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Exhibitions at NYPL

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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.

  • Archives of Sound

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends May 30th, 2017.

    ON HOLD FOR RENOVATION.  CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES.

    Archives of Sound is an interactive audio installation created by art collective, Kinokophone.  It is inspired by by The New York Public LIbrary for the Performing Arts's audio colelctions and features prominently unique recordings from The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, which is among the largest archives of its kind.  The installation experiments with new ways of presenting archival audio collections, explores sound technology's role in shaping experiences of the past and present and makes the behind-the-scenes world of the audio archives audible.  Listeners will discover the archival practices that bring the audio archive to life and explore aspects of the collection they may otherwise never see nor hear.

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  • Black Power!

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ends December 30th, 2017.

    On view in the Main Exhibition Hall | Curated by Dr. Sylviane A. Diouf

    The concept of Black Power was introduced by Stokely Carmichael and fellow Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worker Willie Ricks in June 1966. Like no other ideology before, the multiform and ideologically diverse movement shaped black consciousness and identity and left an immense legacy that continues to inform the contemporary American landscape.

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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
    Open now. Ends 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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  • Drawn from the Clouds: Mid-Century Airline Pictorial Maps

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends September 11th, 2017.

    This display features cartographic works selected from the Library's collection of over 1,800 pictorial maps and focuses on the use of this genre in print advertisements by commercial airlines during the first half of the 20th century. On view are several vibrant pictorial “route maps” designed for a variety of international airlines. Each illustrates the delicate marriage of art and commerce in mid-century map making. This display also includes vintage postcards published in the 1940s to advertise the new  “La Guardia Field” (LaGuardia Airport), New York City’s longest operating municipal airport.

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  • Hilary Knight’s Stage Struck World

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends September 1st, 2017.

    Hilary Knight was born stage-struck, ninety years ago. Best known as the illustrator of the American classic Eloise, he cites the performing arts as the single greatest influence on his life and career.

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  • Love in Venice

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends August 26th, 2017.

    This exhibition is part of Carnegie Hall’s citywide festival La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic.

    A tolerant and secular state, the Venetian Republic originated in the lagoon communities around Venice and existed for half a millennium, from 1297 until 1797. Dominated by a merchant capitalist elite who did business through sea trade, the Republic of Venice enjoyed an autonomy and freedom that was not typical of the rest of Italy, and which for centuries made it a destination for love and pleasure.

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  • Power in Print

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ends December 30th, 2017.

    Power in Print explores the art of the Black Power movement poster, showcasing a variety of aesthetics, styles, and messaging strategies. This collection-based exhibition pulls together dozens of posters from the Schomburg Center’s Art and Artifacts Division. The display also includes a selection of iconic imagery by artist, designer, and former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, Emory Douglas. Both at the time and in our historical memory, Douglas’s designs came to visually communicate the ideals of Black Power and the political stances of the Black Panther Party.

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  • 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
    Open now. Ends 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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  • Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends June 28th, 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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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.

  • 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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  • Ariel Corral - The Oftamology of Photography

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends June 5th, 2017.

    From the Artist  “Struggled without comprehension however; the word phenomenon goes plural phenomena without adding an –s because it is not an English item. The Greek morpheme phainomenon is connected to phainesthai in its root: phe/pha, both creating a semantic triangle with phos, light. Etymology provided in Sein und Zeit. Photography... anthropology threading light onto the physicality of mankind, its modus vivendi. Unseen phenomena.”

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  • BOBBI BECK: INTROSPECTION

    St. Agnes Library
    Open now. Ends 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. When assembling her preliminary sketches she morphs, 

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  • Brooklyn WaterColor Society

    Riverside Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2017.

    Come and enjoy the latest artist exhibition at the Riverside Library.

    The objectives of the Brooklyn Watercolor Society are to further the creative efforts of its member, to spread knowledge of and to cultivate interest in the transparent watercolor medium.

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

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends 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. 

    The RCO app was created through collaboration between Ellen Hackl Fagan and programmer Joshie Fishbein and cognitive scientist Michael Cole. Passersby approaching Mid-Manhattan Library see the small window vitrines saturated with color, one blue and the other red. Through a QR code they can log onto the RCO and begin playing with the sonic palettes, keyed in to same colors as the windows. Once they have submitted their pairings, their color/sound selections get added to the Reverse Color Organ 

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

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends 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

    Each still work portrays an architectural structure whose shape and patterning stem from the contingencies of its history. The USPTO Nexus traces the US Patent and 

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  • Fred Gutzeit - Four Sidewalks

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends December 30th, 2017.

    These four canvases are part of a series of 60 paintings, that started with a painting of a single section of sidewalk.  This was a section of concrete not far from the Mulberry Street Library on Houston Street.  That painting in 1975 was of the bright sunlight on the sidewalk at noon.  Twenty more followed including early morning light, afternoon cloudy light, light from a rain-wet sidewalk, light from a reflected neon sign in a rain puddle, and a fantasy (dream sequence of concrete aggregate forming into geometric patterns).The series of 21 paintings formed a cycle moving from dawn to “new” dawn.  These paintings are 46 inches high, and others are various sizes including works on paper .  The four six foot high canvases here are variations on the patterns of the aggregate – into shifting planes of first dawn and new dawn patterns.Patricia Eakins, in American Artist Magazine – October 1975, says:“Thus these paintings are not really about sidewalks or even 

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  • HERSTORY: Chinese-American Women, 165 Years of Struggle and Success

    Chatham Square Library
    Open now. Ends June 1st, 2017.

