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Things to do this week in NYC Dec 31-Jan 7: Museums

December 31, 2011 - by CG Directory Editor

Some of the world's most impressive museums and exhibits are in New York?including the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and (of course) the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the great things to do in NYC is to visit these spectacular collections. Whether you're a native New Yorker or here on vacation, NYC's museums have something new and interesting to offer everybody! Here is a list of what's going on this week at museums throughout New York City.

David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France: Drawings from the Louvre - Morgan Library & Museum
Through December 31, 2011 -

This exhibition features the first-ever U.S. showing of some of the finest French drawings from the Louvre, covering a period between 1789 and 1848 when France experienced tremendous political, social, and cultural upheaval.

Split Second - Indian Paintings - Brooklyn Museum
Through January 01, 2012 - Prospect Heights

Split Second invites the Brooklyn Museum's online community to participate in a project that will result in a small installation of Indian paintings from the Museum's permanent collection. Taking its inspiration from the critically acclaimed book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell, this online experiment and resulting installation will explore how our initial reaction to a work of art is affected by what we know, what we're asked, and what we're told about the object in question. Split Second begins with a three-part activity that explores the Museum's collection of Indian paintings; participation is open to anyone with an Internet connection. The first stage explores split-second reactions: in a timed trial, participants will be asked to select which painting they prefer from a randomly generated pair of images. Next, participants will be asked to write in their own words about a painting before rating its appeal on a scale. In the third phase, participants will be asked to rate a work of art after being given unlimited time to view it alongside a typical interpretive text. Each part of the exercise aims to examine how a different type of information—or a lack thereof—might affect a person's reaction to a work of art. Split Second culminates with an installation on the Museum's second floor, opening July 13, 2011. Visitors will be able to view a small selection of the paintings that generated the most controversial and dynamic responses during the evaluation process, accompanied by a visualization and analysis of the data collected. The Brooklyn Museum's collection of Indian paintings ranks among the top ten in the United States, representing the artistic traditions of many different regions, with examples dating from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth. Many of the works in this project have not been on view for several years, owing to their light sensitivity. The installation offers a rare opportunity to see these paintings in person and consider them in a new light. Split Second: Indian Paintings is organized by Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology, in consultation with Joan Cummins, Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator of Asian Art, Brooklyn Museum.

Maurizio Cattelan: All - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through January 01, 2012 - New York

This retrospective survey marks the first time that the entirety of Maurizio Cattelan's oeuvre will be assembled into a coherent exhibition narrative, with more than 130 works borrowed from private and public collections around the world, ranging from the late 1980s to the present.

The World's Largest Dinosaurs - American Museum of Natural History
Through January 02, 2012 - Upper West Side

A new exhibition that goes beyond traditional fossil shows to reveal how dinosaurs actually lived by taking visitors into the amazing anatomy of a uniquely super-sized group of dinosaurs: the long-necked and long-tailed sauropods, which ranged in size from 15 to 150 feet long. Drawing on the latest science that looks in part to existing organisms to understand these extinct giants, The World's Largest Dinosaurs will answer such intriguing questions as how an extremely large animal breathes, eats, moves, and survives by illuminating how size and scale are related to basic biological functions. Innovative interactive exhibits -- including the exhibition centerpiece, a life-sized, fleshed-out model of a 60-foot- long, 11-foot-tall female Mamenchisaurus, known for its remarkable, 30-foot neck -- will take visitors inside these giants' bodies, shedding light on how heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and reproduction are linked to size. An interactive excavation at the end of the exhibition will introduce visitors to how dinosaurs are discovered in the field through a replicated dig site.

194X–9/11: American Architects and the City - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through January 02, 2012 - New York

In 1942 -- shortly after the U.S. entered World War II -- Architectural Forum magazine commissioned a group of architects, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, to design projects for a hypothetical postwar American city, rethinking both urban community life and the relationship between architecture and urban planning. The aim was to project an optimistic postwar period of growth and prosperity to begin as soon as hostilities ended, in 194X -- soon, it was hoped. Over half a century later the country is once again engaged in global conflict and—in the wake of 9/11 and the ongoing financial crisis -- undergoing a major reconsideration of urban and suburban space. This year marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11, an event that ushered in a new era of architectural anticipation and uncertainty, and gave rise to a flurry of urban rebuilding projects, some of which are only finally seeing the light of day at Ground Zero. Drawn from MoMA's architectural holdings, this exhibition shows the work of a variety of architects who took on the urban scale in a spirit of recasting the form and daily experience of the city. In addition to Mies van der Rohe, featured architects include Louis Kahn, Paul Rudolph, Rem Koolhaas and OMA, and United Architects.

Romare Bearden (1911–1988): A Centennial Celebration - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through January 02, 2012 -

Romare Bearden's vibrant mural-size tableau The Block (1971) will be on view as part of a centennial celebration of the artist's birth. The Block, an eighteen-foot-long collage, celebrates the Harlem neighborhood in New York City that nurtured and inspired so much of the artist's life and work. Bearden's elaborate and colorful cut-paper collages elevated this genre to a major art form through its unusual materials, expressionist color, abstracted forms, flattened shapes and spaces, and shifts in perspective and scale—all the while maintaining focus on the human narrative being told within a single city block.

