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Past Exhibitions

  • The Declaration of Independence, Handwritten by Thomas Jefferson

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    June 29th, 2017 - July 3rd, 2017

    In celebration of the birth of the United States and the democratic values upon which it was founded, the Library is honored to share this renowned historical treasure with all Library visitors for a limited time.Read More ›
  • Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    March 24th, 2017 - July 2nd, 2017

    The geography, people, and rich culture of Latin America have long inspired photographers to capture visually their experiences and impressions. Their photographs, in turn, entice viewers to marvel at that which is foreign or to reminisce about the familiar. Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs exhibits over 100 images from the 1860s through the present. Presented in parallel trajectories, the photographs trace the perceptions of foreigners and locals and offer insight into varying cultural perspectives. The exhibition, drawn exclusively from the Library’s immense Photography Collection, is the first devoted solely to the subject of Latin America.

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  • Kevin Lustik and Seward Park Library Present: Sewing at the Seward

    Seward Park Library
    May 2nd, 2017 - June 30th, 2017

  • Auguste Elder

    Jefferson Market Library
    June 9th, 2017 - June 30th, 2017

     Auguste Elder’s solo exhibition of wood-fired “canopic” urns and votives inspired by the historic Jefferson Market Library: its history, environs, and communities. The works are wheel-thrown and narratively embellished with carved elements, as well as low and high relief appliqué forms. The appliqués were cast from life from various sources, including human bones, living beings, found objects, and most importantly, from selected architectural stonework in-situ at The Jefferson Market Library.

    “Urns and votive offerings in this collection hint at the lives that have passed through, and continue to populate these chambers, halls, and alleys: lives hidden, at risk, lost, or invisible. They pay homage to those on the run, and those standing their ground to bear witness and resist.” –Auguste Elder

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  • Curtain Up: Celebrating the Last 40 Years of Theatre in New York and London

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    October 31st, 2016 - June 30th, 2017

    The Society of London Theatre and London's Victoria and Albert Museum have partnered with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center to celebrate the extraordinary story of the world's two greatest theatrical districts, London's West End and New York's Broadway in a ground-breaking new exhibition—Curtain Up: Celebrating the Last 40 Years of Theatre in New York and London.

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  • Ellen K. Levy | Meme Machines | Art Wall on Third Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street
    April 6th, 2017 - June 28th, 2017

    The Art Collection presents the site-specific exhibition Meme Machines by established multi-media artist and scholar Ellen K. Levy. The exhibition explores cultural evolution by visualizing varied ways of creating and transmitting knowledge. Meme Machines comprises four mixed-media vertically-oriented works, consisting of paint and gel over prints on archival paper and an animation. 

    The animation video Migratory Patterns of Public Secrets analogizes the reticulated growth of dendrites in neural networks to the pathways of communication in public library networks. The formation of these patterns is the common subject of the video and still images. To watch  a clip from Migratory Patterns of Public Secrets  click here

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  • Ellen Hackl Fagan | What Does Blue Sound Like? | Art in the Windows Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street
    April 4th, 2017 - June 28th, 2017

    On view day and night

    The Art Collection at Mid-Manhattan Library presents the site-specific exhibition What Does Blue Sound Like? by artist Ellen Hackl Fagan. This exhibition features The Reverse Color Organ (RCO) with an interactive web app that viewers can download to their iPhones or Droids. Their phones become a synaesthetic tool, enabling them to explore their own unique opinions about the sounds of colors. 

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  • Renate Aller | Ocean Desert | Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    April 11th, 2017 - June 28th, 2017

    The Art Collection presents the photography exhibition of color archival pigment prints titled Ocean | Desert by established artist Renate Aller. The series of lush and sublime diptych photographs document the artist’s visits to White Sands in New Mexico on Easter Sundays. 

    Traditionally families from this border region celebrate Easter (Pascua) at White Sands. The images are paired with oceanscapes of the Atlantic as the dunes’ minerals carry the memory of the ocean that was there millions of years ago. Since the 1940s atomic missile tests have been conducted in this area, yet, once a year, border families gather for a peaceful time, as violence, anger and fear are swept away for a day. 

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  • BOBBI BECK: INTROSPECTION

    St. Agnes Library
    May 17th, 2017 - June 27th, 2017

    Bobbi Beck has spent years documenting her day by day experiences, feelings and emotions through her art while living and working on the Upper West Side of New York City. Reflected in her works are many of the same issues we all confront and deal with, especially now in today’s uncertain world. As you look at each piece see if you can spot any of yourself woven into these mysterious and complex compositions. When you first enter the library, stop and enjoy her special Children’s Exhibition Wall that includes many strange and exotic creatures, that should be a delight to kids as well as the young at heart. Then visit the staircase gallery space and see if you can find, within several pieces of art, any subjects or themes that mirror your own life past or present. Her completely original style is difficult to describe, but many have commented that her artworks possess hints of Dali, Escher, Beardsley, Mucha and even Goudy.

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  • Alza Tu Voz

    Washington Heights Library
    May 30th, 2017 - June 27th, 2017

    Artists Space and MS 324 Patria Mirabal present Alza Tu Voz: Social justice posters created by Grade 8 students inspired by the artwork of Emory Douglas. Enhibited in the Teen Space from May 30 to June 27.

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