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Exhibitions at NYPL


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.

  • Alexander Hamilton: Striver, Statesman, Scoundrel

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends December 31st, 2016.

    Alexander Hamilton, an orphaned immigrant from the Caribbean, acted as George Washington’s top aide in the American Revolution, created the American financial system, and waged ideological battles against Thomas Jefferson in the earliest days of American political parties. His vision, ambition, and voluminous writings inspired his admirers, enflamed his opponents, and continue to captivate contemporary audiences. In this exhibition, The New York Public Library presents a selection of its holdings to illuminate the many facets of Alexander Hamilton—a striver, statesman, and scoundrel.

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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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  • Music for Moderns: The Partnership of George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends September 24th, 2016.

    This exhibition is derived largely from George Avakian's and Anahid Ajemian's personal archives of photographs, recordings, memorabilia, oral histories, writings, letters, and other papers. It explores both of their careers and, through them, some of the most important musicians of all time. It also provides a unique way of viewing the important musical developments of their era through the lens of both artistic and commercial recording considerations, as well the development of the recording industry as a whole.Read More ›
  • Preserving a Masterpiece: From Soaring Ceilings to Subterranean Storage

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends September 18th, 2016.

    Celebrate the legacy of The New York Public Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street with our new exhibition, Preserving a Masterpiece: From Soaring Ceilings to Subterranean Storage. Known as the People’s Palace, this library is a monumental oasis for New Yorkers who need a quiet place to read, a well of information for scholars, and a must-see destination for visitors from all around the world.

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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.

  • 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.

  • *Suitcase : Paintings & Drawings by Timothy R. Collins

    Jefferson Market Library
    Open now. Ends July 30th, 2016.

     The Suitcase exhibition* includes paintings and drawings based on observations of urban life and urban landscapes. The art work reflects a long standing relationship with mixed media, abstraction, color and found materials.

     Born in Chicago, IL., Mr. Collins currently lives and works in New York City. Timothy attended Parsons School of Design, New York, NY. Art Under One Roof, Florence, Italy., and The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL. His work has been exhibited at the Galleria Forum InterArt (Rome, Italy), The Blank Center for the Arts (Michigan City, IN.), Tara Peck (Portsmouth, NH.)

    Mr. Collins artwork has been displayed in solo and group exhibitions in Chicago, including The Beverly Art Center, Gallery Guichard, University of Illinois at Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry, and Gallery 312. He has received awards and grants including the Citation Award from Black Creativity (Museum of Science and Industry), The Best of Show from The Baer Art 

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  • 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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  • Artist Wilhelmina Grant Presents "Climbing the Wall" Exhibit

    Hamilton Grange Library
    Open now. Ends August 6th, 2016.

    Artist Wilhelmina Grant/SISTAAH Studio mounts a vibrant and colorful abstract art exhibition presented from an alternative perspective.  These wall scape reproductions are 24 x 36 inches in size and are the result of the artist’s experimentation in the medium of pigments and alcohol manipulated on glazed and unglazed ceramic substrates. 

    The artist reception will include an artist talk by Wilhelmina Grant, joined by woodwind multi-instrumentalist, Willie Mack, who explores the relationship between the vibrations of color and sound to “play the paintings.” 

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  • Basia Goszczynska | Rainbow Credits | Art in the Windows Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends August 1st, 2016.

    On view day and night

    The Art and Picture Collections present Rainbow Credits, a two-part, site-specific exhibition by Basia Goszczynska. The video on view in the south vitrine documents the artist's process of collecting some of the plastic beach debris that is on view in the north vitrine. For this exhibition, the artist drew upon her interest in ecology, spirituality, sustainability, and our material culture to explore ideas of value and the intersection of art and activism.

    A special guest joins Basia Goszczynska for An Artist Dialogue Series event on Saturday July 30th, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. to discuss her exhibition and other projects. The Corner Room doors open to public at 2:00 p.m.