Stieglitz and His Artists - Matisse to O'Keeffe - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through January 02, 2012 -

This exhibition is the first large-scale presentation of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from Alfred Stieglitz's collection, acquired by the Metropolitan in 1949. In addition to being a master photographer, Stieglitz (1864-1946) was a visionary promoter of modern American and European art, and he assembled a vast art collection of exceptional breadth and depth. Through a succession of influential galleries that he ran in New York City between 1905 and 1946, Stieglitz exhibited many of the most important artists of the era, and he collected works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi, Gino Severini, Vasily Kandinsky, Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Charles Demuth, and Arthur Dove. For more than sixty years, The Alfred Stieglitz Collection has been the cornerstone of the Museum's holdings of modern American art. The exhibition will feature some two hundred major works by American and European modernists, supplemented by photographs by the Photo-Secessionists and publications by Stieglitz -- all from the Metropolitan's holdings. Highlights include Picasso's Woman Ironing and Standing Female Nude, Kandinsky's Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love), Brancusi's Sleeping Muse, O'Keeffe's Black Iris and Cow's Skull: Red, White, and Blue, Demuth's I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, and Hartley's Portrait of a German Officer.

The Ten Commandments - Discovery Times Square
Through January 02, 2012 - New York

For two weeks only, as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition, witness the oldest, best preserved parchment scroll of the Ten Commandments. Due to the highly sensitive parchment and the associated light restrictions, this is a one-time opportunity to view some of the most powerful words ever written.

Frogs: A Chorus of Colors - American Museum of Natural History
Through January 08, 2012 - Upper West Side

This delightful exhibition will introduce visitors to the colorful and richly diverse world of frogs. More than 200 live frogs, from tiny dart poison frogs (some less than an inch long) to the enormous African bullfrog (as big as eight inches in diameter) will be shown in their re-created habitats, complete with rock ledges, live plants, and waterfalls. Approximately 25 species native to Argentina, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Paraguay, Russia, Sumatra, the United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam, will be featured. The exhibition will explore the evolution and biology of these amphibians, their importance to ecosystems, and the threats they face in the world's changing environments. Interactive stations throughout the exhibition will invite visitors to activate recorded frog calls, view videos of frogs in action, and test their knowledge about frogs. Admission to the exhibition is $24 for adults, $14 for children, and $18 for seniors and students.

"Frogs: A Chorus of Colors" - American Museum of Natural History
Through January 08, 2012 - Upper West Side

More than 200 live frogs are shown in their re-created habitats from around the world. The exhibition explores the evolution and biology of these amphibians, their importance to ecosystems, and the threats they face in the world's changing environments. Interactive stations invite visitors to activate recorded frog calls, view videos of frogs in action, and test their knowledge about frogs.

El Museo's Bienal: The (S) Files 2011 - El Museo Del Barrio
Through January 08, 2012 - New York

El Museo's Bienal: The (S) Files 2011 is El Museo del Barrio's sixth biennial of the most innovative, cutting-edge art created by Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American artists currently working in the greater New York area. This year's edition spreads all over the city, showcasing a record 75 emerging artists in six different venues. Aiming to expand the definition of contemporary Latino and Latin American art, The (S) Files 2011 takes on a broad exploration of the visual energy, events, and aesthetics of the street. While considering the more conventional understandings of street art such as graffiti and mural painting, The (S) Files 2011 extends the definition of street art by also considering non-traditional art objects as well as works from other disciplines, including music and fashion. The (S) Files 2011 explores how the boundaries between public/private and personal/universal are blurred by urban culture, and examines the street as catalyst for change in mainstream culture. The exhibition looks at how these social borders mix and dissolve in urban environments, and how artists use these social alterations as points of creative departure. Among the themes developed in The (S) Files 2011 are the influence of early New York street art movements, text and urban styles, and the creation of art works from urban debris. The variety of issues addressed by the artists range from daily life situations, to social behaviors, to economic distress. In addition to its overall focus on New York-based artists, The (S) Files 2011 celebrates the Biennial of the Central American Isthmus (Bienal del Istmo Centroamericano) by showcasing the work of a group of artists featured in its most recent edition.

Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through January 08, 2012 -

The Museum continues a longstanding holiday tradition with the presentation of its Christmas tree, a favorite of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. A vivid eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene?embellished with a profuse array of diminutive, lifelike attendant figures and silk-robed angels hovering above -- adorns the candlelit spruce. Recorded music and lighting ceremonies add to the enjoyment of the holiday display.

A New York Hanukkah - New-York Historical Society
Through January 08, 2012 - New York

Hanukkah lamps, or Hannukiot, are candelabra characterized by nine candle branches and used in the ritual candle-lighting associated with the celebration of Hanukkah, the festival that commemorates the 165 B.C.E. liberation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah lamps were made up of eight oil wells or candle-holders, separated from a ninth traditionally used as a shamash, or server, to light the others. These lamps remain distinct from menorahs, which generally have seven candle branches and are not associated with a specific use or holiday. Hanukkah lamps were present in European synagogues by about the 13th century, and often designed in the form of menorahs or as standing table lamps.

