Best art exhibits to see at NYC museums this fall

"Government of California" by Peter Saul is at The Met Breuer's "Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy" exhibit this fall. / Peter Saul, Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York

New York City museums are welcoming fall with a new lineup of exhibitions, with spotlights on topics as varied as art and feminism, the impact of jewelry on society, the representation of black models in art and much more:

Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis

Museum of the City of New York


Sept. 14 — April 28, 2019

All those germs you imagine living on the subway cars are real. The MCNY is taking a look at infectious diseases and the city’s history in dealing with germs in this new exhibit. Follow the story of “Typhoid Mary,” learn how the flu decreased the city’s population in 1918, see what an iron lung really looks like and view art from Blast Theory, Mariam Ghani and others. The museum will host a number of events, including a trip to Roosevelt Island (formerly Welfare Island) ... just in time for flu season.

"Martian Portraits" by Jim Shaw in 1978.

The Masters Series: Roz Chast

SVA’s Chelsea Gallery

Nov. 17 — Dec. 15

Famed cartoonist Roz Chast’s anxieties and observations about living in New York City will be on view for a month, including never-before-seen illustrations, selections from her more than 20 books, illustrated notebooks and sketches from her high school years, a new mural, new embroideries and hooked rugs and her hand-dyed Ukranian-style Easter eggs. At the opening of the retrospective, she’ll be awarded the Masters Series Award from SVA.

Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection


Brooklyn Museum

through March 31

Feminist artists speak their truths through more than 100 works that touch on political and social issues, including those from Guerrilla Girls, Wendy Red Star, Andy Warhol and Beverly Buchanan. The works are said to be “radical and inspiring” because they advocate for their creators’ beliefs, communities and hopes for equality amid opposition.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

Brooklyn Museum

Sept. 14 — Feb. 3, 2019

More than 60 black artists’ work from 1963 to 1983 show how political and social upheaval dominated the national discussion.


Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy

The Met Breuer

Sept. 18 — Jan. 6, 2019

This timely exhibit features 70 works — half done by those who believed the public’s version of events at face value and the other half made by people who bought into conspiracy theories. The works, which range from painting and sculpture to photography, video and installations from 1969 to 2016, reveal uncomfortable truths about society, no matter which side they represent.

Jewelry: The Body Transformed

The Met Fifth Avenue

Nov. 12 — Feb. 24, 2019

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but why? This exhibit will gather 230 pieces of jewelry and ornamental objects from The Met’s collection in order to tell a global story of how we as humans have used them to transform ourselves throughout history.

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Oct. 12 — Feb. 3, 2019

Swedish artist Hilma af Klint was ahead of her time — her art was bold, colorful and quite abstract, and it was only 1906 when she began. Klint barely exhibited her work and asked that it only be shown 20 years following her death. Starting in 1986, her work began gaining attention and only now is she getting her first major solo exhibition in the U.S.

Focus: Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry

Neue Galerie

Oct. 4 — Jan. 21, 2019

Compared to Gustav Klimt’s paintings, these tiny jeweled treasures by Viennese Workshops in the 19th and 20th centuries are a sight to behold. In their day, the jewelry (brooches among them) were some of the most coveted pieces produced by the Wiener Werkstätte. This collection features the highest quality and most rare pieces.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

New-York Historical Society

Oct. 5 — Jan. 27, 2019

Created along with the British Library, this celebration of the 20th anniversary of the U.S. debut of the boy wizard includes original drafts and drawings by real-world sorcerer J.K. Rowling, along with an array of the historical drawings, documents and works that inspired the author, including those of Leonardo Da Vinci and Nicholas Flamel.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sept. 17 — Jan. 6, 2019

This exhibition of the 19th-century French painter — the first major North American retrospective of his art — set attendance records at the Louvre in Paris.

Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today

Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University

Oct. 24 — Feb. 10

An exploration of how the depiction of black models in art, specifically black women, changed in the context of societal changes with respect to racial, social and political thought.

Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again

Whitney Museum of American Art

Nov. 12 — March. 31, 2019

A major retrospective of the American icon, the first in the U.S. since 1989, is also the largest single-artist exhibit at the Whitney’s new location.

'The Velvet Underground Experience'

718 Broadway

Oct. 10 — Dec. 30

Find out about The Velvet Underground's early New York City experiences, including when it collaborated with Andy Warhol in the 1960s. You'll learn about the band's influence on modern music, fashion, art and pop culture through a multi-media experience of film, photos, music and more.