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 shows.

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Closing Soon

Shana Moulton’s Meta/Physical Therapy

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Closes Apr 21

Colorful, surreal performance, video, and sculpture examine the aesthetics of pain and healing and the mass marketing of wellness in Shana Moulton’s site-specific prismatic installation. Look for the artist’s signature blend of spiritual imagery, medical technology, popular culture, and references to high art and dollar-store kitsch.

Presented as a multi-chapter narrative, the installation will be accompanied by a series of performances created in collaboration with composer Nick Hallett, bringing Cynthia’s inner world to life.

The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion

New York Botanical Garden
Closes Apr 21

The Orchid Show brings the catwalk to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory in a fashion-inspired celebration of all things orchids. Catch the bold new designs of New York’s rising stars of the stitch with work by Collina Strada by Hillary Taymour, Dauphinette by Olivia Cheng, and FLWR PSTL by Kristen Alpaugh, fashionistas sure to create dramatic, picture-perfect floral displays at the Garden that always capture the orchid’s good side. “Walk the runway” and show off your own personal flair, your love for orchids, and your fashion-forward connections to the natural world.

Weekends 12-4 pm, visit the Sensory Table and use your sense of touch, smell, sight, and even sound to identify some of the plants behind the familiar scents of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and other select botanical and fashion-focused items at the Sensory Table.

🧣 The show itself is in the Haupt Conservatory and climate-controlled, but there is a bit of a walk from the man entrance so dress accordingly. Wear layers as it can get warm inside.

🌴 Take breaks from the crowds in the tropical rainforest and desert wings of the Conservatory with lots of room to roam freely.

👶 Strollers must be parked outside the Conservatory – consider leaving your coats, hats etc. with them.

On the Lower East Side: Twenty-Eight Remarkable Women…and One Scoundrel

Museum at Eldridge Street
Closes May 5

Celebrate women who lived or worked in this vibrant immigrant neighborhood at the turn of the twentieth century. The figures depicted in the exhibit were responsible for groundbreaking developments in law, the arts, politics, social work, business, and education which we take for granted today, such as the eight-hour workday, child labor regulations, and women’s rights.

Among the twenty-nine women featured are bathhouse owner and entrepreneur Gittel Nadelson, political activist Frances Perkins, public healthcare champion Elizabeth Tyler, and dedicated suffragette Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee. Through Adrienne Ottenberg’s map-based works, iconic women reach out to us through time, shaping society today and cementing their places in New York history.

This exhibition will be accompanied by an audio guide available through Bloomberg Connects. 

Artland: An Installation by Do Ho Suh and Children

Brooklyn Museum
Closes May 5

Enter an enchanting world of color and clay, Spocky Trees and Slimes in a fantastical ecosystem dreamed up in 2016 by artist Do Ho Suh and his two young daughters. This ever-growing and evolving series of islands is inhabited by characters and landscapes sculpted from nontoxic clay. There is no government or monarchy (though Slimes are known to have board meetings); buses look like floating rings and have no drivers. On Artland, most things are gender neutral—anyone and everyone can express themselves however they please.

As Artland circles the globe, from London to Seoul to Brooklyn, visitors are invited to add to its diverse species of plants and creatures and help imagine the possibilities of an alternate world. With these contributions, Artland has become an expanding platform that celebrates the creativity of a child’s mind.

Opposites Abstract: A Mo Willems Exhibit

Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Closes May 12

Investigate opposites through hands-on experiences, art-making, and performances in an exhibit inspired by the eye-popping, emotive, and highly accessible words and images in Mo Willems’ bestselling children’s book of the same name.