It Happened Here: The Invention of Santa Claus - New-York Historical Society
Through January 08, 2012 - New York

To celebrate the winter season, the New-York Historical Society is presenting It Happened Here: The Invention of Santa Claus, an installation tracing the modern image of Santa Claus, the red-suited, pot-bellied descendant of the medieval bishop St. Nicholas of Myra, which emerged only decades after the first Congress met in 1788 in Federal Hall in New York. The exhibition features Robert Weir's 1837 painting of a rather sly St. Nicholas and Thomas Nast's Harper's Weekly cartoons of Santa. Clement Clarke Moore's desk is on display in the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.

de Kooning: A Retrospective - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through January 09, 2012 - New York

This is the first major museum exhibition devoted to the full scope of the career of Willem de Kooning, widely considered to be among the most important and prolific artists of the 20th century. The exhibition, which will only be seen at MoMA, presents an unparalleled opportunity to study the artist's development over nearly seven decades, beginning with his early academic works, made in Holland before he moved to the United States in 1926, and concluding with his final, sparely abstract paintings of the late 1980s. Bringing together nearly 200 works from public and private collections, the exhibition will occupy the Museum's entire sixth-floor gallery space, totaling approximately 17,000 square feet. Representing nearly every type of work de Kooning made, in both technique and subject matter, this retrospective includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints. Among these are the artist's most famous, landmark paintings—among them Pink Angels (1945), Excavation (1950), and the celebrated third Woman series (1950–53)—plus in-depth presentations of all his most important series, ranging from his figurative paintings of the early 1940s to the breakthrough black-and-white compositions of 1948–49, and from the urban abstractions of the mid 1950s to the artist's return to figuration in the 1960s, and the large gestural abstractions of the following decade. Also included is de Kooning's famous yet largely unseen theatrical backdrop, the 17-foot-square Labyrinth (1946).

Kandinsky's Painting With White Border - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through January 15, 2012 - New York

This focused exhibition, co-organized with the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., brings the Guggenheim's final version of the painting from May 1913 together with twelve related drawings and watercolors and one major oil sketch, and features the results of an extensive conservation study of the Guggenheim and Phillips paintings.

New Photography 2011 - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through January 16, 2012 - New York

This year, MoMA's annual New Photography series expands to feature the work of six artists, with the aim of capturing the diversity and international scope of contemporary photographic work. New Photography 2011: Moyra Davey, George Georgiou, Deana Lawson, Doug Rickard, Viviane Sassen, Zhang Dali includes the work of Davey (Canada), whose mailed-photograph grids feature the stamps, postmarks, and return addresses that have accreted on each photograph -- analog elements that are particularly unique in these digital times; Georgiou (England), who looks at modern-day Turkey as it seeks to hold on to its traditions and landscape amid the oncoming wave of Westernization and development; Lawson (U.S.), whose work showcases the African American experience, with a particular emphasis on the human figure and form, in powerfully intimate portraits of people from all walks of life; Rickard (U.S.), whose photographs document the blurred faces of people and crumbling American cities as captured by the Google Streetview lens, and explore issues of poverty, race, and privacy; Sassen (The Netherlands), who incorporates images of the people and places of the African continent in an attempt to recapture her surreal dreams and memories of growing up in Kenya; and Dali (China), who uses original source materials, including Chinese archives, books, and periodicals, to trace the lineage of propaganda made during Mao Tse Tung's Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. The artists in New Photography 2011 approach image-making from very different perspectives, making for a truly dynamic combination.

Lisbon's Hebrew Bible - Medieval Jewish Art in Context - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through January 16, 2012 -

The second in a series of installations that focus, one at a time, on masterworks of Hebrew manuscript illumination from a national or international collection. The display highlights Jewish artistic culture in the Middle Ages by presenting it alongside contemporary works of art, mostly created for Christians, from the Museum's own collection. This installment will feature the Cervera Bible, a designated National Treasure from the National Library of Portugal in Lisbon. The pages of this Hebrew Bible, one of the most splendid manuscripts of the Middle Ages, will be turned weekly, giving viewers the rare opportunity to see many of its beautiful illustrations.

The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through January 22, 2012 -

The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt was designed by Faith Ringgold and constructed in collaboration with New York City students ages eight through nineteen. The quilt poignantly conveys the importance of communication across cultures and religions to achieve the goal of peace. Comprised of three panels, each with twelve squares on the theme of peace, the quilt will be displayed alongside several original works of art that inspired its content. Faith Ringgold is well known for her story quilts: art that combines painting, quilted fabric, and storytelling. Her work has been exhibited in major museums around the world and can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, among others. In addition to writing and illustrating eleven children's books, she has been the recipient of more than seventy-five awards, fellowships, citations, and honors, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, and seventeen honorary doctorates. The quilt was commissioned by InterRelations Collaborative Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding through art among the increasingly diverse student populations in New York City and the tri-state area. The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with the InterRelations Collaborative, Inc.

Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties - Brooklyn Museum
Through January 29, 2012 - Prospect Heights

The exhibition Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties brings together for the first time the work of sixty-eight painters, sculptors, and photographers who explored a new mode of modern realism in the years bounded by the aftermath of the Great War and the onset of the Great Depression. Throughout the 1920s, artists created images of liberated modern bodies and the changing urban-industrial environment with an eye toward ideal form and ordered clarity -- qualities seemingly at odds with a riotous decade best remembered for its flappers and Fords.

