2022 Late Winter 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.

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 (88th 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 (2005.92 ). Image © Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (81st 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)

MoMA (53rd Street between 5th and 6th 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)

MoMA PS 1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens): Greater New York 2021 (October 7, 2021 – April 22, 2022)

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.

Cooper Hewitt Design Center (91st 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 (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.

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 (92nd Street and Fifth Avenue): The Hare with Amber Eyes (November 19, 2021 – May 15, 2022

Morgan Library and Museum (36th 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)

New-York Historical Society (77th 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)

Poster House (23rd Street between 6th and 7th 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)