    The Chatham Square Branch of the New York Public Library is pleased to present a rare look at Chinese-American women’s history, told through legal cases fought in supreme courts throughout the United States. Using the personal collection of Dr. Chang C. Chen (邱彰博士), Herstory features rare photographs and case descriptions of efforts by Chinese-American women to gain legal standing in the U.S. 

    Starting in 1852, the cases document women who fought for equal treatment in the eyes of the law and for citizenship and immigration rights. One 1874 case from San Francisco describes a group of recent immigrants who were defined as “lewd and immoral” due to their style of dress, and were set to be deported. The women fought back and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in their favor, stating that the California laws were in conflict with federal immigration laws and the women were released. In Tape v. Hurley, 66 Cal. 473 (1885), a landmark case in the 

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  • Jefferson Market University: Drawing from Observation

    Jefferson Market Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2017.

    Drawing is a basic practice that underlies all visual thinking. Students of Jefferson Market University's "Drawing from Observation" class focused on drawing from still life and on location in the historic Jefferson Market Library. Students of this 8-week long  class utilized the rich architectural details, decorative motifs, and lush garden as subjects. Emphasis was based on right-brain perception to draw from observation. Students used black and white media to investigate the basic elements of visual language through a series of observations, exercises, and projects.

    This exhibition featuring works from the class is on display in the Little Underground Gallery in the basement of the Jefferson Market branch until May 31st!

    Artwork by: Trisha Bloomer, Cheryl Greene, Carol Greitzer, Sharon Girard, Maria L. Gomez, Diana Kuan, Pamela Miles, Rebecca Sue River

     

     

     

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

    Seward Park Library
    Open now. Ends June 30th, 2017.

  • Naomi Rosenblatt: Collage & Paintings - A Midlife Retrospective

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2017.

    Naomi Rosenblatt is a native and die-hard New Yorker who lives in Lower Manhattan. She holds a BFA from The Cooper Union, where she studied painting, printmaking, and design. She earned her MA in Studio Arts from NYU, majoring in photo printmaking techniques. For ten years she was an adjunct professor at NYU’s Center for Publishing, and describes herself as an “all-purpose publishing professional: the word, and the image, are my life’s work.”

    As such, she is the founder and president of Heliotrope Books LLC, an indie press. Before overseeing Heliotrope, Naomi worked in book and magazine publishing in New York City for 25 years, including as the Art Director of Writers and Readers, Inc. and Production Manager of Harper’s Magazine. Naomi also has consulted at Random House, Scholastic, and Sesame Workshop.

    Photographs — her own and those from post cards, vintage magazines, and tour books — form the basis of Naomi’s prints and collages. She also works in 

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  • New Heights Academy School Annual Art Show

    Hamilton Grange Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2017.

    The New Heights Academy's Art Classes are displaying their 5th-12th graders' works of art in the Hamilton Grange Community Room! 

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  • New York Press Photographers Association ANNUAL EXHIBITION

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends June 16th, 2017.

    On view in the Corner Room Friday, May 5 – Friday, June 16, 2017

    AWARDS CEREMONY Friday, May 5, 2017, 5PM

    New York Press Photographers Association 2016 Year in Pictures Exhibition is judged in 2017.  

    Best in Show and Portfolio announced at Opening.

    For more information about the New York Press Photographers Association visit http://www.nyppa.org

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

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends 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. 

    In her studio, the artist printed the first combination of these images for a hand-made book that was 40 inches wide. This artist book inspired publisher Radius Books to produce a trade edition, in 2014, which includes an expanded selection of the work. 

    Born in 

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  • Unhurried Journey by Kristiana Parn

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends June 1st, 2017.

    Each piece starts with a bare wood panel, complete with random grain patterns and variations.  This natural surface is then saturated with paint, both accentuating and obscuring these marks, in the process creating an atmosphere that is only partly my doing.  Within, entire environments are created- trees, mountains, earth, light and air, as well as living creatures, both real and imagined.  Often taking the form of the northern forests of my youth, these scenes are places of great play and whimsy, where woodland animals inhabit the waking and dreaming worlds.

    Kristiana Pärn is an Estonian born artist living and working in New York City.  At the age of seventeen she launched her art career, studying with Estonian painter Marje Berlokko.  Shortly after graduation, Kristiana moved to New York City to study animation at The School of Visual Arts.  Since 2005, she has focused exclusively on illustration work, starting out as a textile designer for various Manhattan 

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  • ZEN BROWNE, EAST VILLAGE ARTIST, IN TOMPKINS SQUARE LIBRARY

    Tompkins Square Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2017.

    Opening Artist Reception - Friday,   May 12th     5-7 pm

    EXHIBITION:   INTERNAL LANDSCAPES: SELECTED WORKS

    “Internal Landscapes” is a series of paintings created over a period from 1995–2009 by East Village artist Zen Browne. Collectively, the series charts a period of self-discovery and artistic development. Some of the ideas for the work were birthed in dreams, others from journal entries and earlier paintings.

    Conversation With Death (1997) depicts two forms, one human and one skeletal. The figure of Death, represented by the skeleton, holds a mirror. The reflection is closely contemplated by the second figure. Though the person is not identified in this painting, the same motif reoccurs in an earlier painting by Browne, with the inscription “Death hands the artist a mirror.” Browne's vision of Death is not one of mortality, but epiphany. He gives something to the artist by revealing the artist's reflection to him. Artists must reflect on 

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