Treasures of Islamic Manuscript Painting from the Morgan - Morgan Library & Museum
Through January 29, 2012 -

This exhibition presents important Islamic manuscripts, including an illustrated translation of the life of celebrated Persian poet, and beautifully written Qur'ans.

An Artist Remembers: Hanukkah Lamps Selected by Maurice Sendak - The Jewish Museum
Through January 29, 2012 -

For this exhibition, the museum invited renowned artist and illustrator Maurice Sendak to choose a group of Hanukkah lamps from the collection. Sendak's work is characterized by a push and pull between beauty and sorrow, light and darkness. His art is triggered by memories and is also their repository. The world he creates is both dangerous and healing, as he tries to deal with the trauma of the Holocaust, in which many members of his family perished. When going through the museum's collection, the sheer number and variety of lamps struck a nerve, underscoring Sendak's deep, lifelong sense of loss at the destruction of the prewar world of his Eastern European Jewish parents. Having movingly evoked that world in his drawings for Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories (1966) and In Grandpa's House (1985), he surprised himself by mostly avoiding its rich visual language when choosing lamps for this presentation. "I stayed away from everything elaborate. I kept looking for very plain, square ones, very severe looking," he explained. "Their very simplicity reminded me of the Holocaust. And I thought it was inappropriate for me to be thinking of elaboration." The lamps Sendak finds most compelling and poignant are those that "go right to the heart," whose "beauty is contained." Yet his sense of humor is never far from the surface: as he made his choices he often free-associated, whimsically recalling old movies and Catskills family vacations. Above all, he is guided by his sensibility as an artist and author. He is drawn to simplicity of line, to a design "subservient to the basic idea of the piece," and responds to the depth of emotion that emanates from a work itself or from the stories behind it. Concerned lest the past be forgotten, he hopes that young visitors to this exhibition will keep alive the memory of a vanished world.

The Making of a Collection - Islamic Art at the Metropolitan - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through February 05, 2012 -

The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the world. This could not have been achieved without the generosity of dedicated individuals who supported the Museum with gifts and bequests. This exhibition will be a chronological study of some of the Museum's major donor-collectors, whose gifts form the core of the collection of the Department of Islamic Art, illuminating the factors and motivations that inspired their collecting habits. Particular attention will be paid to the early collectors during the first decades of Islamic art collecting in America, a period when as much as fifty percent of the Department's collection was established. From the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the early 1930s, objects from the Islamic world were introduced to the American market as exotic treasures and gradually gained public recognition. The interest in travel to the Middle East that had earlier spawned a vast travel literature in Europe caught on in America as well. It was the time of the Orientalist movement. At international expositions, governments of the Near East erected pavilions in which imported objects and parts of buildings where shown and, afterward, sold to Americans. Oriental art dealers played a critical role: as tastemakers for Islamic art, they acted as intermediaries between governments, American collectors, and museums. Since then, the Metropolitan's collection has continued to grow and, as in the past, generous donors continue to support its acquisitions. Today, the collection comprises approximately twelve thousand objects, of which -- in conjunction with the reopening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia on November 1 -- twelve hundred will be on view.

Robert Burns and 'Auld Lang Syne' - Morgan Library & Museum
Through February 05, 2012 -

This highly focused exhibition explores the origins of a song that began as an old Scots poem and air and evolved into a globally shared expression of friendship and longing.

Museum as Hub: Due to Unforeseen Events... - New Museum of Contemporary Art
Through February 05, 2012 - New York

"Museum as Hub: Beirut Art Center: Due to unforeseen events…" is an exhibition by the Beirut Art Center that sets out to explore five incidents in which artworks produced in Beirut over the last thirty years were fundamentally altered in the process—and by the process—of being presented to the public. The cases under consideration here concern films, performances, sculptures, and installations by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Rabih Mroué, Tony Chakar, Saloua Raouda Choucair, and Ziad Abillama. For the Beirut Art Center's participation in the New Museum's Museum as Hub, five artists and one scholar have gathered clues, notes, documents, and descriptions to explain what happened to these works as they crossed a threshold from an artist's intentions to an audience's reception. In each case, something dramatic occurred, which unfixed the meaning of the piece, threatened its material integrity, and called into question the process by which a society and a state accords objects, actions, and interventions with the status of art. By revisiting these events, the exhibition not only reveals the complicated conditions under which art is made and shown in a place like Beirut, it also illustrates how even the most vexing moments of transformation—whether an artwork is altered by censorship, litigation, destruction, theft, or total social rejection—have the potential to open up new fields of inquiry and generate new work. To that end, "Due to unforeseen events…" includes photographs, videos, texts, a slideshow, and a mixed-media installation that were created specially for the exhibition to reflect on the curious afterlife of the original artworks. They consider what their subsequent alterations have to say about the semblance and substance of trust that exists between artists and the public, as well as between institutions and the communities they serve. In the Resource Center, Beirut Art Center will also present their Mediatheque, a digital archive that offers public access to works—including video, image, sound, and text—by a growing number of artists from Arab countries; Iran; Turkey; and Armenia. Over sixty artists are featured in the Mediatheque including Mounira Al Solh, Ayreen Anastas, Tarek Atoui, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Mona Hatoum, Emily Jacir, Hassan Khan, Rabih Mroue, Walid Raad, Wael Shawky, Rania Stephan, Rayyane Tabet, Jalal Toufic, Ala Younis, and Akram Zaatari, among others. The Mediatheque also includes select documentation of events that have taken place at Beirut Art Center since its opening. "Museum as Hub: Due to unforeseen events…" is organized by guest curators Sandra Dagher and Lamia Joreige for Beirut Art Center.

