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Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial
Photograph: Argenis Apolinario Photography, courtesy the Bronx Museum of the Arts

The best free art exhibitions in NYC

Discover New York City’s top free art exhibitions and gallery shows in our roundup of critic’s picks

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Looking for some free art, culture vultures? Thought so. Which is why we found a bunch of gratis art shows at galleries and museums in NYC that won’t cost you a cent. Visit well-known institutions like the Pace Gallery and David Zwirner and still have money in your pocket for lunch at one of the best restaurants in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to free things to do in NYC

Best free art exhibitions in NYC

  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

Hundreds of items have been pulled from the New York Public Library's expansive and centuries-spanning archive to be put on display—many of them for the first time—in a permanent exhibition called "The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures." The exhibit, which opens to the public on Friday, September 24, spans 4,000 years of history and includes a wide range of history-making pieces by the world's artists, writers and leaders.

  • Art
  • Art

Although most of Hilma af Klint's work is held by the artist's official foundation and isn't currently on view anywhere, New Yorkers will get to browse through a rare set of her watercolors through February 5 at the David Zwirner gallery on 69th Street. Dubbed "Tree of Knowledge," the exhibit focuses on the artist's 1913-1915 series of works, which were recently discovered by the art world. If the success of the Guggenheim's 2018 exhibition "Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future" is of any indication, we expect many people to flock to the Upper East Side gallery in the next few months. 

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