There's always something exciting opening (& closing) in NYC. Don't miss these must-see temporary museum exhibits & pop-ups!

Also see our guides to NYC museums (which have spectacular permanent collections and host fun family programs), all the public art and gallery-heavy Chelsea/Meatpacking.

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Closing Soon

The Nature of Color

American Museum of Natural History
Closes Dec 5

Explore five gorgeous, immersive rooms that dive into the science behind light, the cultural significance of certain hues and the emotions color can evoke. Experiment with light, explore how colors make you feel, discover how animals use color and find out how objects can produce colors in many different ways. Fascinating for all ages. At…

Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage & Screen

Showstoppers! NYC
Closes Dec 5

Enter an immersive maze featuring more than 100 of theater’s most beautiful and complex garments from shows like The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and many more (plus some Storm Troopers).  See up close the detail and craftsmanship typically only seen far away on stage or screen. Costume makers and experts will be on-site…

KAWS: Spoke Too Soon

Closes Dec 11

See an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by street artist KAWS. Facing formidable challenges, his versions on characters like Elmo and Mickey Mouse inhabit harsh, claustrophobic landscapes. A prostrate and dispirited new figure is flattened by the sheer weight of its exhaustive surroundings in a lifesize sculpture.

Make timed reservations online. Reservations are released…


Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Closes Dec 12

See classic cars, car parts, films, photographs, posters, paintings, and sculptures, ranging from Lily Reich’s 1930s designs for a tubular steel car seat to Andy Warhol’s Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times. Get a close up of nine cars, including Ferrari race car in the lobby and a recently restored Volkswagen Type 1 sedan (better known…

Portia Zvavahera: Ndakaoneswa murima

David Zwirner 19th Street
Closes Dec 18

See colorful dreamscapes combining vibrant color with varied painting and printmaking techniques to produce intricate designs and delicate, lacelike patterns across her vast canvases. Look for abstracted women and animals and try to interpret the dreams

Ruth Asawa: All Is Possible

David Zwirner 20th Street
Closes Dec 18

See Ruth Asawa’s iconic looped- and tied-wire sculptures in the context of her extraordinary drawings and her lesser known sculptural forms. Look for details and patterns in her abstract drawings of meanders, her representational drawings of her beloved family, her ceramic face masks of her rich community in San Francisco, and her near-daily drawings of…

A Fraid of Ghosts

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
Closes Dec 18

Hang out with ghosts in this playful mixed-media gallery experience/haunted house by beloved children’s book author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers inspired by his new picture book, There’s a Ghost In This House.

Look for over one hundred works including a haunted house and ghost sculptures, lonely ghosts painted into otherwise empty rooms and three immersive installations.…

DRIFT: Fragile Future

The Shed
Closes Dec 18

Multidisciplinary artists DRIFT transform The Shed with sound, movement, and film.  Journey through a series of interconnected installations – from multitudes of shimmering lights that traverse the gallery like glowing seeds caught in the wind to massive concrete blocks, or Drifters, that magically float on air – exploring the universal desire to seek out connection…


The New York Public Library’s Treasures

New York Public Library
Closes Dec 30

See some of the most extraordinary items from the 56 million in the New York Public Library’s collections of the last 125+ years. Encounter manuscripts, artworks, letters, still and moving images, recordings, and more that bring vividly to life voices of the past. Highlight’s include the stuffed inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh and Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy…

 Mandala Lab

Rubin Museum of Art
Closes Dec 31

A new interactive space for social, emotional, and ethical learning invites curiosity about emotions. Consider how complex feelings show up in your everyday life and imagine how you might have the power to transform them

Inspired by Buddhist principles, the Mandala Lab features five thought-provoking, playful experiences—including videos, scents, a sculpture that invites synchronized breathing,…

New York, New Music: 1980-1986

Museum of the City of New York
Closes Dec 31

Discover Run-DMC, the Talking Heads, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, John Zorn and other great 80s NYC musicians. Watch amazing videos plus see posters, photos costumes & more. Explore the broader music and cultural scene, including the innovative media outlets, venues, record labels, fashion and visual arts centered in New York City during the community-driven musical renaissance of the early 1980s (and see some awesme break dancing).

To hear the songs and videos in the exhibition, bring your own corded headphones to insert into the plugs provided for optimal sound, or pick up free disposable headphones at the ticket desk.

