The museum shows you need to see in NYC this spring
From a Norman Rockwell retrospective to an augmented reality show in Times Square, here are the Spring 2018 exhibits to get excited about.
From exploring the impact of one of the greatest American painters to highlighting the work of an often overlooked feminist artist, New York City’s museums are kicking off the season of renewal with something for everyone.
Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence
There’s no better way to celebrate spring than by exploring the beauty of French parks and gardens. Paris’ bountiful public gardens have long served as social hubs, with artists also finding inspiration in the scenery around them throughout the 19th century as the Impressionist and Naturalist movements began to emerge. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence will feature over 150 works by 70 artists, including Henri Matisse, these images also nod to the Met’s own setting of Central Park. March 12-July 9, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., metmuseum.org
What does it mean to be human? That’s question explored at the Museum of Modern Art’s photography show Being. Using images taken from around the world, Being asks visitors to explore the definition of human rights and responsibilities, while also considering the threats to both of those things globally. The exhibition is part of MoMA’s renowned New Photography series, which highlights artists who have never been exhibited in the museum before, including emerging names like Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Yazan Khalili. March 18-Aug. 19, 11 W. 53rd St., moma.org
Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms
There’s probably no American artist more closely associated with World War II than Norman Rockwell, whose paintings of everyday life in the United States continue to resonate more than seven decades later. In an expansive exhibition, Rockwell, Roosevelt & The Four Freedoms, the New-York Historical Society highlights the paintings he created depicting FDR’s reasoning for entering the war: defending the American ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Visitors can also explore the political and socioeconomic themes of the era. Art lovers should also embrace the chance to see legendary Rockwell works like the original Rosie the Riveter painting and “The Problem We All Live With,” the 1963 work which depicts 6-year-old Ruby Bridges desegregating her New Orleans elementary school. May 25-Sept. 2, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org
For nearly a century, Miriam Schapiro was a groundbreaking feminist artist, particularly in the Pattern and Decoration movement. Though she died in 2015 at the age of 91, the curators at the Museum of Arts and Design say her contributions to the contemporary art world have never been properly acknowledged. Surface/Depth aims to change that through its in-depth exploration of Schapiro’s work — particularly the creations she called “femmages,” a combination of painting, collage and other domestic arts and craft forms that have been traditionally marginalized for being largely the realm of female artisans. Her estate also contributed several pieces, and the show includes works by other progressive contemporary artists as well. March 22-Sept. 9, 2 Columbus Circle, madmuseum.org
Mel Chin: All Over The Place
The Queens Museum’s Mel Chin: All Over The Place will be true to its name, with the main exhibit being supplemented by an augmented reality show in the sky over Times Square and a yet-to-be-announced piece inside the Broadway-Lafayette subway station. Co-produced with No Longer Empty, the exhibit will take on environmental issues, injustice and economic inequality, major themes in the conceptual artist's over the past 40 years. Among the new works commissioned is Flint Fit, which transforms water bottles from Flint, Michigan, into thread and fabric that designer Tracy Reese (a Michigan native) will use to create a new clothing line to be produced by a female sewing collective in Flint. April 8-Aug. 12, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, queensmuseum.org
The Senses: Design Beyond Vision
Design has always been about more than color or form — texture, smell, and range of functionality have as much a part to play in an object’s appeal. The modern world is also becoming a more accessible place for the differently abled, offering a whole new challenge for designers. The Senses: Design Beyond Vision at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum does just what it says: Visitors will walk through interactive installations and handle products that “enhance life for all.” April 13-Oct. 28, 2 E. 91st St., cooperhewitt.org