Work of Art - The Next Great Artist - Brooklyn Museum
Through February 05, 2012 -

This exhibition will spotlight the season two winner of Work of Art, Bravo's hour-long creative competition series among contemporary artists. The series, airing weekly beginning October 12, 2011, brings together fourteen aspiring artists competing for the final prize of a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum. In each episode, the contestants are faced with the challenge of creating unique pieces in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, collage, and industrial design. The panel judging their work includes series host China Chow; Bill Powers, a New York gallery owner and arts writer; and Jerry Saltz, art critic for New York magazine. Art auctioneer Simon de Pury serves as a mentor to the contestants, and a new guest judge joins the panel each week.

Pop Objects and Icons from the Guggenheim Collection - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through February 12, 2012 - New York

This focused exhibition demonstrates various artists' engagement with Pop art and the Guggenheim's ongoing interest in the legacy of the style.

Charles Dickens at 200 - Morgan Library & Museum
Through February 12, 2012 -

This exhibition explores the inspiration and creative energies of Charles Dickens, Britain's first literary superstar.

HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture - Brooklyn Museum
Through February 12, 2012 -

The first major museum exhibition to focus on themes of gender and sexuality in modern American portraiture, HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture brings together more than one hundred works in a wide range of media, including paintings, photographs, works on paper, film, and installation art. The exhibition charts the underdocumented role that sexual identity has played in the making of modern art, and highlights the contributions of gay and lesbian artists to American art. Beginning in the late nineteenth century with Thomas Eakins' Realist paintings, HIDE/SEEK traces the often coded narrative of sexual desire in art produced throughout the early modern period and up to the present. The exhibition features pieces by canonical figures in American art—including George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Alice Neel, and Berenice Abbott—along with works that openly assert gay and lesbian subjects in modern and contemporary art, by artists such as Jess Collins and Tee Corinne.

Gifted: Collectors and Drawings at MoMA, 1929-1983 - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through February 13, 2012 - New York

This exhibition examines the history of MoMA's drawings collection through key gifts from donors whose connections with the Museum helped shape the institution from its earliest days. Lillie P. Bliss and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, founders of MoMA, gave numerous masterworks to the new museum, including some of its most prized drawings. In later decades bequests by influential collectors such as James Thrall Soby continued to augment the holdings of works by artists the Museum had already shown a commitment to, while other collections, like that of Joan and Lester Avnet, were formed with MoMA's needs specifically in mind. More idiosyncratic collections, such as Ruth Vollmer's bequest to the Museum, accepted in 1983, reflect the life and activities of individual art enthusiasts during key moments in art history. Gifted is a reevaluation of the drawings collection, reflecting not only the richness of MoMA's holdings, but also the diverse forces that have shaped it and the corresponding history it represents.

Scenes from Zagreb: Artists' Publications of the New Art Practice - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through February 17, 2012 - New York

The New Art Practice was a term created for a generation of artists in the former Yugoslavia active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. These artists shifted their practice to spaces outside the traditional studio, onto city streets, into artist-run spaces, and in multimedia performances and experimental publications. Focusing on artists working in the city of Zagreb, this exhibition documents aspects of this shift and highlights the ability of artists' publications to record these often ephemeral gestures and ideas. While artists such as Goran Trbuljak, Braco Dimitrijevic, Sanja Ivekovic, Mladen Stilinovic, and Vlado Martek, among others, worked in a variety of mediums, they shared a common impulse to produce publications. These artists questioned and played with ideas about the place of an artist within this particular political and socioeconomic context. Their work often involved public participation and blurred traditional notions of authorship through collective activities, chance operations, and the appropriation of language and imagery from the state and commercial media. The materials in this installation resonate with other contemporaneous scenes in Eastern and Central Europe and with broader international trends, while also providing an insight into very local networks of experimental artists and writers in Zagreb.

Korean Eye: Energy and Matter - Museum of Arts & Design
Through February 19, 2012 -

Internationally-acclaimed exhibition Korean Eye: Energy and Matter, sponsored by Standard Chartered, shines a spotlight on new work by contemporary Korean artists. Korean Eye: Energy and Matter reflects a new era of diversity in Korean life, politics, and culture, and offers a unique opportunity for education and appreciation of Korea's rapidly developing art scene, which until recently has seen little global exposure. Korean Eye: Energy and Matter extends MAD's focus on materials and process in contemporary art and design by showcasing works of art in an astonishing range of materials, reflecting the ways in which Korean artists today are exploring techniques both traditional and innovative. Korean Eye: Energy and Matter offers an illuminating commentary on the philosophical and aesthetic conditions of modern Korean culture, from virtual reality and the pervasive influence of fantasy and pop culture to the dehumanization inherent in a post-industrial society. By turns ironic, satirical, and metaphorical, the exhibition includes photo-sculptures by Seung Hyo Jang; embroidery and acrylic paintings by Young In Hong; a large, imposing shark fabricated from reclaimed and repurposed automobile tires by Yong Ho Ji; and Meekyoung Shin's astonishing "antique" porcelain vases, rendered in soap.

