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Morbid Anatomy Library
Photograph: Joanna Ebenstein

10 new museum exhibits and events this fall

This fall, treat your inner culture vulture with one of these great museum happenings

By Time Out editors
Wonderful new museum exhibitions abound this fall, from a hands-on exploration of a submarine at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to jumping around in an "erotic" moon bounce at the Museum of Sex. Art lovers, there are plenty of other exhibits and events worth your time, including some can't-miss fall art exhibitions.

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

Funland: Pleasures & Perils of the Erotic Fairground


This kooky installation by London-based artistic duo Bompas & Parr proves sex and carnivals aren't as different as you might have thought. From "Jump for Joy,” a bounce house made of giant, oversize breasts, to “The Tunnel of Love,” a mirrored labyrinth that takes patrons on a fantastical journey to the Gräfenberg (or “G”) spot, this exhibit is nothing short of an educational sexcapade. Hear the circusesque sounds of composer Dom James, who specializes in creating atmospheric music for strange spaces, and indulge in Bompas & Parr's sex-themed, edible treats.

"NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial"


Finally, an ultimate tribute to not just the artistic minds that make New York a creative hub, but also the behind-the-scenes guys we never hear about. NYC will pay homage to 100 awesome artists and their production teams who have shown outstanding levels of talent in their fields, from stonemasons and set designers to instrument makers and media-art collectives. The exhibit dedicated reveals how connected these seemingly very different art forms are. And maybe after this, you’ll spot how all of these creative styles exist in our everyday New York City lives.




"Illuminations" is an exhibit centered around someone trying to get over love. While that may be something all of us have gone through, artist Florence Montmare took that experience and turned it on its head, presenting heartbreak as something incredibly beautiful and, dare we say it, quite poignant. Just because the subject matter is sad doesn't mean the art has to be.

"The Art of Mourning"

Museums History

Not for the faint at heart, this macabre exhibit definitely doesn't skirt the issue of death and dying. Guests get a cultural look at how the inevitable fate was handled from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Channel ghosts at the spirit photo booth, and gawk at surreal grieving paraphernalia like death masks, art shadowboxes and memorial cards. "The Art of Mourning" was curated by musem founder Joanna Ebenstein. Be sure to check out never-before-seen artifacts from the private collection of Sleeping Beauty author Stanley B. Burns MD.

Ernest Cole, “Township mother fights losing battle to keep son, age nine, from running off to live life of the streets", 1967
Photograph: Courtesy the Hasselblad Foundation

Ernest Cole: Photographer


Ernest Cole was a South African gentleman whose photography changed the world. His stark view of life during apartheid allowed the Western world to see what the media wasn't presenting. The pictures are incredible and truly moving. Don't miss this.

Mysteries of the Unseen World


Using high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy and nanotechnology, this exhibitreveals the thriving microscopic world that is invisible to the naked eye. We may never look at a nondisinfected surface the same way again.


"Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe"


People—women and men alike—can't seem to get enough of high heels, and the higher the heel, the more likely that it will attract attention. That ability to captivate is the driving principle behind this show, which argues that, whatever the sexual connotations of high heels, they are also art objects. To illustrate this very sharp point, the exhibit will trot out examples of fetishy footwear from the 16th century to the present, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute and the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.



"Submerged"is an interactive exhibit where you can explore Growler, the only strategic missile submarine in the United States open to the public. The 40-foot sub will be located in the museum's hands-on immersive gallery, Exploreum Interactive Hall, where you'll be encouraged to climb onto the bunks where sailors slept, check out the old mess hall and act like you're navigating in the engine room by using the periscope. Visitors will also be taught how submarines submerge and move through water.


"Mac Conner: A New York Life"


The career of illustrator McCauley (“Mac”) Conner helped to define the look of midcentury America. One of the original Mad Men, Conner's style was crisp and refined and very urban; life in the big city was a frequent theme. His work, which was published in such magazines as Redbook and McCall’s, owed a lot to the influence of Norman Rockwell (a boyhood idol), but also to film noir.

Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life


Barbara Nessim is a pioneer in graphic design. The Bronx-born artist and illustrator was one of the first women in the field in the early 1960s, and her complex designs made waves in the creative world. Her new exhibit features more than150 of her works, ranging from computer-generated illustrations to textiles to fashion and more. The book Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life, exploring the details of the creative designer's career, accompanies the installation.


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