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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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  • Embracing Chaos: Dada, 100 Years Later

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends September 6th, 2016.

    Embracing irrationality and intuition over reason and logic, Dada was an artistic and literary movement that emerged from the chaos of World War I. It began as a series of performances held at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in 1916, organized by a group of artists and writers who were avoiding the ravages of the war. After the armistice, members returned to their home countries where Dada extended to visual art and poetry, particularly in Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, and eventually making its way to New York. A true “anti-art,” Dada challenged traditional notions of artistic technique and linguistic coherence, aiming to create an anarchic freedom that occasionally verged on nihilism.

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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 October 9th, 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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  • Protests in Print

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends January 18th, 2017.

    The term “alternative press” is used by librarians, publishers, authors, and artists to group together forms of print that diverge from the production and distribution methods of conventionally published materials. As a platform for both personal expression and social justice activism, this alternative print culture continues to play a vital role in the dissemination of information not included in mainstream publications. Although the hierarchy between conventionally and alternatively published media is far from balanced, the initiatives taken by marginalized communities to personally represent their lived experiences is a radical attempt to equalize the production, distribution, and consumption of information.

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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.

  • "Somos Latinas" Por Ernesto Camacho

    Bronx Library Center
    Open now. Ends September 30th, 2016.


     “This exhibition portrays Latinas in a state of elegance in different scenarios, and more importantly, in papyri of different colors that stems from an amazing history in an array of moods and Colors, often, being viewed as one hue”.

    “My definition of Latina is: Who's a Latina?”

    “Latino/la teeno/ (plural-nos)  A fusion of different people from distant lands who came together with the indigenous populous thru a turbulent past, and blossomed into a new type of people made up of different hues, textured hairs, and colored eyes; all under the umbrella of one language... ...Latino”.

    Artist Statement:

    Ernest Camacho

    I was born and raised in the South Bronx during the 70’s when it was burning down. Those days left indelible impressions in my mind and heart that I will cherish down till this day. Many of these memories included the sound of congas echoing off the project walls late into the summer evenings; 

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  • All Sewn-Up by Kevin Lustik

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

            Kevin Lustik is a self-taught artist who has been sewing for more than 30 years, and his work has been exhibited at 15 branches of the New York Public Library.  His work will be on display at the Bloomingdale Branch for the month of August. Kevin Lustik's original artwork has a 3-D effect.  He sews buttons, beads, and even needles into cloth, paper, and photographs.  We hope you'll come take a look.  Read More ›
  • 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. 



      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 ›
  • 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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  • 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 ›
  • 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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  • Sue Willis | The Upper Worlds | Art in the Corner Room Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends January 22nd, 2017.

    Unless there is a program or event the Corner Room, hours are the same as Mid-Manhattan Library hours.

    The Art and Picture Collections present the site-specific sculpture exhibition The Upper Worlds created by artist and academic Sue Willis. A companion to her Art in the Windows site-specific installation of the same title, this exhibition includes works representing the upper worlds, and consists of life-size porcelain and faux-fur wildlife, small human figures and the tree of life in three columns of silk flowers and mixed materials. The sculptural installations in the two large scale windows facing Fifth Avenue reflect unity and transcendence, occurring when our collective positive energies reach critical mass, and also an aftermath of destruction with cause for hope.

    In additon to the Fifth 

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  • The Upper Worlds | Sue Willis | Art in the Windows Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends September 6th, 2016.

    On view day and night

    The Art and Picture Collections present the site-specific sculpture exhibition The Upper Worlds created by artist and academic Sue Willis. A companion to her Art in the Corner Room site-specific installations of the same title, this exhibition includes works representing the upper worlds, and consists of offsprings that represent the procreative aspect of The Upper Worlds. 

    On Saturday October 15 at 2:30 p.m. artist, academic and Guggenheim Fellow Joel Werring joins Sue Willis for An Artist Dialogue to converse about her site-specific Art in the Windows and Art in the Corner Room exhibitions.

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  • Time and Distance

    Seward Park Library
    Open now. Ends August 31st, 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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  • 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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