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.
Christian Dior (French, 1905 – 1957). Bar suit, afternoon ensemble with an ecru natural shantung jacket and black pleated wool crepe skirt. Haute Couture Spring – Summer 1947, Corolle line. Dior Heritage collection, Paris. © Katerina Jebb
The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn): The Obama Portraits Tour (August 27 – October 24, 2021), Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams (September 10, 2021 – February 20, 2022), Baseera Khan: I Am an Archive (October 1, 2021 – July 10, 2022), Andy Warhol: Revelation (November 19, 2021 – June 19, 2022)
Guggenheim Museum (88 th Street and Fifth Avenue): Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle (October 8, 2021 – September 5, 2022), Gillian Wearing: Wearing Masks (November 5, 2021 – April 4, 2022)
Dress, Patrick Kelly (American, 1954–1990),
fall/winter 1986–87; Gift of Elaine Blatt, 2005
Image © Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (81 st Street and Fifth Avenue): In America: A Lexicon of Fashion (September 18, 2021 – September 5, 2022) Surrealism Beyond Borders (October 11, 2021 – January 30, 2022), Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Room (opens November 5, 2021), Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts (December 10, 2021 – March 6, 2022)
Shigeko Kubota. Self-Portrait. ca. 1970- 71. Standard-definition video (color, silent). 5:24 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation, 2021. © 2021 Estate of Shigeko Kubota / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY DnA_Design and Architecture, Bamboo Theater, HengKeng Village, Songyang, China, 2015. Photograph by Wang Ziling (MoMA 264.2020.3) Adam Pendleton. Untitled (WE ARE NOT), 2021. Silkscreen ink on canvas, 120×144”. Image courtesy of the artist Nic Aluf. Sophie Taeuber with her Dada Head. 1920. Gelatin silver print on board. 4 5/8 x 3 3/4″ (11.7 x 9.6 cm). Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin. Photo: Wolfgang Morell Joseph E. Yoakum (American, 1891 – 1972). Mt Popocatepel of Sra Madre Occidental Range near Mexico City C.M., 1967. Blue and brown ballpoint pen and colored pencil on paper. 12 x 19″ (30.5 x 48.3 cm). Gift of the Raymond K. Yoshida Living Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc. 1175.2011. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
MoMA (53 rd Street between 5 th and 6 th Avenues): Renew, Reuse, Recycle: Recent Architecture from China (September 18, 2021 – July 4, 2022), Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen? (September 18, 2021 – January 30, 2022), Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction (November 21, 2021 – March 12, 2022), Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw (November 28, 2021 – March 19, 2022)
Hiram Maristany. Children in the funeral march of Julio Roldán. 1970. Photograph. Image courtesy the artist Kayode Ojo. You need to prove to me that I can count on you to be loyal. 2021. ASOS Moss London – Gray Velvet Suit Jacket, ASOS Moss London – Gray Velvet Suit Pants, Liberty Imports Heavy Duty Diecast Metal Stainless Steel Handcuffs with Keys Bulk Party Favors for Police Kids Role Play, Vorage Set of 20 Keyrings with Stainless Steel Key Rings, Carabiner Hooks with Key Fob 25mm (Silver), Ikea Tobias Chairs, Clear Amac Boxes, Mirrors. 45¼ x 70⅞ x 23⅝ in. Image courtesy the artist and Sweetwater, Berlin Robin Graubard. Selection from Peripheral Vision. 1979 – 2021. Digital c-print. 4 x 6 in. Image courtesy the artist and Office Baroque, Antwerp.
MoMA PS 1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens): Greater New York 2021 (October 7, 2021 – April 22, 2022)
Jennifer Packer, Say Her Name, 2017. Oil on canvas, 48 x 40 in. (121.9 x 101.6 cm). Private Collection. Courtesy the artist, Corvi-Mora, London and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York. Photograph by Matt Grubb. © Jennifer Packer. Image courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, and Corvi-Mora, London Jasper Johns, Map, 1961. Oil on canvas, 78 × 123 1/4 in. (198.1 × 313.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Scull 277.1963. © 2021 Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street): Martine Gutierrez (September 2021 – March 2022), Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror (September 29, 2021 – February 13, 2022), My Barbarian (October 29, 2021 – February 27, 2022), Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing (opens October 30, 2021), Whitney Biennial 2022 (April 5, 2022 – August 31, 2022)
The Smaller Museums
We happen to be big fans of the smaller museum: with a focused approach to their holdings and mission; innovative ways curators, exhibition designers, and research staff bring exhibitions to life; and educating visitors of all ages; visiting always makes for a memorable experience.