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    96th Street Library
    Open now. Ends August 27th, 2016.

        Bobbi Beck’s latest art exhibition can now be seen at the 96th Street branch of the New York Public Library on the Upper East Side. For many years she has been sharing her autobiographical drawings with fellow New Yorkers in neighborhoods throughout the city. Every picture focuses on a unique aspect of life that might also have at one point or another been part of your own personal life narrative. Her intriguing and telling compositions are charged with emotions and experiences, all converging in her mind’s eye and then mirroring back at the viewer. These completely original artworks have been described by viewers as possessing hints of Dali, Escher, Beardsley, Mucha and even Gaudi. Each piece is crammed with an array of visual references from many world cultures combined with beautiful ornate historical elements. In these strange and exotic compositions, everything seems to merge together and then suddenly explode, as human forms twist, warp and morph with everyday Read More ›
  • Dancers

    Ottendorfer Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    This series of prints on dancers was photographed and printed before digital, a long, long time ago. It was in a Greenpoint studio, since lost to gentrification, where we could explore painting and photography. Most of the shots were actually taken in the old community center called CHARAS/El Bohio on 9th street, whose mission was to cultivate "Culture, Education & Hope." Art that somehow got lost in time, whose geography no longer exists, but lives on, in these photographs. I hope they bring you joy.

      Onno de Jong is an artist, photographer, web and graphic Designer, film maker and author.  He teaches web design at Parsons New School and is owner of Circular Creation, a Web and graphic design company. He is President of Art Loisaida Foundation, a local arts non profit and is a longtime East Village resident who has been active in supporting preservation, the arts, the environment and community gardening in this neighborhood and has generously donated his talents Read More ›
  • Erban Telepathy 2

    Bloomingdale Library
    Open now. Ends July 31st, 2016.

    Artist Elias Arias aka ELDARADOE presents a collection of mulitimedia images that represent the city and its streets.   The experiences of growing up in an epicenter of hip hop and the fusion of basketball, dance, music, art, and fashion have helped ELDARADOE to create an explosion of images that engage the mind and soul.

    "Looking for images is a lot like sampling.  Digging for perfect images to mold and flow with others to make great pieces of art." -ELDARADOE


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  • Fairy Tales of the Four Seasons

    Bloomingdale Library
    Open now. Ends August 31st, 2016.

    Sun Circle Art Studio invites you to the fifth annual exhibition of children's creativity.  This exhibition presents about 130 beautiful art works by students 5-11 years old from the Sun Circle Art Studio.   The exhibition includes a variety of images dedicated to the beauty of the four seasons.  The students explored several visions of the unique charm of each season and  illustrated fairy-tales about them.  They studied a fairy-tale world created by a famous artist capturing his style, but more importantly, came up with their own dream-like art pieces.

    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.

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  • Ka-Man Tse Photography

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends September 7th, 2016.

    by Ka-Man Tse

    June 1 to September 7, 2016

    These photographs are part of an ongoing investigation surrounding notions of home, family, identity and community. My image-making is informed by the points of intersection between the LGBTQ and the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community; and what is shared, divergent, and negotiated between these two seemingly disparate worlds. Using mostly a large format view camera (there are two sides per film holder), my photographs offer B-sides: a mix-tape of queer narratives and portraiture, memories and obsessions,

    What does it mean to look, what does it mean to be seen? Whose histories are told or visible? I am a photographer searching for an image of possibility. In these photographs, I think about issues of access and disclosure, visibility and protection; visibility and resistance. In the contested and contingent spaces in Hong Kong, New York, and in the home, occupying a space, a conversation and 

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  • KEVIN LUSTIK: Stitched!

    115th Street Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    The 115th Street Branch has invited back the artist Kevin Lustik to show his latest works.  He continues to include beads, buttons, ribbons, and even needles and pins in his artwork. 

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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: FINDING EYES EVERYWHERE, Photos of lost street art from NYC to Barcelona

    Morningside Heights
    Open now. Ends September 24th, 2016.

