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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.

  • 100 Years of the Picture Collection: From Abacus to Zoology

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends May 15th, 2016.

    The New York Public Library is celebrating the centennial of its Picture Collection with a new exhibition in the Wachenheim Gallery at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Since its founding in 1915, the Collection has been an unparalleled and essential resource for artists and designers, students and scholars. Read More ›
  • 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.

    Read More ›
  • Artists for LPA Share Shakespeare: "A More Personal Connection"

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends May 14th, 2016.

    The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is proud to present the unique display, Artists for LPA Share Shakespeare: “A More Personal Connection” in the Plaza Corridor Gallery. To make the display, we spoke with a diversity of theatre artists who use our collections, including actors, musicians, designers, and songwriters, and asked for their most memorable Shakespeare experiences, their favorite and least favorite plays, productions, characters, and actors; their greatest inspirations. Read More ›
  • Magical Designs for Mozart's Magic Flute

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends August 27th, 2016.

    Magical Designs for Mozart’s Magic Flute compares scenic and costume designs from a select group of 19th, 20th, and 21st century productions extolled for their remarkable visual achievement. Included are rare renderings from historic productions in the holdings of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Conceived and curated by acclaimed theatrical designer Judy Levin and organized by the Kent State University Museum in partnership with the Library, it includes designs, set models, properties, and costumes.

    Read More ›
  • Printing Women: Three Centuries of Female Printmakers, 1570–1900

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends May 27th, 2016.

    Physically demanding and technically challenging, printmaking has often been considered man’s labor. As the Library’s unusual collection by forward-thinking Henrietta Louisa Koenen (1830-1881) demonstrates, engravings, etchings, woodcuts and lithographs executed by female printmakers have been around almost as long as artists started creating prints in the late fifteenth century. Read More ›
  • Shakespeare's Star Turn in America

    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Open now. Ends May 27th, 2016.

    In celebration of the enduring inspiration of William Shakespeare’s plays, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will present an exhibition in its Astor Gallery. Using artifacts from the Library’s own collections, the exhibition will document the on-going popularity of Shakespeare’s plays in North America from Colonial times to present day. Read More ›
  • Shakespeare’s Influence on American Writers

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends May 14th, 2016.

    April 23, 2016, marks the 400th anniversary of the death of playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare, perhaps the most beloved writer in all of English literature.

    There is no doubt that Shakespeare has made a profound and lasting impact on the development of literature far beyond his native Britain. This unrivaled influence particularly extends to the United States, where writers have long gleaned inspiration from Shakespeare’s dramatic plays and verse. Indeed, from Herman Melville to Toni Morrison, many of the best-known American writers have crossed vast distances of time and place to draw upon the universality of Shakespeare’s themes, as well as the inventiveness of his language and forms, cultivating distinctly American modes of expression.

    To honor Shakespeare’s enduring legacy, The New York Public Library presents a selection of American authors who have been influenced by, and at times wrestled with, the works of the Immortal Bard.

    Read More ›
  • The 75th Anniversary of the American Negro Theatre

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ongoing.

    The Schomburg Center celebrates the 75th anniversary of our renowned American Negro Theatre (ANT). Known to the locals as “The Harlem Library Little Theatre,” the ANT was founded in 1940 as a community space for thespians to work in productions that illustrated the diversity of black life. This exhibition is taken entirely from the Schomburg Collections and highlights the ANT’s stage productions from 1940 through 1949 with photographs, posters, playbills, and news clippings. Read More ›

Special Displays

Special Displays are smaller presentations at research library locations that draw from our collections and focus on a specific topic, including current events.

  • Digging Up the Past: A History of the Schomburg Center

    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    The Schomburg Center is the world’s leading institution for the collection, preservation, and interpretation of materials related to the global black experience. Today, the Center cultivates a growing archive of over ten million items, and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year. Digging Up the Past: A History of the Schomburg Center marks our 90th anniversary, and it offers visitors a peek at the Library’s beginnings and evolution.

    Read More ›
  • Jenny Odell: Peripheral Landscapes

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ongoing.

    Maps are known for providing information, but in their decorative elements they also convey our shifting ideas of exploration. Digital artist Jenny Odell captures this notion in three collages titled, Peripheral Landscapes, now on display in the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division and made possible through collaboration between the NYPL Labs, the Map Division, and Electric Objects, maker of the EO1, an innovative new technology for displaying digital art.

