Fall exhibits are the urban equivalent of foliage in New York City — they’re as plentiful as colorful leaves come October. This year’s offerings take visitors to Italy during the Renaissance and China after 1989. They make you think about fashion in a different way. They immerse you in stories of immigrants and the ongoing fight for women’s equality. One explores how we perceive the world around us, while another lets us imagine the city as it never was. Here are 10 exhibits you don’t want to miss.
ITEMS: IS FASHION MODERN?
For the first time in more than seven decades, MoMA dedicates an exhibit to fashion. “Items” investigates 111 types of clothing and accessories that have made an impact on people and society at the intersection of politics, economics, style, technology and culture. The items include the backpack, aviator sunglasses, the bikini and burkini, Converse All Stars, the diamond engagement ring, the FitBit, the kaffiyeh, the little black dress, red lipstick, the trench coat and tattoos.
WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 28 at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.
INFO $25; 212-708-9400, moma.org
NEVER BUILT NEW YORK
Head from the streets of the actual city into three galleries featuring one that might have been — an “alternate history of New York,” as one of the co-curators describes it. Architects — including Frank Lloyd Wright, I.M. Pei, Daniel Libeskind, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Zaha Hadid — dreamed up ambitious designs that never came to fruition in their original forms or at all. Featuring models of dozens of such projects, the exhibit explores urban problems the architects were trying to solve and the obstacles they faced.
WHEN | WHERE Through Feb. 18 at the Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
INFO $8; 718-592-9700, queensmuseum.org
PROOF: FRANCISCO GOYA, SERGEI EISENSTEIN,
These three artists lived on different continents in different centuries and worked in different media. But each depicted the upheavals of his time, providing both proof of important moments in history and commentaries on them. Goya (1746-1828) used allegory and satire in his etchings to critique Spanish society. Eisenstein (1898-1948) made films about the Russian Revolution and the Soviet era. Longo (born 1953) creates large charcoal drawings that have dealt with police violence, the refugee crisis and other topics.
WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 7 at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn
INFO $16; 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org
ART AND CHINA AFTER 1989: THEATER OF THE WORLD
The Guggenheim looks closely at two decades that transformed China, from the Tiananmen Square protests through its rise as an economic superpower. Art and artists coming out of China during this period have documented the changes and served as critical and activist voices. On the roster of 75 artists and collectives, American museum-goers might recognize names such as Ai Weiwei, Wang Fen and Xu Bing.
WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 7 at the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave.
INFO $25; 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org
UNDER ONE ROOF
The Tenement Museum is an institution that recounts the history of its location. A brand-new permanent exhibit looks at the residents who lived at 103 Orchard St. after World War II, including families started by Holocaust survivors, immigrants from Puerto Rico and Chinese-Americans, all of whom made the Lower East Side their home.
WHEN | WHERE Exhibit opens Oct. 10 at the Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St.
INFO $25; 877-975-3786, tenement.org
BEYOND SUFFRAGE: 100 YEARS OF WOMEN & POLITICS IN NEW YORK
First there was the battle for women’s right to vote, gained in New York in 1917 and throughout the United States in 1920. In the two decades that followed, there were causes such as health, labor and good government. Then, in the 1960s, came the women’s liberation movement. And it’s not over yet. Women have been and continue to be political activists and champions for gender equality in New York City, and the museum explores their stories with rare artifacts, documents, costumes, photographs and audiovisual materials.
WHEN | WHERE From Oct. 11 through summer 2018 at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave.
INFO $18; 212-534-1672, mcny.org
VEILED MEANINGS: FASHIONING JEWISH DRESS
Clothing and customs of dress reveal stories about communities and their surroundings at a particular moment in time. This exhibit, organized by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, uses more than 100 articles of clothing from the 18th to 20th centuries to explore Jewish history. The garments come from Israel and the diaspora in nearly two dozen countries, including the United States, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Germany, Poland, Greece and India.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 3-March 18 at the Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave.
INFO $15; 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org
JIMMIE DURHAM: AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD
The artist and activist Jimmie Durham — who was a political organizer for the American Indian Movement in the 1970s — makes work that attempts to expose hidden prejudices as well as address complexities in historical narratives. This traveling exhibit — which includes 175 examples of his sculpture, drawing, collage, photography, video and performance — also has spurred controversy over the artist’s claims of Cherokee heritage.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 3-Jan. 28 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St.
INFO $25; 212-570-3600, whitney.org
MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER
Artists who need no second name, from Michelangelo to Madonna, rise above their peers in the collective memory. The Met pays homage to the prolific Italian Renaissance artist, called a “towering genius in the history of Western art,” with an exhibit featuring about 150 drawings, three marble sculptures, early paintings, a wood architectural model for a chapel vault and works by other artists to serve as complements and comparison points.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 13-Feb. 12 at The
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave.
INFO $25; 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org
OUR SENSES: AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
Learn how humans absorb information through sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste and how the brain fills in gaps, resolves conflicts and corrects errors in order to shape our perception and reality. You can experience a virtual garden as a snake or bee would, try to track individual sounds in an audio collage, guess the ingredients in a complex smell and more.
WHEN | WHERE Nov. 20-Jan. 6, 2019, at the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street
INFO $22; 212-769-5100, amnh.org