Holiday Museum Guide: Where to See Art This Season


This season could make even the grouchiest New Yorker an city romantic, and encourages native residents and guests alike to rediscover the museums and monuments we typically take with no consideration. Prepare for good cheer, particular programming — and large crowds.

Whether you’re coming with your loved ones, your mates, your lover or your good previous self, you’ll need to plan forward when visiting New York’s unsurpassed arts establishments, and exploring some beautiful smaller museums outdoors the vacationer inexperienced zone. Check on-line earlier than you go: most have shortened hours on Christmas and New Year’s Eves, and are closed Christmas and New Year’s Days. (An exception: The Jewish Museum, on Fifth Avenue, is open as normal on Dec. 25 and reliably common that day.)

‘ART OF NATIVE AMERICA’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (ongoing). Dip into this gallery in the American Wing, and you’ll get a bit of a reprieve from the crowds. You’ll also get plenty of history here and dazzling Native art. In addition to intricately engraved ancient ivories, textiles and beaded embroidery, there are Katsina figures, which were created as physical representations of immortal beings that, as the label reads, “bring rain, protect, teach, heal, and carry prayers to the spirit world.” This is the first significant display of Native art in the American Wing, which was established in 1924. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.

HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOWS at various locations. Fast-moving trains that actually run on time? It must be holiday train show time. And there are several on view across the city, including the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden (through Jan. 26), which re-creates famous New York landmarks from leaves, bark, acorns, cinnamon sticks and other natural materials. This year the focus is on Central Park, with mini-replicas of structures like Bethesda Terrace and Belvedere Castle. “Holiday Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown” at the New-York Historical Society doubles as a celebration of the 100th birthday of the “Busytown” author and illustrator Richard Scarry.

‘JR: CHRONICLES’ at the Brooklyn Museum (through May 3). Can you spot Robert De Niro in the sea of 1,128 people in JR’s most recent project, “The Chronicles of New York City”? To create the large-format mural, JR and his crew photographed and interviewed hundreds of people in the five boroughs last summer. The installation includes a range of works, tracing his career from his documentation of graffiti artists as a teenager in Paris to his more recent digitally collaged murals. 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org.

‘THE LAST KNIGHT: THE ART, ARMOR, AND AMBITION OF MAXIMILIAN I’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Jan. 5). This exhibition of “grand scale and heavy metal” plots the relentless rise of Emperor Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire. “Though it’s armed to the teeth with flashy military gear,” Jason Farago wrote in his review, “you’ll also find paintings, illustrated books and celebratory images made with the hottest new technology of the late 15th century: printmaking, which allowed the emperor to broadcast his military prowess through books and monumental woodcuts.” 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.



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