    Read More ›
  • Jill Kupin Rose Gallery

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ongoing.

    This ongoing exhibition consists of large wall panels with photographs, text, objects, and videos illustrating the history and the vast array of collections, services, and users of The New York Public Library's Branch and Research Libraries. The Jill Kupin Rose Gallery was created in 1998 by former New York Public Library Chairman Marshall Rose in memory of his late wife, Jill Kupin Rose.Read More ›
  • The Rose Family Seder Books

    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
    Open now. Ends May 8th, 2016.

    This special display, located in the McGraw Rotunda on the third floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, showcases the recently completed fourth volume of the Rose Family Seder Books—a series of unique books featuring over sixty years of Passover-themed artwork. An interactive monitor accompanies the display, allowing viewers to explore the fourth volume’s pages for the first time.

    Read More ›

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. 

     

     

      Read More ›
  • Bronx Trees: photographs by Denise Orr

    Bronx Library Center
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    Denise, a long-time Bronxite, combines her love of the outdoors and photography in these pictures highlighting trees in different settings in our borough.

    Coming from a family of professional photographers, Denise has always been fascinated by the stories that pictures tell through the facts or in the imagination. 

    What do the pictures say to you?

     

    Read More ›
  • Carla Lobmier | Scrolling Confluence | Art in the Corner Room Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends May 26th, 2016.

    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 Scrolling Confluence as part of Art in the Corner Room exhibition series, by artist and educator Carla Lobmier. This site-specific exhibition, a companion to Lobmier's Art Wall on Third exhibition  Scrolling Confluence: Supernova, features a series of large-scale watercolors painted on vellum. The imagery is influenced by a world narrative beginning with India and Egypt, continuing with medieval manuscript illumination, the Renaissance, Japan and the final scrolls referencing the technologically-driven present. The exhibition also showcases soundscapes accompanying the scrolls.

    In the 5th Avenue and 40th Street windows one 

    Read More ›
  • Climbing the Wall

    George Bruce Library
    Open now. Ends May 27th, 2016.

    Artist Wilhelmina Grant/SISTAAH Studio mounts a vibrant and colorful abstract art exhibition presented from an alternative perspective.  These wall scape reproductions are 24 x 36 inches in size and are the result of the artist’s experimentation in the medium of pigments and alcohol manipulated on glazed and unglazed ceramic substrates. 

    Harlem resident, Wilhelmina Grant is a self-taught artist, arts instructor and published author.  Her favorite mediums include assemblage, collage, photography and encaustic painting.  Wilhelmina uses the arts to help provide the underserved communities with wellness information.  She maintains websites at www.wilhelminagrant.com and www.SISTAAH.org

    More information:  Wilhelmina Grant • SISTAAHStudio@gmail.com • (212) 926-3517

    Read More ›
  • Librarians' Choice

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends June 30th, 2016.

    Sherri Machlin and Jennifer Craft curate early paintings of Fred Gutzeit: Four Paintings on View at the Mulberry Street Library.

    From artist Fred Gutzeit: "In 2013, I did a show of my work in the Mulberry Street Library called an An Earlier Bowery. These paintings and prints spanned the early 1970s to 1993. Sherri Machlin and Jennifer Craft liked these works enough to request more of my paintings for an extended loan. Their choices represent an earlier time in my development as a painter. Three of the paintings are from the early 1970s, when I first moved to the Bowery. The fourth and earliest (1966) was from when I left New York to go back to Ohio for three years (though I had started working on it as a series of prints when I first moved to New York in 1963. ) I came to the City to be immersed in the art world. I wanted to apply myself to current art trends while keeping in touch with art history and the world 

    Read More ›
  • 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.

    Read More ›
  • Painting and Prints: Ann Schaumburger and Michael Pellettieri

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends May 21st, 2016.

    A collaborative exhibition Paintings by Ann Schaumburger and Paintings and Prints by Michael Pellettieri will be on view at the Mulberry Street Library from March 7th - May 21st, 2016. The works can be viewed on the Ground Floor and Lower Level 2 of the library.

    There will be an opening reception on April 7th, 2016  from 5:30-6:45pm.  Both Schaumburger and Pellettieri have had professional careers exhibiting in New York for several decades.  Pellettieri is known for images of New York City. Schaumburger is a colorist.

    Read More ›
  • Renaissance Women

    Mulberry Street Library
    Open now. Ends May 31st, 2016.

