Threefer: Art, art and more art

What’s around town for exhibit enthusiasts? Take a look.

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Treasures of Islamic Manuscript Painting @ The Morgan Library & Museum

Through 29 january 2012 [Free Friday admission from 7pm – 9pm]

In addition to its acclaimed collection of Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, the Morgan is also home to important Islamic manuscripts dating from the late middle ages to the 19th century.

You’ll have to hurry if you want to see this exhibit, but it’s well worth a trip. After being hidden for a century in the Morgan’s vaults, the public can view, for the first time, this incredible range of remarkable Qurans, stunning illuminated manuscripts, and miniatures – dating as far back as the 11th century. Some of my favorite pieces are shown below.

Islamic treasures, Muslim art, NYC exhibits, Qurans, illuminated manuscripts, The Morgan Library

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The Birth of Promotion: Inventing Film Publicity in the Silent-Film Era @ New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Through 25 february 2012 [Free]

If you thought that the celebrity publicity machine and our fascination with it (and them) is a mid-to-late 20th century invention, think again.

NYPL silent film memorabilia, silent-to-talkies, ephemera and collectibles, NYC exhibits

As far back as 1890 – posters and ads, and later magazines and exploitation campaigns were all the rage – and were churned out in abundance. Clara Bow endorsed products, and some actresses even had their own line of make-up. Rudolph Valentino was the Brad Pitt of his day. There’s nothing new under the sun.

This wonderful compilation of ephemera including original gouache posters artwork, and products and promotional items, is a terrific trip if you’re a fan of the artform. Or even if you’re slightly curious about the gossip of the day.

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Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art @ MoMA

Through 14 may 2012 [Free Friday admission from 4pm – 8pm]

Diego Rivera was the most visible figure in Mexican muralism in the 1920s. But, his murals were impossible to transport for exhibition elsewhere. MoMA solved this problem by bringing Rivera to New York – giving him studio space – where he produced five “portable murals” commemorating events in Mexican history.

The murals are powerful in their storytelling, but I found the studies more extraordinary. Raw, tense, and stripped of color, they shook me to my core. Definitely worth a look.

MoMA’s Rivera murals, portable murals, NYC exhibits, frescoes, art for social causes

Enjoy! Any good exhibits to add?

Images: Qurans and manuscripts, © The Morgan Library & Museum; Birth of Promotion newsletter, © 2012, Janet Giampietro; Diego Rivera: © MoMA, Liberation of the Peon

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