Projects 96: Haris Epaminonda - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through February 20, 2012 - New York

Berlin-based artist Haris Epaminonda (b. 1980, Nicosia, Cyprus) is internationally known for her photographic assemblages constructed from books and magazines of the 1950s and 1960s, and for her video installations, in which film and television footage culled from Greek soap operas, are reshot or re-edited in new sequences with a single soundtrack that provides an acoustic link. This exhibition presents Epaminonda's three-channel video installation Tarahi IIII, V, VI (2007), part of an ongoing series that enlists the use of reverse shooting, montage, cuts, superimposition, and repetition of motifs to address the permeability of memory. Favoring a slowed-down, filmic flow and the lush colors one associates with the saturated hues of Douglas Sirk's melodramas, these enigmatic videos are presented in a new installation involving sculptural and architectural structures—columns, pedestals, drapery, and niches—specifically conceived for the space at MoMA. The exhibition marks the 40th anniversary of the Projects series, which has played a critical part in the Museum's contemporary art programs.

Jim Henson's Fantastic World - Museum of the Moving Image
Through March 04, 2012 -

The exhibition features more than 120 artifacts, including drawings, storyboards, and props, and video material that illustrate Henson's boundless creativity and innumerable accomplishments. A special addition to the exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image is a puppet of Miss Piggy from The Muppets Take Manhattan. Among other highlights are fourteen additional iconic original puppets of such characters as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Bert, and Ernie; photographs of Henson and his collaborators at work; and excerpts from Henson's early projects and experimental films. The exhibition spans Henson's entire career, beginning with drawings, cartoons, and posters produced during his college years in the late 1950s and concluding with objects related to the inspired imaginary worlds of his popular fantasy film The Dark Crystal (1982). Visitors will encounter materials from Henson's best-known projects, The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie and its sequels, and Fraggle Rock, as well as objects related to his Sesame Street characters. Visitors will also learn about Sam and Friends, an early show Henson created in the 1950s, Henson's television commercial work in the 1960s, and the segments Henson made for The Ed Sullivan Show.

Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through March 04, 2012 -

The exhibition explores caricature and satire in its many forms from the Italian Renaissance to the present, drawn primarily from the rich collection of this material in the Museum's Department of Drawings and Prints. The show includes drawings and prints by Leonardo da Vinci, Eugene Delacroix, Francisco de Goya, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Enrique Chagoya alongside works by artists more often associated with humor, such as James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, Honore Daumier, Al Hirschfeld, and David Levine. Many of these engaging caricatures and satires have never been exhibited and are little known except to specialists.

The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through March 18, 2012 -

It has been said that the Renaissance witnessed the rediscovery of the individual. In keeping with this notion, early Renaissance Italy also hosted the first great age of portraiture in Europe. Portraiture assumed a new importance, whether it was to record the features of a family member for future generations, celebrate a prince or warrior, extol the beauty of a woman, or make possible the exchange of a likeness among friends. This exhibition will bring together approximately 160 works—by artists including Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, Pisanello, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, and Antonello da Messina, and in media ranging from painting and manuscript illumination to marble sculpture and bronze medals, testifying to the new vogue for and uses of portraiture in fifteenth-century Italy. During the early Renaissance, artists working in Florence, Venice, and the courts of Italy created magnificent portrayals of the people around them—from heads of state and church to patrons, scholars, poets, and artists—concentrating for the first time on producing recognizable likenesses and expressions of personality. The rapid development of portraiture was linked closely to Renaissance society and politics, ideals of the individual, and concepts of beauty. The object may have been to commemorate a significant event—a marriage, death, the accession to a position of power—or it may have been to record the features of an esteemed member of the family for future generations. Featuring many rare international loans, this exhibition will present an unprecedented survey of the period and provide new research and insight into the early history of portraiture. It will be divided into three sections and will span a period of eight decades. Beginning in Florence, where independent portraits first appeared in abundance, it moves to the courts of Ferrara, Mantua, Bologna, Milan, Urbino, Naples and papal Rome, and ends in Venice, where a tradition of portraiture asserted itself surprisingly late in the century.

Police Work: Photographs by Leonard Freed, 1972-1979 - Museum of the City of New York
Through March 18, 2012 -

Police Work: Photographs by Leonard Freed, 1972-1979 features a selection of vintage prints by the Brooklyn-born photographer who documented "life on the beat" with NYPD officers during the tumultuous 1970s. During a time when New York City faced near bankruptcy and was internationally notorious for its high crime rates and social disorder, Freed's photographs reveal the complexity, the harshness, and the camaraderie of the city's public safety servants and the people they protected. Highlighting a recent gift to the Museum of the City of New York by his widow Bridgette Freed, the exhibition is a gritty, realistic portrait of ordinary people doing a "sometimes boring, sometimes corrupting, sometimes dangerous and ugly and unhealthy job."

