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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.

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Current Exhibitions


    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends January 16th, 2016.

    To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center in Lincoln Center will present the free multimedia exhibition Alice Live! The exhibition will trace the history of Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice stories in live performance from their first professional staging to the present day.

    Read More ›
  • Black Suburbia: From Levittown to Ferguson

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

    What do the suburbs teach us about the black experience, family ideals, community and racial identity? How is the myth of the American Dream complicated by the African American suburban experience? These and other questions are explored in our new exhibition, Black Suburbia: From Levittown to Ferguson, co-presented by The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University and curated by James Levy of the University of Wisconsin. This exhibition travels through Hempstead, New York; Shaker Heights, Ohio; Compton and Baldwin Hills, California; and other American suburbs. The collection features photographs, letters, property deeds, personal interviews, artifacts and compelling archival film footage that trace a twentieth century narrative of migration and community building that reveals a rich tapestry of contradictions and the persistence of hope.

    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 ›
  • 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.

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

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends January 31st, 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.

    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 ›
  • 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 ›
  • Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination

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

    Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination is sure to satisfy the sci-fi/fantasy nerd in all of us. Curated by artist John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson, this exhibition includes artifacts from the Schomburg collections that are connected to Afrofuturism, black speculative imagination and Diasporan cultural production. Offering a fresh perspective on the power of speculative imagination and the struggle for various freedoms of expression in popular culture, Unveiling Visions showcases illustrations and other graphics that highlight those popularly found in science fiction, magical realism and fantasy. Items on display include film posters, comics, t-shirts, magazines, CD covers, playbills, religious literature, and more.

    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.

  • A Glimpse of Southeast Asia: Photographs by Jack McDougle

    St. Agnes Library
    Open now. Ends October 31st, 2015.

    The St. Agnes New York Public Library is currently showing a new exhibit of sixteen photographs by Jack McDougle capturing distinctive images from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

    Southeast Asia is an exotic land full of mystery; enticing visitors and inspiring imaginations for centuries. Any journey across this region offers a nearly endless canvas of incredible sights, sounds, smells and experiences. The photographs in this collection seek to offer a brief glimpse into the many wonders and artistic imagery found in ordinary sights passed daily by 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. Some of the photographs concentrate on lines, textures and patterns. While in others its colors, contrasts and shadows that prevail or alternatives of 

    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 ›
  • Art Uptown: 6 Inwood Artists

    Inwood Library
    Open now. Ends October 31st, 2015.

    Celebrate the rich talent of our Inwood community through the art of six of our own: Mario Tavarez, Naciso Polanco, Rene de los Santos, Leonardo Miguel Cruz, Cesar Santana and Lisa Turngren. 

    Read More ›
  • BOBBI BECK: Who are You? Who am I? A Curious Exhibition of Autobiographical Artworks

    Morningside Heights
    Open now. Ends October 29th, 2015.



    Artist Bobbi Beck sometimes feels like she is the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland questioning “Who are you?” But for her and her work it would be “Who am I?” Her enchanting dreamlike creations have had New Yorkers seeing themselves reflected in these unique images with their own emotions and lives woven into these strange and startling pictures. 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 own 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 anthropomorphic creatures, exotic elements, nature and machine parts all twisted within humanoid forms. So bend reality for a while and let your mind’s eye take a visual journey at the Morningside Branch of the New York Public Library (just adjacent to Columbia 

    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.

    The public reception is held on Saturday October 3, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. inside the Corner Room.

    Artist and Mason Gross School of the 

    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 October 31st, 2015.

     Bronx Library Center

                Latino & Puerto Rican Cultural Center                 

    Laura Alvarez


    Inked Dreams / Sueños de tinta

    Exhibit Opening Tour


    September 1-October 31, 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-October 31, 2015 on the 4th floor

    Please call in advance to arrange tours and group visits.


    Read More ›
  • Ken Ecker: Paintings

    Ottendorfer Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    The Ottendorfer Library is proud to present eight mixed media nature-based paintings by local artist, Ken Ecker.

    "My work is nature based. I’ve worked plein air off the coast of New York, in rural Maryland, Vermont, Maine, New Mexico, Southern California and in Germany. Scientists talk about how all of nature is composed of swarming, chaotic, vibrational patterns that intersect. After years of painting I sometimes get the feeling that I understand something of what they’re talking about. Painting will do that to you."  --Ken Ecker

    Read More ›
  • Michael Palladino | Vortex | Art Wall on Third Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends January 4th, 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. 

    Michael Palladino is a mixed media artist living in New York City. A graduate from 

    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. 


    Read More ›
  • NER BECK: Faces & Reflections of Gotham

    Grand Central Library
    Open now. Ends October 28th, 2015.

    Ner Beck walks the streets of New York City daily with his camera photographing found street art. He sees anthropomorphic faces on common objects where you never expected them to appear. Watch out for a tree that barks, a mailbox that grabs at you, a steam pipe that meows, a muffin that is too cute to eat, flowers that are too kind to cut and even a stereo speaker that speaks. Viewers have mentioned that they have never quite seen photographs that could be a little scary and so much fun at the same time. Also included in this exhibition are strange and colorful images of translucent glass reflections that seem to shift and change form before your very eyes, as buildings bend and mannequins melt into facades. Ner first started photographing this found street art fifty years ago as his senior project in art college. After that he had a graphic design business for decades, and he is now walking throughout the city again entertaining himself and everyone else who can never get 

    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 ›
  • Rand Huebsch Prints

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

    This show includes hand colored etched embossings, miniature bas-reliefs in clay, and recent color drawings based on the Golem myth. The artist has been inspired by work from many cultures and eras:  ancient Egypt, Mayan art, Persian miniatures, Pieter Brueghel, film noir.  He has taught at the NY Public Library and has work in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Columbia University, among others.  His technical articles have been published in the British quarterly "Printmaking Today." 


    Read More ›
  • The Not-Seen Ubiquitous - Visual Works by Tony Jannetti

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends October 31st, 2015.


    Tony Jannetti will be presenting a range of natural and landscape-inspired earth-works and digital prints from recent years. He has been working in both arenas-- natural and digital-- for a number of years. These works outline the contours and direction he is taking that he hopes are both elegant and tantalizing. The works refer to neighborhood, to library, to found materials, as well as digital renderings of landscape themes. They manifest an ongoing commitment to the natural world in all its glory.

    Read More ›

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