        Ner Beck, a New York City graphic artist and photographer, always takes his eyes and camera for long walks everyday, roaming various neighborhoods throughout the city, searching everywhere and waiting for the strange and unusual to appear before him. In this exhibition see inanimate found objects that have many of the same facial expressions and emotions that we humans possess. Then, view a group of pictures that are composed of layered reflections captured on glass and water, that form natural colorful prismatic collages. Also included is a new group of pictures titled “Lost, Dropped & Discarded” that are stray objects and personal possessions, accidently left behind on sidewalks and streets, that now tell their own special story. Finally, view a collection of exotic and beautiful images shot on a recent journey to the wonderful city of Barcelona. If you love to stroll urban walkways and observe all of its visual potpourri, then pop in and discover these unearthed Read More ›
  • Secret Garden Fashions from Anti-Prom 2016

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    June 27th, 2016 - July 29th, 2016

    In 2004, a group of teen advisors at The New York Public Library agreed that “prom sucks.” In response, the Library hosted its first Anti-Prom that year, an event now held annually at the landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building for teens who may not feel welcome at official school programs or dances.

    As Anti-Prom grew over the years, the fashion show became a central element of the event. Students of the High School of Fashion Industries produce these fashions by conducting months of research in the Library’s visual collections. At the event, models walk the fashions down the Library’s grand steps, and the designs are later exhibited at the Mid-Manhattan Library

    Each year, the 

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  • Stephen Galiczynski Exhibit

    Riverside Library
    Open now. Ends August 31st, 2016.

    Artist Stephen Galiczynski has had exhibitions at several branches of The New York Public Library  and will, for the first time be exhibiting his sketches, paintings and driftwood pieces at the Riverside Branch.  His show runs from mid July through the end of August.


    For more information on all of the pieces please contact Stephen Galiczynski at

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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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  • Uptown Inside and Out

    Inwood Library
    Open now. Ends August 1st, 2016.

    22 Artists, 22 views of Uptown, from cows grazing over Broadway to views of the C-rock and our parks to portraits of our neighbors, and some lost in the rain. 

    Artists include: Bob Bahr, Paul Beattie, Meyly Brossiet, Frank Coleman, Franck de las Mercedes, Rene de los Santos, Karin Dando-Haenisch, Bambi Everson, Sharese Ann Frederick, Emon Hassan, Raina MacAllister,  Lisa Murray, Luis Pons, Carlo Quispe, Lisa Rainwater, Denise Rickles, Arlene Schulman, Rini Shaham, Mary-Beth Shine, Mario Tavares, Cleopatra Veras, Alison Yu.   Arlene Schulman, Curator. 

    Opening Reception : Sunday, June 5 at 2pm.

    Artists Talk: Sunday, June 26 at 2pm. Includes a showing of the film "We are Inwood".

    This exhibit is a part of Uptown Art Stroll.

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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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  • Whimsies And Wonder by Lucy Aponte

    Bronx Library Center
    July 1st, 2016 - July 29th, 2016

    Lucy Aponte

    Brief Bio

    Lucy Aponte was born in NYC’s El Barrio in 1946 of Puerto Rican parents. She is the sister of world renowned, classical ballet star, Christopher Aponte. In 1953, Ms. Aponte and her siblings moved to the Fordham section of Bronx with their paternal Grandmother, Lucia Benedette Aponte. She attended local School PS 85 and was a frequent visitor of the old Fordham Library, now the Bronx Library Center, where her work is on display. She is currently Director of the Poe Park Visitor Center, curator of the art gallery and responsible for dynamic programming of the space. She calls herself a proud Bronxite and loves to reminisce about her beloved Bronx with visitors to the Bronx.

    Artist Statement.

    I am a self-taught artist, struck by the muse since my earliest childhood memories. Children are my greatest inspiration and tend to be a part of any work I create. My images portray the delicateness and innocence of childhood, as captured 

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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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