Fall preview 2013: Ten cool new museum exhibits and events

This fall, the Queens Museum unveils a major revamp and the Brooklyn Historical Society celebrates a milestone.



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  • Photograph: Courtesy Grimshaw and the Queens Museum

    The Queens Museum reopens, Oct

  • Photograph: Joyce Culver

    "A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk" opens Sept 13

  • Museum Day Live!, Sept 28


  • Photograph: flickr.com/photos/chschulz

    Hayden Planetarium Space Show begins Oct 5

  • Photograph: David Heald

    "Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab" opens Oct 11

  • Photograph: Christoff:Finio Architecture

    "Brooklyn Historical Society's 150th Anniversary", Oct 16

  • Photograph: Rainer Torrado

    “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”, Oct 25

  • Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image

    "Lights, Camera, Astoria" opens Oct 26

  • Photograph: © Art Spiegelman

    "Art Spiegelman's Co-Mix: A Retrospective" opens Nov 9

  • Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

    "Gilded New York" opens Nov 13

Photograph: Courtesy Grimshaw and the Queens Museum

The Queens Museum reopens, Oct

The biggest buzz in the museum world this fall is the Queens Museum reopening in October. But there are plenty of other museum exhibits and events worth your time, along with the season's best events and festivals and can't-miss talks and lectures

RECOMMENDED: See all things to do in New York this fall

Queens Museum reopens

As the only remaining building from the 1939–40 World’s Fair, the Queens Museum was certainly due for some TLC. But when the institution reopens in October, after a two-and-a-half-year renovation, visitors will be welcomed by an airy, open redesign that goes far beyond a mere touch-up. In addition to improvements such as a new café and a light-flooded atrium, the museum will double its size and unveil a new Grand Central Parkway–facing facade, a transparent glass entryway that reflects its community-focused approach to programming and art. Inside, new studio spaces will allow for eight resident artists to create work on site. At the reopening, visitors can see Pedro Reyes: The People’s UN (pUN), a performance-based model legislature convenes in the new interior courtyard; “Peter Schumann: Black and White,” a retrospective of the puppet maker’s installations; “Queens International 2013,” a biennial show of borough-based artists; and “New York City Building Time Lapse, 2009–2013: Photographs by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao,” which documents the museum’s history and expansion. Much of the programming—such as a series of events at Corona Plaza—highlight the borough's individual neighborhoods, while other efforts are aimed toward special-needs, LGBT, recent-immigrant and teen visitors.

"A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Museum at FIT explores LGBT contributions to sartorial history, including statement-making ensembles from the 18th century through today. Pieces on display include a 1950 cocktail dress by Christian Dior and a dapper neo-Edwardian three-piece suit originally worn by dandy and old-school party boy Bunny Roger.

  1. The Museum at FIT Seventh Ave, at 27th St
  2. Fri Sep 13 - Sat Jan 4
More info

Museum Day Live!

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Download a voucher from smithsonian.com/museumday to receive two free tickets to one of 27 New York City museums and cultural centers. Participating big-name institutions include the Jewish Museum, which premieres "Chagall: Love, War and Exile" on Sept 15; the Museum of Arts and Design, which debuts "Body & Soul: Contemporary International Ceramics" on Sept 17; and the Brooklyn Museum, which opens "Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish-American Home, 1492–1898" on Sept 20.

Hayden Planetarium Space Show

Opening Oct 5, the newest addition to AMNH's Hayden Planetarium launches you on an astronomical adventure—from Jupiter's atmosphere to the Mount Wilson Observatory in California, where Edwin Hubble first discovered other galaxies. Learn how dark matter (a.k.a. invisible matter) and dark energy (the force that accelerates the universe's expansion) shape outer space, and follow scientists on their journey to unearth cosmological mysteries. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates.

  1. Rose Center for Earth and Space (at the American Museum of Natural History)

"Brooklyn Historical Society's 150th Anniversary"

  • Critics choice

The Brooklyn Historical Society, a repository of Gotham history since 1863, will unveil a newly renovated interior in October. The project has been under way since spring 2012, and includes restoring the building's traditional arched entrance and creating a new first-floor and lower-level galleries, as well as installing a 200-seat event space. Among the inaugural exhibits are a celebration of the BHS's century-and-a-half legacy and "In Pursuit of Freedom," about the borough's history of abolitionism.

  1. Brooklyn Historical Society 128 Pierrepont St, at Clinton St
  2. Wed Oct 16 - Sat Dec 28
More info

“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Explore more than 140 of the French couturier’s gender-bending, avant-garde pieces, some of which are arguably closer to art than attire. (Admit it: A museum seems a fitting place for Madonna’s conical bra and Milla Jovovich’s costume from The Fifth Element.) The show also includes photographs taken by artists including Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman, plus Gaultier’s very first design from 1971.

  1. Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy, at Washington Ave
  2. Fri Oct 25 - Sun Feb 23
More info

"Lights, Camera, Astoria"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

MoMI mounts an exhibit about the storied studio complex it calls home, which once served as Paramount Pictures' East Coast headquarters and the U.S. Army Pictorial Center. Watch film and television clips produced at Kaufman Astoria Studios—including silent flicks starring Rudolph Valentino, Marx Brothers talkies, Sesame Street and The Cosby Show—and browse artifacts, photos and oral histories of the site.

  1. Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave, at 37th St, 11106
  2. Sat Oct 26 - Sun Feb 9
More info

"Art Spiegelman's Co-Mix: A Retrospective"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Spiegelman, who did more than anyone to legitimize the graphic novel with his Holocaust-themed classic, Maus, gets the retrospective treatment, with a survey that includes hundreds of original drawings spanning his groundbreaking career, from his late-1960s days as part of the underground comix movement to his work on some of The New Yorker's most compelling and controversial covers.

  1. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St, 10128
  2. Sat Nov 9 - Tue Dec 31
More info

"Gilded New York"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The phrase more money, more problems would not have sat well with upper-class early-20th-century New Yorkers, who flaunted their wealth in the form of jewelry, furs and elaborate houses. This exhibit, the first in the newly christened Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, displays 100 glamorous costumes, portraits and household objects, including a silver-gilt place setting and an “Electric Light” dress owned by the Vanderbilt family, John D. Rockefeller's luxe toiletry set, and loads of diamond, gold and platinum bling.

  1. Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave, between 103rd and 104th Sts
  2. Wed Nov 13 - Sun Nov 30
More info

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