    Renaissance Women is a traveling exhibition and series of panel discussions in NYC libraries. Sponsored by the National Association of Women Artists, Inc., it focuses on women artists, their artwork and process and the chellenges they face making art in the 21st century.  The exhibition runs at Mulberry Street Library in the Community Room on Lower Level 2 from May 3 - 31, 2016. There will be a panel discussion at Mulberry Street Library on Saturday May 7th from 2 - 3:30pm. 

     

    Read More ›
  • Sandra Caplan: Pastels

    Jefferson Market Library
    Open now. Ends December 31st, 2016.

    "The challenge in my work for a number of years has been the exploration of the possibilities of still life painting, whether in oil on linen, watercolor, in pastel or charcoal.  I begin with a central focus of flowers on a table covered with different fabrics in solid colours or patterns.  The placement of fruit, vegetables, various objects, personal and otherwise, but characteristic of the place in which I am living at the time, add focal points.  These are arranged and rearranged until I find connections or relationships between them through color, shape and symbol.  Sometimes, the objects or fabrics used refer to memory of past incidences: people and places I have known and loved. This whole might be set in a close or distant view that serves to extend the spatial possibilities of each work and that evoke an ambience of warmth and light.  On the other hand the still life may be contained in a dense, closed interior, surrounded by a city or patterned fabrics suggestive of 

    Read More ›
  • Spring Birch Tree Watercolor Paintings

    Hamilton Grange Library
    Open now. Ends May 12th, 2016.

    The New Heights Academy 8th grade art class is proud to present "Spring Birch Tree Watercolor Paintings", an exhibit illustrating birch trees in spring. Painted by Ruby Aday's 8th grade art class, these watercolor on sulfite paper works of art are on display at the Hamilton Grange Library's Teen Center. 

    Read More ›
  • Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, Oliver Kellhammer, Marina Zurkow | Dear Climate | Art in the Windows Exhibition Series

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

    On view day and night

    The Art and Picture Collections present a site-specific exhibition created by Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, Oliver Kellhammer, and Marina Zurkow. The exhibition features imagistic and textual elements from Dear Climate, a multi-platform collaborative project aimed at locating new affective registers for responding to climate change. The exhibition features a digital screen that cycles through a series of posters at a varied pace, ranging from rapid to meditative; through which spectators can see readouts of “slogans”—surprising and enigmatic phrases that bespeak a non-anthropocentric, bio-centric value system in the making.

    Join us for An Artist Dialogue event on Saturday June 4th, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. The members of the Dear Climate team will lead audience members in activities and discussion designed to 

    Read More ›
  • 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 

    Read More ›
  • William Carroll | New York: My City | Art Wall on Third Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends August 16th, 2016.

    The Art and Picture Collections present New York: My City, a site-specific installation of two series of paintings titled NYC and RED, created by artist William Carroll. They consist of small paintings on paper capturing the urban landscape, and larger spray painted silhouettes of individual buildings. The images are inspired by long walks taken by the artist through all the five boroughs of New York City.

    William Carroll made hundreds of quick line drawings in ink on memo pads while on these extensive walks. The paintings focus on the dialogue between the various buildings, the abrupt changes in scale specific to New York, and the experience of moving through the city space. Retaining the simplicity and spontaneity of the original drawings, the paintings are like pages in a journal that relay information in as straightforward a manner as possible. These works are the artist’s way of documenting, and making tangible, the soul of the city.

    Critic and 

    Read More ›
  • Winona Barton-Ballentine | Wild Stainless | Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series

    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Open now. Ends August 15th, 2016.

    The Art and Picture Collections present Wild Stainless a site-specific exhibition of photographs by artist, musician, and mother Winona Barton-Ballentine.  The exhibition features a combination of photographic still lifes taken in and around the artist’s home in Woodstock, New York, where she moved immediately after the birth of her daughter in 2014. 

    The work is inspired by physical and psychological relationships to domestic space and landscape. The interior images act as puzzles incorporating materials such as fabric, ceramics, food, clothing, and at times the human form (of parent and child) which are indicative of certain cultural, social, and gender roles; of materialism, motherhood, and the history of domesticity. These elements are woven together into a simultaneously precise yet disorienting world that is tense and playful. 

    The second component are landscapes made outside the home using varying visual techniques. Here the neutral and lyrical 

    Read More ›

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