With the holiday season upon us, you may be scrambling to take the last of your vacation days that you’ve put off all year, or hosting a number of out-of-town guests, or simply in need of a respite from the holiday hub-bub. Whatever the case, immersing yourself in an art exhibit is a great way to resolve the unique challenges presented by any of the above.
New York is never short on exhibits worth at least a couple of hours of your time, and now is no exception. Plan your museum itinerary for the holiday season – and the post-holiday hangover – with this guide to eight must-see shows closing between now and the end of January.
Navigation Tip: The exhibition title links directly to the exhibit Web site; the museum name links to the home page of the institution's Web site. All links will open in a new window.
Full House: Views of the Whitney's Collection at 75
Closing on December 31
Marking its 75th anniversary, the Whitney has devoted its entire fifth floor to works by Edward Hopper, drawn both from its extensive holdings (the world’s largest Hopper collection) as well as loans from other institutions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago’s Nighthawks (1942) and MoMA’s New York Movie (1939). Included alongside his paintings are many of Hopper’s preparatory sketches and drawings. Originally scheduled to close on December 3, the exhibit has been extended through the holidays.
NOTE: The other sections of the Whitney’s larger Full House exhibit, which featured selections from its entire collection, have already closed. If you don’t care for Hopper, check out Picasso and American Art, which examines Picasso’s influence on American artists by juxtaposing his works with those of Max Weber, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, John Graham, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, David Smith, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns. It runs through January 28.
The Whitney Museum of American Art: 945 Madison Ave. (@ 75th St.); 800-944-8639.
Hours: Weds.-Thurs., Sat.-Sun., 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Fri., 1:00-9:00 p.m.; Closed Mondays.
Admission: Adults: $15; Seniors & students, $10; NYC public high school students, children under 12 & members, free. Admission is pay-what-you-wish Fridays, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Willing to Be Lucky: Ambitious New Yorkers in the Pages of LOOK Magazine
Closing on January 3, 2007
The title for this exhibit of 1940s and ‘50s photography was cleverly excerpted from E.B. White’s classic essay Here is New York, in which he wrote: “No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.” The New Yorkers featured in the 100-plus images here are dancers, boxers, showgirls, artists – some celebs and some just plain folk, but all “just offbeat enough” to end up in one of the most influential pictorial magazines in the 20th century – and some lucky enough to be photographed by Stanley Kubrick, who launched his career with LOOK. Special events in association with this exhibit include a guided tour with co-curators Donald Albrecht and Thomas Mellins followed by a screening of the early Kubrick film Killer’s Kiss (Sunday, Dec. 3, 2:00 p.m.) and a screening of the 1945 film The Stork Club, which stars Betty Hutton as a hat-check girl lucky enough to get rich working in the famed New York nightclub (Sunday, Dec. 10, 2:00 p.m.); both are free with museum admission.
Museum of the City of New York: 1220 Fifth Ave. (@ 103rd St.); 212-534-1672.
Hours: Tues.-Sun., 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Closed Mondays except holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.
Admission: Adults, $9; Seniors & students, $5; Families, $20 (max. 2 adults); Children (12 and under) & members, free. Admission is free Sundays, 10:00 am-12:00 p.m.
Closing on January 7, 2007
You won’t look at “nature photography” the same way again after this exhibit of images by 39 international artists who “boldly examine new concepts of the natural sphere,” reflecting “new perspectives on the planet that sustains, enchants, and – increasingly – frightens us.”
International Center of Photography (ICP): 1133 Sixth Ave. (@ 43rd St.); 212-857-0000.
Hours: Tues.-Thurs., Sat.-Sun., 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Fri., 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Closed Mondays.
Admission: Adults, $10; Seniors & students, $7; Members, Free.
Defamation of Character
Closing on January 8, 2007
How apt, with all the hoopla surrounding the “TomKat” marriage (did I say that out loud?), the Britney divorce and, worst of all, the now canceled, thank the gods, O.J. interview and book, is this exhibit of “post-punk” work that “explores the relationships between face and fame, notoriety, disclosure, and erasure.” While some of the 30 international artists represented here “mine popular culture to produce scathing or defamatory indictments of consumer mores,” others bring their art to bear on “the moral corruptions of public and political acts,” and some “practice detournement – using elements of well-known media to create new work with a different or opposing message – to elevate injury and injustice into the realm of high art.”