Carolina Caycedo: Spiral for Shared Dreams

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Closes May 19

11 handmade atarrayas, or fishing nets, created by four fishing communities in Mexico that face different environmental challenges, hang dramatically in MoMA’s second floor atrium. Look for atural and mythological figures appear on some of the nets: a shrimp; an eye representing Chalchiuhtlicue, an Aztec goddess associated with fresh water, childbirth, and sensuality; and the…

ROAR: A collection of Mighty Women

Ashley Longshore Art
Closes May 23

Admire feminist pop-artist Ashley Longshore’s dozens of giant portraits featuring legendary stateswomen, artists, athletes and notable women from all over the world. Be inspired by heroines from Taylor Swift to Sojourner Truth to Mother Teresa. Find more brightly colored irreverent art throughout the cheerful two-story space including little goodies for sale. Note there is some…

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature

The Morgan Library & Museum
Closes Jun 9

Meet unforgettable animal characters like Peter Rabbit, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle in an exhibit of artwork, picture letters books, manuscripts, and artifacts by beloved children’s book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Childhood summers spent in Scotland and the English Lake District nourished Potter’s love of nature, while her famous menagerie of pets inspired…

Delcy Morelos: El abrazo

Dia Chelsea
Closes Jun 30

Explore two immersive, multisensory installations where surface and volume converge and collapse through monochromatic expanse and material accumulation. Drawing on the cosmologies of ancestral cultures, Andean and Amazonian as well as her own, Delcy Morelos explores the sustaining power of mud in its many forms—as a source of life and sustenance.

Life Cycles: The Materials of Contemporary Design

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Closes Jul 7

Explores the regenerative power of design as it shifts its focus towards a more collaborative rapport with the natural world.  See examples of design that is thoughful of materials’ life cycle.  Cow manure collected from the streets of Indonesia is transformed into casings for loudspeakers and lamps. Bricks made from crop waste and fungi mycelium…

Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys

Brooklyn Museum
Closes Jul 7

A focused selection from the world-class collection of musical and cultural icons Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and Alicia Keys spotlights works by Black diasporic artists. Expansive in their collecting habits, the Deans, both born and raised in New York, champion a philosophy of “artists supporting artists.” Admire works by Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lorna Simpson,…

This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture

Museum of the City of New York
Closes Jul 21

Explore the many ways NYC has inspired storytelling across art forms. See both famous and lesser-known depictions of New York in film and television, visual and performing arts, music, poetry and literature, and even fashion. The full-floor exhibition is organized around the types of urban spaces where the stories of New York are told. “Tempo…

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism

Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Closes Jul 28

Through some 160 works of painting, sculpture, photography, film, and ephemera, explore the comprehensive and far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s–40s in New York City’s Harlem and nationwide in the early decades of the Great Migration when millions of African…

An Atlas of Es Devlin

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Closes Aug 11

See over 300 sketches, paintings, illuminated paper cuts, and projection-mapped rotating miniature sculptures that form the seeds of some of the most iconic, cultural congregations of music, poetry, art, and activism in recent times in  a survey of genre-defying British contemporary artist and designer Es Devlin. Globally renowned for her large-scale, illuminated installations and sculptures…

The Secret World of Elephants

American Museum of Natural History
Closes Aug 31

How do elephants “hear” with their feet? Use the 40,000 muscles in their trunks? Or reshape the forests and savannas they live in, creating an environment upon which many other species rely? Learn new science about both ancient and modern elephants, including elephants’ extraordinary minds and senses, why they’re essential to the health of their…

The Anatomy of a Movie Poster: The Work of Dawn Baillie

Poster House
Closes Sep 8

See some of the most iconic and beloved posters in modern cinematic history, all designed by Dawn Baillie. Simple yet unconventional masterpieces include the posters for Dirty Dancing, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Silence of the Lambs and Little Miss Sunshine.

The New York Public Library’s Treasures

New York Public Library
Closes Dec 31

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…

Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark

Museum of Jewish Heritage
Closes Dec 31

Learn about remarkable story of the rescue of the Danish Jews during the Holocaust. Together, Jewish and non-Jewish neighbors of all ages mobilized to create one of the most effective—and exceptional—examples of mass resistance and escape in modern history. Despite the enormous risk, ordinary citizens united against Nazism to save nearly 95% of Denmark’s Jewish…

Byzantine Bembé: New York by Manny Vega

Museum of the City of New York
Closes Jul 4

Explore Manny Vega’s visual storytelling as it interweaves community stories with themes that range from African deities to urban mythologies, spanning the personal and the collective. His style has been dubbed “Byzantine Hip-Hop” for his uncompromising technical command that encompasses ancient Mediterranean mosaic-making and the electrifying lines of hyper-detailed Sharpie pen-and-ink drawings. Deeply rooted in…