in NYC and NJ, including:  Jeffrey Leder Gallery, Salmagundi Club, Pen and Brush Gallery, Joe’s Café,  Visual Arts Center of  New Jersey, curated by Joan Young of the Guggenheim Museum, and Soho Photo Gallery which was a National Competition curated by Forest Old.

    Her work is currently in ‘Mudfish 16-Art & Poetry’ a journal published by Box Turtle Press.  Her photograph, Rain on Sheridan Square, is the cover for David Eye’s book, Rain Leaping Up When a Cab Goes Past.

    Meyerowitz's  photographs are also in many private collections.

    Exhibit located downstairs in our Little Underground Gallery!

    Read More ›
  • Kevin Lustik Needlepoint and Cross-Stitch

    115th Street Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Kevin Lustik Needlepoint and Cross-Stitch 

     

    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 six branches of the New York Public Library, including the 115th Street 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 ›
  • NER BECK: Found Art on the Streets of New York City & Prague

    Bloomingdale Library
    Open now. Ends August 28th, 2015.

    Ner Beck returns to the Bloomingdale Branch of the New York Public Library for another exhibition of his recent street art photographs. Most of these strange and wonderful pictures were shot right in this Upper West Side neighborhood were he has lived and worked most of his life. This style of finding lost street art with photographs began as his Art College Senior Project in 1965. After graduating he put aside his camera and worked as an art director for 45 years. For the past few years he has been searching for and capturing images again on his daily walks on the streets surrounding this library and throughout New York City. Also included is a selection of photographs he shot on the streets of the magical city of Prague. Like all NYPL branches, this library has always been a warm and welcoming place for everyone who lives or grew up in this neighborhood. So if you would like to see how lost and found street art is seen through the lens of Ner Beck’s eyes, stop in the 

    Read More ›
  • NYCLondonHK / a Three-City Trilogy / Photographs by Hark Y , Artworks by Fong So

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends August 30th, 2015.

     

    The umbrella, a symbol of civil liberties in the 2014 Hong Kong pro-democracy Movement, links these three exhibitions in three of the world’s biggest cities. During the Hong Kong Occupy Movement in 2014, protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves from harmful pepper spray and tear-gas fumes. The two-month occupation of central Hong Kong to protest against government’s political “reform” plan has since been dubbed the Umbrella Movement. Civil liberties discussed during the Umbrella Movement prompted these exhibitions by Hong Kong journalists-turned artists Hark Yeung and Fong So

    The exhibits at Westminster Reference Library (London) and Grand Central Library mark similarities and differences between Hong Kong, London and New York while raising thought-provoking issues about the artistic expressions of these three amazing cities.  The exhibition at the Mulberry Street Library tells specifically the tale of three 

    Read More ›
  • Pictures From Our Past

    Fort Washington Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

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

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends August 20th, 2015.

    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 ›
  • URBANCOLORS: Photographs by Jack McDougle

    Aguilar Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Aguilar Library is showing a new exhibit of sixteen photographs by Jack McDougle capturing distinctive perspectives around the lower half of Manhattan.

    New York City is often cited as the most photographed metropolis in the world, offering a near endless canvas of incredible scenes and famous landmarks. The photographs in this collection seek to highlight the artistic imagery found in ordinary sights passed daily by thousands of tourists and locals alike. The technical aspects of capturing and producing these images are less important than focusing on the subjects themselves. “What makes a difference here is the eye of the photographer rather than technique or equipment” according to the artist. For example, in the above photograph, J-Train concentrates on lines, textures, and patterns. While in others its colors, contrasts and shadows that prevail or alternatives of familiar views. Post-processing of all the photographs is limited to slight cropping, straightening, 

    Read More ›

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