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Upcoming Exhibitions


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.


Exhibitions are major presentations on wide-ranging subjects in galleries and similar spaces at research library locations.

  • Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, and Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955 - 1972

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Opening soon. May 24th, 2017 - September 16th, 2017.

    In August 1960, the choreographer Anna Halprin, the inventor of task-based improvisation, taught an experimental workshop on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais, north of San Francisco, attended by Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer. Within two years, Forti’s conceptually forceful dance constructions premiered in Yoko Ono’s loft in New York and Rainer co-founded the groundbreaking Judson Dance Theater. Radical Bodies examines the artistic relationships between Halprin, Forti, and Rainer, shedding light on each artist’s contribution to history. Dance was a conceptual engine of the art world in the 1960s. Halprin, Forti, and Rainer, all Californians with Jewish roots, opened the way to a radicalized, communitarian vision for performance that continues to influence choreographers and visual artists around the world to the present day.

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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.

  • Spirits by the Sea: Sculpture and Photography by Robert Oxnam

    53rd Street Library
    Opening soon. June 6th, 2017 - September 20th, 2017.


    For its first exhibition, 53rd Street NYPL has selected the art works of Robert Oxnam, well-known China specialist and former Asia Society president.  Over the past decade, Oxnam has focused what he calls “a Chinese eye” on the coastline of the North Fork of Long Island.   The NYPL exhibition is the first comprehensive show of Oxnam’s works – featuring thirty sculptures and ten photographs.

    The sculptures are crafted out of “found wood” from beaches and forests.  Inspired by the famous Chinese “scholar’s rocks,” Oxnam seeks to reveal the inner energy in each salvaged piece of wood, using organic paints and waxes to enliven the surfaces.  And when it comes to photographs, Oxnam focuses his lens on small sections of glacial rocks, revealing what William Blake called “seeing the world in a grain of sand.”   The exhibition will take advantage of the NYPL’s spacious modern architecture by presenting groups of sculptures in the 

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