Sanja Ivekovic: Sweet Violence - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through March 26, 2012 - New York

The first museum exhibition in the United States of the work of Sanja Ivekovic (b. 1949, Zagreb) covers four decades of the artist's remarkable career. A feminist, activist, and video pioneer, Ivekovic came of age in the post-1968 period, when artists broke free from mainstream institutional settings, laying the ground for a form of praxis antipodal to official art. Part of the generation known as the Nova Umjetnicka Praksa (New Art Practice), Ivekovic produced works of cross-cultural resonance that range from conceptual photomontages to video and performance. This exhibition brings together a historic group of single-channel videos and media installations, including Sweet Violence (1974), Personal Cuts (1982), Practice Makes a Master (1982/2009), General Alert (Soap Opera) (1995), and Rohrbach Living Memorial (2005). Among the 100 photomontages featured in the exhibition is Ivekovic's celebrated series Double Life (1975-76), for which the artist juxtaposed pictures of herself culled from her private albums with commercial ads clipped from the pages of women's magazines. While in the 1970s Ivekovic probed the persuasive qualities of mass media and its identity-forging potential, after 1990--following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the birth of a new nation--she focused on the transformation of reality from socialist to post-socialist political systems. Ivekovic offers a fascinating view into the official politics of power, gender roles, and the paradoxes inherent in society's collective memory. The exhibition will be accompanied by a major publication.

Remembering 9/11 - New-York Historical Society
Through April 01, 2012 - Upper West Side

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11, the New-York Historical Society will present a special exhibition, Remembering 9/11, which will be free to the public. The exhibition opens on September 8, 2011 and will remain on view through April 1, 2012. The exhibition presents a selection of several hundred photographs taken by professional and amateur photographers in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center (originally collected in the independent exhibition "here is new york: a democracy of photographs"), as well as letters written to policemen and firemen; objects that were placed in makeshift shrines around New York; images and texts from the New York Times "Portraits of Grief" series; photographs of the Tribute in Light; and drawings of the National September 11 Memorial, designed by architect Michael Arad with the assistance of landscape architect Peter Walker.

The Ronald S. Lauder Collection: Selections from the 3rd Century BC to the 20th Century/Germany, Austria, and France - Neue Galerie
Through April 02, 2012 - New York

Devoted to the extraordinary collection of Neue Galerie co-founder Ronald Lauder, the show will provide a rare glimpse into one of the finest private art collections in the world. The Ronald S. Lauder collection encompasses a broad range of masterworks. The exhibition will focus on six areas: medieval art, arms and armor, Old Master paintings, 19th- and 20th-century drawings, fine and decorative art of Vienna 1900, and modern and contemporary art. Among the artists represented are Joseph Beuys, Constantin Brancusi, Paul Cézanne, Vasily Kandinsky, Anselm Kiefer, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Gerhard Richter.

White Gold: Highlights from the Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain - Frick Collection
Through April 29, 2012 - New York

The Portico Gallery for Decorative Arts and Sculpture opens in late December with an inaugural exhibition of works drawn from Henry Arnhold's promised gift of 131 examples of Meissen porcelain from the early years of this Royal Manufactory's production. On view through April 29, 2012, White Gold: Highlights from the Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain will feature approximately seventy of these objects, presented along with a group of eighteenth-century sculptures by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1740–1828). Among the latter works is the full-length terracotta Diana the Huntress, a signature work at the Frick that returns to view having been recently cleaned and treated. It finds a permanent home in the new portico gallery, while the ongoing display of other sculptures and ceramics will rotate periodically.

Storytelling in Japanese Art - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 06, 2012 -

Japan has enjoyed a long tradition of narrative painting, one that continues even today with the popular contemporary Japanese cartoon (manga) and animation. This exhibition will offer particularly stellar examples of illustrated Japanese narrative works from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century. Drawn from some of the foremost American collections as well as the Museum's own holdings, it will be the first exhibition devoted to this subject in the United States in more than twenty-five years. It will feature more than sixty-five exquisitely executed paintings in various formats: handscroll (emaki), album, book, hanging scroll, screen, and playing cards.

Duncan Phyfe - Master Cabinetmaker in New York - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 06, 2012 -

n the early 1800s, furniture from the workshop of New York City cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe (1770–1854) was in such demand that he was referred to as the "United States Rage." This exhibition—the first retrospective on Phyfe in ninety years—will serve to re-introduce this artistic and influential master cabinetmaker to a contemporary audience. The full chronological sweep of Phyfe's distinguished career will be featured, including examples of his best-known furniture based on the English Regency designs of Thomas Sheraton, work from the middle and later stages of his career when he adopted the richer "archaeological" antique style of the 1820s, and a highly refined, plain Grecian style based on French Restauration prototypes. The exhibition brings together nearly one hundred works from private and public collections throughout the United States. Highlights of the exhibition include some never-before-seen documented masterpieces and furniture descended directly in the Phyfe family, as well as the cabinetmaker's own tool chest. Organized chronologically, the exhibition will present the cabinetmaker's life and work through drawings, documents, personal possession, and furniture. Portraits of his clients and contemporary depictions of New York City street scenes and domestic interiors will provide a glimpse into Phyfe's milieu.

Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through May 14, 2012 - New York

Diego Rivera was the subject of MoMA's second monographic exhibition (the first was Henri Matisse), which set new attendance records in its five-week run from December 22, 1931, to January 27, 1932. MoMA brought Rivera to New York six weeks before the exhibition's opening and gave him studio space within the Museum, a strategy intended to solve the problem of how to present the work of this famous muralist when murals were by definition made and fixed on site. Working around the clock with two assistants, Rivera produced five "portable murals"—large blocks of frescoed plaster, slaked lime, and wood that feature bold images drawn from Mexican subject matter and address themes of revolution and class inequity. After the opening, to great publicity, Rivera added three more murals, now taking on New York subjects through monumental images of the urban working class and the social stratification of the city during the Great Depression. All eight were on display for the rest of the show's run. The first of these panels, Agrarian Leader Zapata, is an icon in the Museum's collection. This exhibition will bring together key works made for Rivera's 1931 exhibition, presenting them at MoMA for the first time in nearly 80 years. Along with mural panels, the show will include full-scale drawings, smaller working drawings, archival materials related to the commission and production of these works, and designs for Rivera's famous Rockefeller Center mural, which he also produced while he was working at the Museum. Focused specifically on works created during the artist's stay in New York, this exhibition will draw a succinct portrait of Rivera as a highly cosmopolitan figure who moved between Russia, Mexico, and the United States, and will offer a fresh look at the intersection of art making and radical politics in the 1930s. MoMA will be the exhibition's sole venue.

The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter! - American Museum of Natural History
Through May 28, 2012 - Upper West Side

The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter!, a perennial favorite visited by millions of children and adults, returns to the American Museum of Natural History. This popular winter attraction invites visitors to mingle with up to 500 iridescent butterflies fluttering among blooming tropical flowers and lush green vegetation inside a free-standing, balmy, 1,200-square-foot enclosure.

The Coe Collection of American Indian Art - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 28, 2012 -

Drawn from works given and bequeathed to the Metropolitan during the past decade by Ralph T. Coe of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the exhibition will be comprised of some thirty objects made in natural materials from stone to animal hide. It will feature a wide range of Native American works that come from different times, different places, and numerous distinct peoples. The oldest pieces in the Coe Collection date to some thousands of years B.C.E. The major part of the collection dates from the nineteenth to early twentieth century, a period of great contact between Native Americans and outsiders of all sorts, from traders to missionaries to the U.S. army. The peoples of the Great Plains are prominent during this time, and objects such as the impressive, personalized hide shirts of important Indian men have come to identify American Indians in the public mind. Representing contemporary work, an imposing sculpture of a Noble Woman by the Northwest Coast Haida artist Robert Davidson, dated to 2001, will be on view—the product of a long, deeply felt tradition for the carving of wood.

Hero, Villian, Yeti - The Rubin Museum
Through June 11, 2012 - New York

Comic book storylines have drawn on Tibet's cultural and religious traditions for more than sixty years, mixing reality with myths and long-held stereotypes. Featuring more than fifty comic books from around the world, Hero, Villain, Yeti sheds light on global perceptions of Tibet as reflected in and informed by these diverse narratives.

Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration - American Museum of Natural History
Through August 12, 2012 - Upper West Side

Beyond Planet Earth launches visitors into the exciting future of space exploration as it boldly speculates on humanity's next steps in our solar system and beyond. The exhibition features a full-sized re-creation of a lunar habitat, a model of an elevator reaching up into space, a walk-through diorama of the Martian surface, and challenging interactive simulations. See authentic equipment and models of historic spacecraft from select voyages in the past. Learn about robotic missions that are currently headed deeper and deeper into our own solar system, and what they might reveal. Understand why geologists are so interested in specimens from moons and other planets and what we can learn from them. And explore some possible spectacular missions of the future: mining the Moon, landing on and deflecting a potentially deadly asteroid, or traveling to Mars - and perhaps even establishing colonies there. Is it possible within our lifetime? Will we discover evidence of life, past or present, on another planet? Find out what experts think the future will hold for us beyond planet Earth. Gallery 3, third floor

Contemporary Art from the Collection - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through February 17, 2014 - New York

Reinstalled to continue the historical sequence found on MoMA's fifth (1880-1940) and fourth (1940-1980) floors, the galleries on the second floor will begin with art of the early 1980s and extend to the present moment, interweaving works in all mediums. Individual galleries will focus on particular topics, ranging from specific locales that nourished influential groups of artists to key strategies shared by diverse practitioners of the same generation. Others will display a single significant installation or artist's project. Like the fifth- and fourth-floor galleries, the second-floor galleries will be periodically reinstalled to reflect the depth and richness of the Museum's collection, and to allow for varying approaches to the wide variety of art produced during the last 30 years. Featured artists include Ashley Bickerton, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Keith Haring, Martin Kippenberger, Steve McQueen, Senga Nengudi, Doris Salcedo, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Rosemarie Trockel.

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