2023 Late Winter & Spring Preview: Museum Shows

The Big Museums

We know them from tv, movies, even cartoons: they’re the big museums of New York City and often the only formal art institution most visitors see. As a result of this fame and audience, their special exhibitions tend to be large, spectacular, and Instagrammable with short snippets of information placed strategically throughout the rooms – less about study and contemplation of a topic and more about keeping people moving through the rooms. It’s a system that’s worked for years, although it can be frustrating for experienced museum goers who get bored with the same display backgrounds, layouts, and writing styles. However, there’s no doubt that many people enjoy seeing and learning this way, if attendance numbers are anything to go by, so it’s not going to change any time soon. And of course, we’ll still go to these exhibitions, because, well, we don’t want to miss out.

Jimmy DeSana (American, 1949–1990). Storage Boxes, 1980. Chromogenic print, 15 1/2 × 23 1/2 in. (39.4 × 59.7 cm). Courtesy of the Estate of Jimmy DeSana. © Estate of Jimmy DeSana

Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn), Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” (July 1, 2022 – January 29, 2023), Jimmy DeSana: Submission (November 11, 2022 – April 16, 2023), Thierry Mugler: Couturissime (November 18, 2022 – May 7, 2023)

Guggenheim Museum (88th Street and Fifth Avenue): Alex Katz: Gathering (October 21, 2022 – February 20, 2023), Nick Cave: Forothermore (November 18, 2022 – April 10, 2023)

Dress, Patrick Kelly (American, 1954–1990), fall/winter 1986–87; Gift of Elaine Blatt, 2005 (2005.92 ). Image © Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (81st Street and Fifth Avenue): Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina (September 9, 2022 – February 5, 2023), Cubism and the Trompe l’Oeil Tradition (October 20, 2022 – January 22, 2023), Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art (November 21, 2022 – April 2, 2023), Beyond the Light: Identity and Place in Nineteenth-Century Danish Art (January 26 – April 16, 2023), Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection (until February 20, 2023), and Fictions of Emancipation: Carpeaux Recast (until March 5, 2023), Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Room (ongoing).

Installation view of Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York from July 16, 2022 – January 2, 2023. Photo: Emile Askey

MoMA (53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), Never Alone: Video Games and Other Interactive Design (September 10, 2022 – June 30, 2023), Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces (October 9, 2022 – February 18, 2023), Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition (October 30, 2022 – March 4, 2023), Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio (December 11, 2022 – April 16, 2023), Georgia O’Keefe: To See Takes Time (April 9 – August 12, 2023)

MoMA PS 1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens): Life between Buildings (until January 16, 2023)

New Museum (235 Bowery), Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces (November 10, 2022 – February 5, 2023)

Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street): Time Management Techniques (September 24, 2022 – January 31, 2023), Edward Hopper’s New York (October 19, 2022 – March 5, 2023), In the Balance: Between Painting and Sculpture, 1965-1985 (October 19, 2022 – March 5, 2023), No Existe Un Mundo Poshuracan: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria (November 23, 2022 – April 23, 2023), Every Ocean Hughes: Alive Side (January 14 – April 2, 2023), Jaune Quick-To-See Smith: Memory Map (April 19 – August 31, 2023), Josh Kline (April 19 – August 31, 2023)

The Smaller Museums

When it comes to the specialty museum, NYC has a diverse selection that satisfies the needs of their niche audience while also welcoming new visitors. These institutions make audience outreach a priority: creating exhibitions that are appealing to a wide group of people, holding fun events for every age group, and friendly museum staff ready to chat about the work on view or even recommend a local restaurant for lunch.

