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Since 1996, the Library has created websites inspired by some of the physical exhibitions presented at its research centers, as well as a number of web-only presentations based on its collections.
The Midtown Y Photography Gallery was the first non-profit organization in New York City with a mission to provide a public space for the display of photographs, helping dozens of photographers make the scene that it helped to bring about over 25 years, from 1972 to 1996 when the gallery closed.
Based in part on the collection of personal and professional papers and memorabilia of Malcolm X deposited at the Schomburg Center, Malcom X: A Search for Truth presents a provocative and informative perspective on his life. This exhibition poses questions about the nature of the journey that Malcolm Little pursued to become El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, focusing on the process and products of his driving intellectual quest for truth about himself, his family, his people, his country, and his world.
This multimedia exhibition, which draws on rare material housed in all four research divisions of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, focuses on the liberating force of archaic and classical Greece and the countless 20th-century American choreographers, theater artists, composers, visual artists, and designers it inspired.
Moving Uptown traces Manhattan's urban evolution as it has been recorded in 19th-century prints, drawn primarily from the Eno Collection of New York City Views and the I. N. Phelps Stokes Collection of American Historical Prints, both gifts to the Library's Print Collection of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs. These views rarely dwell on any of the disturbing social repercussions of the city's remarkable growth (that was primarily the purview of illustrated journals), but rather they celebrate the ever-changing face of a thriving, bustling, confident city.
Prints by definition suggest multiplicity, and printmaking lends itself to projects that are best expressed through multiple images. The artists represented in this exhibition have taken advantage of printmaking's penchant for serial imagery in order to tell a story, to take a stand on political and social concerns, to consider formal issues, and to explore the creative process.
Featuring materials from the Nabokov Archive in the Library's Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, this online exhibition provides a chronological look at Vladimir Nabokov's life and literary output, starting with poems of his teenage years, through his latest novels and memoirs. The website, produced in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Nabokov's birth, provides insight into his powers of creation and his development as a writer.
American artists in the mid 20th century were particularly intrigued by relief printmaking, whether woodcut, linocut, or experimental uses of plastic as a printing surface.
This exhibition features the work of three New York photographers, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, and Joel Meyerowitz, who played a major role in the emergence of street photography as a central photographic practice in the 1960s. Following the lead of William Klein and Robert Frank, these photographers helped to transform documentary photography with their eccentric vision of the world. As the practice extended into the 1970s, street photography absorbed other artistic movements, as evidenced by the work of William Gedney, Roy Colmer, and Thomas Struth, whose photographs demonstrate both the continuity and diversity of photography in the streets of New York. The show is the first in a planned series of exhibitions that will showcase recently acquired New York City photographs from 1950 to the present.
This exhibition will include 75 prints, acquired between 2000-2005, and will feature prints by Fontainebleu printmaker Pierre Milan, Jaques Callot, Jan van de Velde II, Domenico and Lorenzo Tiepolo, Philibert-Louis Debucourt and Ferdinand Olivier, among others. In addition to comments on each artist/printmaker, the exhibit will address the kinds of issues, which are considered when acquiring a print for the collection, from context to condition.
Russia Engages the World, 1453–1825 traces Russia’s movement from relative isolation to global empire through its contacts with Europe, Asia, and the Americas. When Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg as a “window on Europe” in 1703, he intended the city to symbolize Russia’s new direction. This website explored Russia’s exposure to and interaction with the larger world, as well as the significant role the new cosmopolitan capital played in this evolution.