Paul Rousso Print Ain’t Dead

Hudson Yards
Closes Dec 31

See an exclusive early preview of Avant Gallery ‘s Art Miami art fair experience inside its New York City gallery space at Hudson Yards.  Look for Batman and butterflies in sculptures and collages from Paul Rousso’s lengthy career.

Look for site-specific large-scale art and a ‘Museum of Flowers’ throughout this newish mall and plaza including…

American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds

American Folk Art Museum
Closes Jan 1

Find witches and other spooky creatures plus  animals, trains,, cars and more delightful sculptures in American Folk Art Museum’s small exhibition highlighting the beauty, historical significance, and technical virtuosity of American vanes fashioned between the late seventeenth and early twentieth centuries.

Also shop for unique toys, books, affordable art and gifts for all ages at…

Alexander Calder: Modern from the Start

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Closes Jan 15

Take a deep dive into the full breadth of Alexander Calder’s career and inventiveness win a survey of early wire and wood figures, works on paper, jewelry, mobiles in motion, and monumental abstract sculptures, the exhibition

Calder’s work was first exhibited at MoMA in 1930, just months after the Museum opened its doors. Throughout MoMA’s…

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

New-York Historical Society
Closes Jan 23

Learn about trailblazing Supreme Court justice and cultural icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) through archival photographs and documents, historical artifacts, contemporary art, media stations, and gallery interactives spanning RBG’s varied roles as student, wife to Martin “Marty” Ginsburg, mother, lawyer, judge, women’s rights pioneer, and internet phenomenon.

Highlights include a robe and jabot from RBG’s…

Surrealism Beyond Borders

Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Closes Jan 30

See a telephone receiver that morphs into a lobster, a miniature train that rushes from a fireplace, and other intriguing images associated with Surrealism, a revolutionary idea sparked in Paris around 1924 that asserted the unconscious and dreams over the familiar and every day. Look for bizarre details in funny and thought-provoking works spanning almost…

The Butterfly Conservatory

American Museum of Natural History
Closes Jan 31

Walk through a 1,200 square foot vivarium with over 500 butterflies of more than 100 different species from countries including Thailand, Brazil, Kenya and Australia.

The lovely plants, flowers and temperatures are tropical so dress in layers. Or get an outside view of the people, plants and butterflies through transparent walls in a…

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror

Whitney Museum of American Art
Closes Feb 13

See a comprehensive retrospective of pioneering artist Jasper John’s seven-decade career, opening simultaneously at the Whitney and the Philadelphia Museum. This vivid chronological survey and innovative and immersive exploration of the many phases, masterworks, and mysteries of Johns’s still-evolving career features variations on the American flags, colorful maps, doubling, monumental paintings, wax sculptures letters, numbers…

Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe: Tabernacles for Trying Times

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
Closes Feb 13

Relax and discuss on handmade stools and textiles in a site-specific installation that reimagines the religious tradition of the tabernacle as a communal space while admiring monumental crochet sculptures and vivid abstract paintings.

See our guide to the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD).

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Brooklyn Museum
Closes Feb 20

Admire a vast array of over two hundred haute couture garments from the legendary house of Dior as well as photographs, archival videos, sketches, vintage perfume elements, accessories, and more.

Immersive installations include an enchanted garden in the central atrium of the Beaux-Arts Court, a toile room, and a  gallery celebrates dresses worn by stars…

Puppets of New York

Museum of the City of New York
Closes Mar 1

Explore the extraordinary, surprising, and diverse history of New York City’s quirkiest residents. From Punch and Judy to Oscar the Grouch; from Lamb Chop to The Lion King; from Lunar New Year to the Thanksgiving Day parade, the marionettes, shadow figures, and rod and hand puppets of New York have regaled our stages, studios, and…

Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle

Closes Sep 1

Experience the exciting colors, lines, and forms of Vasily Kandinsky, a major artistic innovator and painting theorist of the early twentieth century. Follow his work in reverse chronological order, starting with his late-life paintings in France and proceeding upward along the Guggenheim’s spiral ramp through experiments in painting, poetry, and stage composition in Germany and…

In America: A Lexicon of Fashion

Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Closes Sep 5

Explore a vast collection that spans millennia and continents. You might get lost searching for iconic favorites in the grand halls and you’ll definitely discover fascinating art that appeals all ages.

* Advance timed tickets required. On crowded days (or any day), enter through the accessible Uris Center for Education entrance on 81st Street to avoid longer lines.

* Walk like an Egyptian inside the Temple of Dendur…