Morris Hirshfield (1872, Poland–1946, United States) “Girl with Pigeons,” 1942 Oil on canvas 30 x 40 1/8 in. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection, 1969, 610.1967. © 2022 Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

American Folk Art Museum (2 Lincoln Square or 66th Street and Columbus Avenue), Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered (September 23, 2022 – January 29, 2023)

Exterior, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt Design Center (91st Street and Fifth Avenue), Mr. Pergolisi’s Curious Things: Ornament in 19th Century Britain (until January 29, 2023), Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics (until February 20, 2023), Designing Peace (until September 4, 2023), Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves (until May 21, 2023), Deconstructing Power: W.E.B. Du Bois at the 1900 World’s Fair (until May 29, 2023)

Room 11: This grand gallery of Italian Renaissance paintings includes work by Veronese. Centrally located is a bronze by Francesco da Sangallo, placed atop a replica of its original base; photo: Joe Coscia. Image courtesy The Frick Collection.

The Frick Collection (75th Street and Madison Avenue): Highlights from the permanent collection on view at the museum’s temporary home on Madison Avenue and 75th Street, while the old location undergoes renovation. If you haven’t seen their holdings before, this current display is a wonderful introduction to one of the best single collector museums in the US. If you have visited the museum in the past, this new display is beautifully done, with pictures grouped by period or artist, allowing visitors to appreciate their favorites in fresh ways. In addition, there will be the temporary shows The Eveillard Gift (October 13, 2022 – February 26, 2023), Olafur Eliasson and Claude Monet (October 20, 2022 – January 22, 2023), The Gregory Gift (February 16 – May 14, 2023) on view throughout the fall and winter season.

International Center of Photography (79 Essex Street), Face to Face: Portraits of Artists by Tacita Dean, Brigitte Lacombe and Catherine Opie and Between Friends: From the ICP Collection (both January 27 – May 1, 2023)

The Jewish Museum (92nd Street and Fifth Avenue): Scenes from the Collection (ongoing), The Sassoons (March 3 – August 13, 2023), After “The Wild”: Contemporary Art from The Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Collection (March 24 – October 1, 2023)

Morgan Library and Museum (36th Street and Madison Avenue): Ashley Bryan and Langston Hughes: Sail Away (September 30, 2022 – January 22, 2023), The Little Prince: Taking Flight (October 14, 2022 – February 5, 2023), She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and the Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400 – 2000 B.C. (October 14, 2022 – February 19, 2023), George Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawing (October 21, 2022 – February 5, 2023)

Oscar Howe (Yanktonai Dakota, 1915–1983), Dakota Medicine Man, 1968. Casein on paper, 18 x 25 in. South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, acc# 1970.06. Image courtesy of National Museum of the American Indian and the Oscar Howe Family.

National Museum of the American Indian (One Bowling Green, Manhattan), Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field (November 3, 2022 – March 12, 2023), Jeffrey Veregge: Of Gods and Heroes (until December 31, 2022)

Machine Dazzle, Experimental Drag Look, 2002, New York, NY Photo: Mikael Karlsson

Museum of Arts and Design (2 Columbus Circle), Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle (September 10, 2022 – February 19, 2023), Jewelry Stories (until April 16, 2023)

Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre Street): With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America (now through December 31, 2023)

New-York Historical Society (77th Street and Central Park West), Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite (August 19, 2022 – January 15, 2023), The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming (October 7, 2022 – January 22, 2023), ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’: The Jewish Deli (November 11, 2022 – April 2, 2023), Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection (November 18, 2022 – February 26, 2023)

Galen Gibson-Cornell, The Scream, 2021, Posters from Berlin and New York City, monotype on paper; sliced and woven. Courtesy of the artist.

Poster House (23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), Masked Vigilantes on Silent Motorbikes (September 9, 2022 – February 12, 2023), Air India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue (September 9, 2022 – February 12, 2023), With My Little Eye: Warnings For The Homefront (October 20, 2022 – April 16, 2023), Schoolgirls at War: French Propaganda Posters from World War I (October 20, 2022 – April 16, 2023), Made in Japan: 20th Century Poster Art & Design (March 2 – September 10, 2023), Black Power to Black People: Branding the Black Panther Party (March 2 – September 10, 2023)