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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. Ongoing.

    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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  • Protests in Print

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends April 30th, 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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  • 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.

    The Oftamology of Photography

    April 3rd – June 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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  • Biodiversity and its histories

    Washington Heights Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    A PUBLIC EXHIBIT AT THE

    WASHINGTON HEIGHTS BRANCH OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

    Earth Day, April 22, 2017, through May 19, 2017

    Designed and Produced by Students of Barnard College and Columbia University

     

    Biodiversity and its Histories

    Biodiversity, a term introduced in the 1980s to facilitate dialogue at the conjunction of science, ethics, and law, has been notoriously hard to define. Central to the disciplines of conservation biology and environmental ethics, biodiversity operates as both fact and value in wider public debates about the preservation of species and habitats from human influence, exploitation, and destruction. Species conservation and environmental health have been proposed as apolitical goals that might form the basis of international collaborations capable of promoting peace, stability, and non-proliferation; and biodiversity has optimistically been identified as a value that unites the sciences with many Read More ›
  • 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.

    Fred Gutzeit – FOUR SIDEWALKS, 1978, acrylic on canvas, 72 inches highThese 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, 

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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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  • Margaret Cogswell | Moving the Water(s): Croton Fugues | Art in the Corner Room Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends May 3rd, 2017.

    The Art Collection presents the site-specific multimedia exhibition Moving the Water(s): Croton Fugues by artist Margaret Cogswell. The exhibition is the third in a series of projects that focus on New York City's water supply system. The work pays homage to the Centennial Anniversary of NYC’s aqueduct system that was completed in 1917. It is also inspired by the location of Mid-Manhattan Library along Fifth Avenue and 40th Street across the Avenue from The New York Public Library's main location (Stephen A. Schwarzman Building) that was built in 1911 on the site of the former Croton Distribution Reservoir. 

    Focusing on the Croton Reservoir, drawings, photographs, and archival images from The New York Public Library's digital files are layered to form large panels that are suspended in the windows creating a collage in space.  Inspired by the paintings of India’s Deccan Court in the 16 and 17th centuries, these panels break down images into sections of narratives, 

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  • Mornings, Monterey: an exhibit of photographs by Bailey Ann Rosen

    Morningside Heights
    Open now. Ends April 30th, 2017.

    Come to Morningside Heights Library (2900 Broadway, between 113th & 114th) to view Mornings, Monterey: an exhibit of photographs by Bailey Ann Rosen.

    A reception will be held on the 1st floor on Thursday, April 26, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm.

    Bailey has been practicing photography for the past twenty years.  She studied photography at the City College of San Francisco, where she lived for twelve years.  Earlier she studied filmmaking which is reflected in her narrative series style of photography.  Monterey Mornings was photographed using film over a span of ten years on the beaches of Monterey California.  

    Bailey lives and works in New York City.

     

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  • Nancy Evers Photo Exhibition

    Bloomingdale Library
    Open now. Ends April 29th, 2017.

     

    Nancy is happy to be presenting another exhibit of photographs at The Bloomingdale Library. A long-time West Sider, Nebraska born, she has had a lifelong love of music and is known professionally for her private voice studio, performances on Broadway and regionally, as well as her helming duties as musical director for many cabaret and theatrical productions. Nancy also won the Concert Artist Guild vocal competition in New York and presented to critical acclaim her debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Nancy spent a couple of years photographically documenting the progression of art at the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. in Queens, up to its demise in 2014. On exhibit are a few photographs from her large portfolio of images of this important “graffiti mecca.” Her creative direction has turned toward the colorful and dynamic images exhibited here. Many of the same elements found in music are imprinted in her pictures. You can see - almost hear in Read More ›
  • 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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  • NER BECK: MANHATTAN TO MADRID

    St. Agnes Library
    Open now. Ends April 26th, 2017.

    Come visit the St. Agnes Library, on the Upper West Side, for a special three-part exhibition of Ner Beck’s strange and wonderful photographs. Included, for the first time, are images recently shot in the city of Madrid, Spain where he found this old-hearted town to possess a perfect blend of age and beauty coexisting at every step of his visual journey. Similarities and contrasts between New York City and Madrid should be of interest to anyone who enjoys strolling with a camera in hand or just taking things in with their eyes. Another section displays a series of images of colorful prismatic reflections, on windows and water, that dazzle and often at the same time may puzzle one with their beautiful translucent overlapping layers. When you first enter the library lobby, stop and enjoy a newly created Children’s Exhibition Space with a series of pictures of humorous found faces that should be a delight for kids as well as the young of heart. Besides NYC, Ner’s past 

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  • Relationship Dynamics: From Me to You - an exhibit by Lauren Smith

    Jefferson Market Library
    Open now. Ends April 30th, 2017.

    "Relationship Dynamics: from me to you" Lauren Smith Solo Exhibition OPENING RECEPTION APRIL 9,  6-8PM

    Please join me at the Jefferson Market Library, a historic former courthouse and prison, to view my latest work among poetry and refreshments. These prints and drawings were made during time spent at recent residencies including MASS MoCA's Assets for Artists Program, The Wassaic Project, and Chashama's chaNorth.

     

    On View 

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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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  • Ubiquitous

    Seward Park Library
    Open now. Ends April 29th, 2017.

    Artist Reception

    Thursday, March 9, 6~8 pm

    192 E. Broadway, 3rd floor

     

    Exhibition: March 3 - April 29

     

    The theme of this show is “O”, which has no beginning and no end, it continues forever.

    The exhibition will showcase paintings, an art installation, mixed media artwork along with a

    traditional Korean tea ceremony.  Her work is influenced by the Asian philosophy called CheonWonJiBang, which is a combination of the sky which is represented by a single dot and the ground which is represented by a square.  Her artwork reflects her daily life which includes meditation, yoga and tea ceremonies.

     

    Sei Ryun Chun has resided in the US for 35 years and has had 17 solo exhibitions all over the world, including Seoul, Berlin, Paris, Milan, and Tokyo.  She graduated from KonKuk University of Korea with a degree in art education, and studied printmaking at NYU.  She was a high school art teacher 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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  • Waves

    Ottendorfer Library
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Waves is an exhibit of sculptures by local artist Anne Stanner.She received her MFA from The City College of NY and a BA in English from Queens College. She has curated exhibitions and exhibited widely in solo and group shows at such venues as the Kingston NY Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, Godwin-Ternbach Museum of Queens College, The City College Biennials, Noho and Prince Street Galleries in Chelsea, and the Rubenstein Gallery in the Lower East Side.

                                                                                                                   

     

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