Yes, winter can be cold in NYC. But it is also an invigorating, magical time to be in the City. Another plus to the season is more manageable crowds at the City’s finest museums and galleries, at least once the holidays are finished. January and February, especially, should afford you more opportunities for unimpeded contemplation and quiet meandering at places like the Whitney or The Met.
Below we’ve shared some of our favorite museums where you can escape the elements and also find exciting exhibitions of LGBTQ+ artists. Need more motivation? Remember, New York City’s extensive public transportation system means you can travel safely, warmly and inexpensively to many of NYC’s most beloved art spaces, with short walks outside. So get ready to explore the City’s arts and culture scene like a local. Just grab the perfect scarf first!
Come winter, Soho is a charmer, with its snow-covered cobblestones and century-old lofts. It’s also home to the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, a center for queer culture and a great place to duck into on a chilly day. Here’s what’s on this winter:
• Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies
Through January 28, 2018
This retrospective of queer cinema pioneer Barbara Hammer puts 45 years of her filmmaking in context. Readings, performances and screenings about the queer experience in NYC will take place at other venues in conjunction with the exhibition.
• Leonard Fink: Out for the Camera
January 24–August 5, 2018
Check out the latest posthumous show that focuses on this queer photographer, whose work was unknown to most during his life. Fink’s photos document the gay bar culture of 1970s New York, and the rise of the West Village and Pride movements.
The Met is one of our favorite NYC places no matter the weather. Take the 4, 5 or 6 train to 86th street, and walk a few brisk blocks to Fifth Avenue. The entire museum is a shrine to centuries of stunning works. Here’s what’s on this winter:
• David Hockney
November 27, 2017–February 25, 2018
The museum will celebrate the 80th birthday of gay artist David Hockney. His multifaceted works span a multitude of media—painting, drawing, photography and video—and this exhibition will highlight his best-known pieces.
• Quicksilver Brilliance: Adolf de Meyer Photographs
December 4, 2017–March 18, 2018
LGBTQ+ travelers and friends, take note of the new Adolf de Meyer exhibit. De Meyer was Vogue’s original staff photographer, and though originally married to a woman, he later forged a relationship with a man and lived a more outwardly gay life. This exhibit will showcase his photos of some of New York’s most glamourous subjects.
The New Museum’s futuristic building made up of stacked boxes is an artistic triumph, glowing defiantly above the gritty backdrop of the Bowery. It was a downtown stalwart for decades before moving into these digs in 2007. Here’s what’s on this winter:
• Alex da Corte:Harvest Moon
Through January 7, 2018
This queer sculpture and installation prodigy lights up the New Museum with his new exhibition. Harvest Moon pays homage to the window installations that the museum put on in the 1980s as well as to some of the artist’s creative heroes. Da Corte is a Philadelphia native who’s made a name for himself with major LGBTQ+ themes in his work.
• Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon
Through January 21, 2018
The museum plays host to this fascinating new exhibition on gender, which investigates gender’s place in contemporary art and culture during a time of political unrest. The exhibit will explore ideas of gender beyond the binary and look at more fluid ideas of identity.
The Brooklyn Museum’s massive collection of art is both edgy and comprehensive, showcasing modern trailblazers along with ancient collections of African and Egyptian works. In the coming months, it will dabble in depictions of gender fluidity. Here’s what’s on this winter:
• David Bowie Is
March 2–July 15, 2018
Bowie brought androgyny and gender fluidity to the forefront some 45 years ago. The Brooklyn Museum is honoring him with an exhibit showcasing 300 artifacts from his creative career, from Bowie’s teen years through his recent death, including some fabulous outfits that show how far he pushed traditional notions of gender.
A must-visit, the Whitney Museum of Art packs 21,000 works of modern and contemporary American art into a piece of stunning architecture. This modern behemoth, designed by Renzo Piano, is situated at the start of the city’s famed High Line and offers patrons expansive views in all directions from its multilevel, outdoor decks. Here’s what’s on this winter:
• Zoe Leonard: Survey
March 2–June 10, 2018
In 2018, the Whitney hosts the latest exhibit of queer activist Zoe Leonard. It’s the first large-scale look at her work in an American museum, examining gender, sexuality and migration.