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center: 22-25 Jackson Ave. (@ 46th Ave.), Long Island City, Queens; 718-784-2084.
Hours: Thurs.-Mon., 12:00-6:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
Admission: Adults, $5; Seniors & Students, $2; MoMA members & MoMA ticket holders, free. Fees are suggested donation.
Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990–2005
Closing on January 21, 2007
Together with Willing to Be Lucky and Defamation of Character, the celebrity photography of Annie Leibowitz on display here form a trifecta of sorts for those interested in images of popular culture. But this exhibit of 200 images goes beyond Leibowitz’s well known and witty photos of the famous; it also includes personal photographs of friends and family, documentary photos from Sarajevo in the early ‘90s and landscapes of the American West and the Jordanian desert, broadening our perspective of Leibowitz’s body of work.
The Brooklyn Museum: 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn; 718-638-5000.
Hours: Weds.-Fri., 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (11.a.m.-11 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month). Closed Mondays and Tuesdays; also closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Admission: Adults, $8; Seniors & Students (with valid ID), $4; Children under 12 & members, free. Fees are suggested donation.
Americans in Paris
Closing on January 28, 2007
American artists flocked to Paris “by the hundreds” in the late 19th century, when it had emerged as the world’s new art capital. The City of Light, notes this exhibition’s Web site, “inspired decisive changes in American painters’ styles and subjects,” which can be seen in this landmark exhibit of 100 paintings by 37 artists, including James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer. The Met will also host a special symposium, “Americans in Paris, 1860–1900,” on Thursday, Nov. 30, and a special related “Sunday at the Met” program on Dec. 3. Both are free with museum admission; for details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1000 Fifth Ave. (@ 82nd St.); 212-535-7710.
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. & Sun., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Closed Mondays.
Admission: Adults, $15; Seniors, $10; Students, $7; Children (under 12) & members, free.
Masters of American Comics
Superheroes: Good and Evil in American Comics
Closing on January 28, 2007
These two concurrent exhibits survey the American landscape in the 20th century through the comics. While Masters of American Comics, featuring work by R. Crumb, Chris Ware and others, explores the evolution of comic book art style from 1950 to the present, Superheroes delves into the themes that characterized the “Golden Age” of comics (1938-1950), featuring work by 15 Jewish comic book artists who created such iconic characters as Superman (Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel) and Batman (Bob Kane and Bill Finger ). “With the creation of superheroes and super villains,” the exhibit Web site explains, “these artists and writers not only reflected their own experience as immigrants—frequently Jewish immigrants from European countries—but explored the very real battles of good and evil that were being fought internationally during WWII. …
These powerful figures came to secure truth and justice the American way—forging an Americanness that was extremely important for many of these immigrant children and immigrant artists.”
The Jewish Museum: 1109 Fifth Ave. (@ 92nd St.); 212-423-3200.
Hours: Sat.-Weds., 11:00 a.m.-5:45 p.m.; Thurs., 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Closed Fridays.
Admission: Adults, $12; Seniors, $10; Students, $7.50; Children under 12 & members, free. Admission is free on Saturdays.
Manet and the Execution of Maximilian
Closing on January 29, 2007
When a Mexican firing squad shot France's Emperor Maximilian to death in 1867, Édouard Manet began working on a series of paintings that would culminate with his landmark painting The Execution of Emperor Maximilian. This exhibit brings together, for the first time in the United States, several of these works and additional pieces that “examine the evolution from one painting to the next, which was fueled by a steady stream of written and graphic accounts of the event.”
Museum of Modern Art: 11 West 53rd St. (between Fifth & Sixth Aves.); 212-708-9400.
Hours: Mon., Weds.-Thurs., Sat.-Sun., 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fri., 10:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Closed Tuesdays.
Admission: Adults, $20; Seniors, $16; Students, $12; Children (16 & under) & members, free.