Photograph, E. McKnight Kauffer, ca. 1920; Photograph by Maud B. Davis; Gelatin silver print; 20.3 × 15.2 cm (8 × 6 in.); Simon Rendall Collection; Photo: Hugh Gilbert Drawing, Design for Metropolis by Fritz Lang, 1926; Brush and gouache; 74.9 × 43.2 cm (29 1/2 × 17 in.); The Museum of Modern Art, Given anonymously, 78.1961; Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY Poster, Soaring to Success! Daily Herald—the Early Bird, 1919; Designed by E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954); Lithograph; Published by Daily Herald (London, England); Printed by T. B. Lawrence Ltd. (London, England); Courtesy of William W. Crouse Poster, Power, The Nerve Centre of London’s Underground, 1930, printed 1931; Designed by E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954); Published by Transport for London (London, England); Printed by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son (London, England); Lithograph; 101.6 × 61.4 cm (40 × 24 3/16 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer, 1963-39-45; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Cooper Hewitt Design Center (91 st Street and Fifth Avenue): Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer (September 10, 2021 – April 10, 2022), Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics (December 10, 2021 – August 14, 2022). As an added bonus, the museum will have free admission until October 31, 2021.
The Drawing Center (35 Wooster Street): Ways of Seeing: Three Takes of the Jack Shear Drawing Collection (October 2, 2021 – February 20, 2022)
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 (75 th Street and Madison Avenue): Highlights from the permanent collection on view at the museum’s temporary home on Madison Avenue and 75 th 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.
International Center of Photography (79 Essex Street): A Trillion Sunsets: A Century of Image Overload (January 28 – May 2, 2022), Actual Size! Photography at Life Scale (January 28 – May 2, 2022), Southern Rites (March 31 – June 20, 2022)
The Jewish Museum (92 nd Street and Fifth Avenue): The Hare with Amber Eyes (November 19, 2021 – May 15, 2022
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98 – 1543) A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (Anne Lovell?) ca. 1526 – 28 Oil on panel 29 3/4 × 23 1/6 ×4 1/16 in. (75.5 × 58.5 10.3 cm) National Gallery, London, NG6540 © The National Gallery, London Brooks, Gwendolyn, 1917-2000, author. In the Mecca : poems /front cover and photographof Gwendolyn Brooks, PML 198679. Photo by Robin Carson, Courtesy of the
Woody Guthrie Archive.
Morgan Library and Museum (36 th Street and Madison Avenue): Gwendolyn Brooks: A Poet’s Work In Community (January 28 – June 5, 2022), Holbein: Capturing Character (February 11 – May 15, 2022), Woody Guthrie: People Are the Song (February 18 – May 22, 2022)
Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre Street): With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America (now through December 31, 2023)
Keith Haring (1958–1990)
Radiant Baby with AIDS Alligator, ca. 1984
Acrylic marker on enameled steel subway sign
Promised gift of Elie and Sarah Hirschfeld, Scenes of New York City
© Keith Haring Foundation Official portrait of United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg. Courtesy Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States. Columbanus Parent (17th century) and Antonius Chassé (17th century)
Octo libri Physicorum ad mentem D. Thomae; Commentarius in duos Aristotelis libros De generatione et corruptione; Tractatus in Metaphysicam Aristotelis; Commentarius in quatuor Aristotelis libros De coelo; Disputationes in tres libros Aristotelis De anima
Saint-Amand Abbey, France, 1664–65
Manuscript on paper
Courtesy of Martin J. Gross
New-York Historical Society (77 th Street and Central Park West): Scenes of New York City: The Elie and Sarah Hirschfeld Collection (October 22, 2021 – February 27, 2022), “Turn Every Page”: Inside the Robert A. Caro Archive (opens October 24, 2021)
One Sixth of the World, 1926, Alexander Rodchenko. The Ralph DeLuca Collection. Image courtesy of Poster House “The Pounded Cutlet, 1927, Vladimir Stenberg & Georgii Stenberg. The Ralph DeLuca Collection. Image courtesy of Poster House The Chicago Milwaukee & St Paul Railway Co., 1896, Ethel Reed. Collection of Thomas G. Boss. Image courtesy of Poster House Arabella and Araminta Stories, 1895, Ethel Reed. Collection of Thomas G. Boss. Image courtesy of Poster House
Poster House (23 rd Street between 6 th and 7 th Avenues): The Utopian Avant-Garde: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920s (February 25 – August 21), Ethel Reed: I Am My Own Property (February 24 – August 21, 2022), What’s the Score? The Posters of LeRoy Nieman (September 2, 2021 – March 27, 2022), Peter Max: Cosmic Advertising (October 14, 2021 – March 27, 2022), Behind the Camera: The Unknown Women of Hollywood (April 7 – October 9, 2022), Posters for the Tokyo Olympiad (April 7 – October 9, 2022)