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Toshiko Takaezu with works in Hawai‘i, 1987
Macario TimbalToshiko Takaezu with works in Hawai‘i, 1987

The best exhibits, art shows, and festivals coming to NYC this spring

Bookmark this for your spring planning.

Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Christina Izzo
Anna Rahmanan
Shaye Weaver

New York City’s arts and culture scene is heating up as spring approaches with several powerhouse exhibitions, plus a few smaller but also impressive shows. We’ve rounded up more than a dozen museum exhibits, gallery presentations, and festivals to bookmark for your spring planning (and a few to check off before winter ends). Expect feminist comedy, meditative music, and jaw-dropping art. 

From the always-important, oft-controversial Whitney Biennial to a Harlem Renaissance exhibit to a wonderland-themed floral exhibit, there's so much to look forward to this spring.

Best cultural events in NYC for spring 2024

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 2 of 4

Opens March 20

The always important and often controversial Whitney Biennial is back in 2024. This prestigious assessment of contemporary art in America will celebrate its 81st installment when it opens in March 20, 2024. 

Since it first began in 1932, the Biennial has showcased more than 3,600 innovative artists. We don't know exactly what to expect yet for 2024, but as always with this show, expect the unexpected.

See it at The Whitney, which sits at the foot of the High Line along Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District.

Also new in 2024: The Whitney is offering free admission and special programming for visitors every Friday evening from 5–10pm and on the second Sunday of every month.

  • Art
  • Art

February 25-July 28

A new exhibition coming to The Metropolitan Museum of Art will whisk visitors back in time a century. Titled "The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism," the exhibit will present 160 works exploring how Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s-40s in New York City’s Harlem, Chicago’s South Side and nationwide amid the Great Migration.

The show will be the first survey of the subject in New York City since 1987. It will also establish the Harlem Renaissance as the first African-American-led movement of international modern art. The show runs from February 25 through July 28.

"The exhibition underscores the essential role of the Harlem Renaissance and its radically new modes of portraying the modern Black subject as central to the development of transatlantic modern art," curator-at-large Denise Murrell said in a press release. 

  • Art
  • Art

February 10-July 7

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz are more often associated with their musical artistry, but the NYC-native couple has also amassed an impressive visual art collection. You'll soon be able to see their collection at the Brooklyn Museum in a new exhibit called "Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys."

The exhibition will feature more than 100 major artworks by important Black American, African, and African diasporic artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. The show featuring giants in the art world opens on February 10 and runs through July 7. 

"Giants" will be the first major showing of the world-class collection amassed by musical icons Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and Alicia Keys. The duo has a passion for collecting albums, musical equipment, and BMX bikes—all with the philosophy of "Black artists supporting Black artists," Brooklyn Museum explained in a press release. 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

May 10-September 2

The theme for fashion's biggest night—a.k.a. The Met Gala—has been announced, and it's spectacular. The bougiest of bougie parties will be themed after the Met's upcoming exhibit "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion." 

The party helps to fund the Met’s Costume Institute to create incredible exhibits like "Sleeping Beauties," which will run from May 10 through September 2. The exhibition will showcase 250 garments and accessories from four centuries, all surrounded by natural iconography through the use of cutting-edge tools, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and computer-generated imagery to traditional formats of x-rays, video animation, light projection, and soundscapes. 

The Met says it will "serve as a metaphor for the fragility and ephemerality of fashion and a vehicle to examine the cyclical themes of rebirth and renewal."

  • Art
  • Art

February 23-June 9

The resplendent Morgan Library & Museum will celebrate the works of beloved English author Beatrix Potter. A new exhibit will bring together artwork, books, manuscripts, and artifacts that trace how Potter's blend of scientific observation and imaginative storytelling shaped some of the world’s most popular children's books. Potter created animal characters like Peter Rabbit, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, all rooted in the natural world.

"Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature" runs from February 23 through June 9. 

Plus, The Morgan is also celebrating its centennial this year with a slate of programming including a free public celebration day and other literary exhibitions. 

