Winter Break Checklist: 10 Don’t-Miss Exhibitions in NYC
December 19, 2017 by Ora Xu and Michelle Mackin
Hanging black rope structure with shape like dragon or snake.

SVA may be closing on Thursday, December 21, until the new year, but an abundance of art and photography exhibitions in New York City will still be open for your viewing pleasure (but make sure to call ahead or check museum websites for holiday hours). Here’s a roundup of must-see shows to help get you off the couch and exploring the five boroughs, all while keeping your creative juices flowing.

Letting it all hang
Installation view of “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo: David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2017

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue
Through Sunday, January 7
The year 1989 marked the beginning of dramatic political and economic changes in China. Artists of that time created works that reflected the transformation of society using unconventional approaches. This exhibition includes works that cover a wide range of concepts and mediums that introduced a more comprehensive image of Chinese contemporary art to the public.

Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center
Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Queens
Through Sunday, January 28
This exhibition features a selection of works made by Isamu Noguchi between 1941, the year before he entered the Poston War Relocation Center, and 1944, one year after he returned to New York. From the collection, viewers can sense a transition in emotion related to the long-lasting impact of his experience as a wartime internee.

Spiralling to man
David Attie, Truman Capote Inside 70 Willow Street, Brooklyn Heights, original print. From “Truman Capote’s Brooklyn: The Lost Photographs of David Attie,” Brooklyn Historical Society.

Truman Capote’s Brooklyn: The Lost Photographs of David Attie
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn
Through Sunday, January 28
An exhibition of “largely unseen” photographs taken in 1958 by David Attie to illustrate Truman Capote’s essay for Holiday magazine about his life in Brooklyn Heights. The famed writer lived nearby on Willow Street for a decade.

Audubon’s Birds of America Focus Gallery
New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, 170 Central Park West
Open indefinitely
This exhibition highlights naturalist James John Audubon’s creative process and his contributions to ornithological illustration in the 19th century, namely his watercolor models for The Birds of America plates. The museum also displays works from its “world’s largest repository of Auduboniana” and completes the experience by playing the sounds of various bird calls.

A building with multiple levels and large windows.

Photo: Filip Wolak for the Rubin Museum of Art.

The World Is Sound
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street
Through Monday, January 8
In this exhibition, the museum space is converted into “an instrument of transformation.” In placing its collection of Tibetan Buddhist art in a space with site-specific works by contemporary sound artists, the exhibition explores how sound affects the way viewers think about the art collections.

Staten Island in Movement
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
Through Sunday, December 31
In this exhibition, professional dancer and choreographer Rosita Roldan uses photography to capture the beauty of dance in Staten Island.

the city

Image courtesy Queens Museum. Photo: Hai Zhang.

Never Built New York
Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Through Sunday, February 18
New York City is one of the world’s iconic metropolises. But despite all of its architectural landmarks, there are many ambitions and ideas for the city that were never achieved. Explore the various New Yorks that could have been through prints, drawings, models and animations.

Treasures from the Vault
The Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue
Through Sunday, March 11
The ongoing exhibition series features cherished manuscripts, books and letters—including a letter from Jane Austen to her young niece, in which every word is spelled backward, Franz Schubert’s manuscript of Der Winterabend, George Washington’s 1789 national Thanksgiving proclamation, and a selection of letters written by and addressed to Alexander Hamilton and his family.

a woman doing hair
Chuck Fishman, Burlesque artist Anna Ciszewska (Betty Q), 28, backstage with her mother, Joanna. Anna’s Jewish roots are through her mother’s father. She went to Israel at 19 with Taglit (Birthright) and also worked for a Jewish agency. Warsaw, June 2014. © Chuck Fishman

Chuck Fishman: Roots, Resilience and Renewal—A Portrait of Polish Jews, 1975 – 2016
Derfner Judaica Museum, 5901 Palisade Avenue, Bronx
Through Sunday, January 7
This exhibition includes black-and-white photographs taken by Chuck Fishman over 40 years of trips to Poland, during which he documented Jewish life and culture and how, more recently, younger generations are rediscovering what it means to be Jewish.

Various exhibitions
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens
Through various exhibitions and installations, learn more about the history, development and influences of the moving image. Be sure to check out the ongoing “Jim Henson” exhibition and “GIF Elevator” installation, as well as the “Video Arcade” show, which is open through Sunday, January 28.