  • Music
  • Music

Through April

Forget the gown, tux, and fancy shoes. For this new concert series at Carnegie Hall, stretchy pants, cozy sweaters, and comfy footwear is welcomed. 

The iconic venue is hosting five intimate concerts this winter that combine elements of mindfulness and meditation with world-class musical performances. These hour-long Well-Being Concerts cost between $15-$30 and run through April.

During the show, audience members are encouraged to get comfortable while reclining on floor mats and cushions. A host will share prompts, lead breathing exercises, and ask guests to share thoughts and reflections with their fellow audience members. Guest may even be encouraged to sing. 

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

May 18-October 27

New York Botanical Garden is getting in on the Mad Hatter fun this spring with a new, garden-wide exhibition for 2024 titled "Wonderland: Curious Nature."

On view from Saturday, May 18 through Sunday, October 27, the enchanting display will "feature horticultural and contemporary art installations that evoke the spirit of exploration and uncanny nature of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland," per NYBG.

Expect a true sensory adventure, with visitors able to explore a variety of mind-bending experiences set throughout the botanical garden’s stunning 250-acre grounds. The installations will be fittingly trippy, including works that play with scale and perspective, with no shrinking "Drink Me" potion necessary.

  • Comedy
  • Comedy


Comedy pros Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are bringing their Restless Leg tour to NYC for a multi-night run at the iconic Beacon Theatre in February.

Given that the duo are comedy icons, writers, producers, actresses and Saturday Night Live alumni, get ready for lots of laughs. So far, fans who attended the shows got to see the duo celebrate 30 years of friendship with an evening of jokes, never-heard-before stories and conversational entertainment. 

Get tickets at the show's official website here

  • Music
  • Music

February 9-11

Sixty years ago this February, the Beatles landed at JFK Airport and revolutionized contemporary music with their fresh new sound. Beatlemania began, and the craze hasn't faded in the decades since.

To celebrate the anniversary, Beatles aficionados gather every year for The Fest for Beatles Fans, which features Beatles yoga, karaoke, trivia, transcendental meditation, and, of course, plenty of music. This year, the fest, which runs from February 9-11 at the historic TWA Hotel at JFK Airport, celebrates 50 years. Expect a star-studded roster of Beatles-related special guests led by Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. Tickets start at $89 and go up to $299 for a three-day pass.

The three-day event will be packed with Beatles-related special guests, meet-and-greets, live music, a giant Beatles marketplace, a Beatles museum, an auction of rare items, an art gallery, and an impromptu "fan jam" in the hotel lobby all weekend. Other activities include Beatles yoga, transcendental meditation talks, a poetry jam, trivia and a name-that-tune gameshow. 

  • Art

February 13-August 11

Taking over the Asia Society from February 13 through August 11, this immersive photography and video exhibition will bring together the works of more than 50 photographers and video artists from China and around the world to visualize the causes and consequences of the climate crisis.

The showwhich will take attendees from deep within coal mines to the melting glaciers of the greater Himalaya—is co-curated by photographer Susan Meiselas and international exhibition designer Jeroen de Vries, and led by Orville Schell, Asia Society Vice President and Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

Along with the artworks themselves, the exhibition will feature a series of speaker events, performances, films and more throughout the run of the exhibition. 

  • Art

March 20-July 28

Deep-dive into the works of American ceramist and painter Toshiko Takaezu with this retrospective and monograph coming to the Noguchi Museum in Queens from March 20 to July 28.

The first nationally touring retrospective of Takaezu’s work in twenty years, Toshiko Takaezu: Worlds Within will feature about 200 pieces from private and public collections around the country, including her rarely-seen acrylic paintings and weavings, ceramic sculptures including her signature “closed forms,” Moons, Garden Seats, Trees, and select works from her late masterpiece, the Star Series. 

Following its presentation at The Noguchi Museum, the exhibition—which is organized with assistance from the Toshiko Takaezu Foundation and the Takaezu familywill travel to several additional venues across the United States.


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