Procrastinators alert: These must-see exhibits, including FREE holiday lights, trees and store windows exhibits, are closing soon, along with some important museum exhibits. So there’s no more time to waste to visit, or revisit, some of the things that make NYC the best city on the planet.
Closing This Weekend
Department store holiday windows generally are on display through the first weekend of the New Year, which means they’ll be closing the windows after January 7th.
Lights out for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is 9pm Sunday.
The Origami Tree at the American Museum of Natural History unfolds Sunday until next year.
American Visionary: The Life and Times of John F. Kennedy – 2017 was the centennial of the birth of JFK, and this exhibit at the New York Historical Society celebrates his private and public life. Kennedy’s administration coincided with a golden age of photojournalism in America. No single politician was photographed more than Kennedy, from his first congressional bid as a decorated war hero in 1946 and his fairy-tale wedding to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953 to his run for the White House in 1960 and the tragedy of his death in Dallas in 1963. He and the First Lady were popular enough to get a ticker tape parade in NYC, shown here, and part of the exhibit.
- Also popular at the New York Historical Society is the annual exhibit of vintage toys and trains, on display through February.
Mummies – This extensive exhibit at AMNH has separate sections for the mummies of Egypt and the mummies of Peru. Learn about the lives of these ancient individuals, and how scientists are using modern technology, including CT scanning, to learn their secrets.
Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection at the Morgan Library and Museum reads like Western Art History 101, with works from the 15th century to the 1970s. Artists include Fra Bartolommeo, Lucas Cranach the Elder, François Boucher, Jean-Dominique Ingres, Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso and Ellsworth Kelly. The exhibition shows off Claire and Eugene Thaw’s gift in 2017 of the final 273 works from their collection of drawings, promised to the Morgan in 1975 and transferred over the years in groups.
Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme -What did explorers wear before Goretex and fleece? Travel to extreme environments is a relatively modern phenomenon. Expeditions to the North and South poles, the highest mountain peaks, the depths of the ocean, and outer space have been widely covered in the press for more than a century. But it was not until the 1960s that these endeavors began to influence fashion, and this is the first major exhibition to examine this fascinating subject. At the Museum at FIT, Seventh Ave. at 27th St., one of the NYC museums always free to visit.
Closing Sunday, Jan. 14
Volez Voguez Voyagez is the FREE exhibit of 150 years of Louis Vuitton luggage, accessories, fashions and more, including a room of Red Carpet gowns combined with videos of the celebrities who wore them, and historic fashions familiar to those of us who are fans of Downton Abbey. There’s a wealth of fitted train and steamer cases, with drawers for everything including gloves and even a typewriter. Download the FREE app for augmented reality snippets of many exhibits, including one of the first automotive expeditions to the Far East, organized by Alexander Citroen, with luggage by his friend Louis Vuitton.
- Expect to spend 60-90 minutes there – as I did. The exhibit is in the Financial District. Reservations are given preference over walk-ins.
Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolph Eichmann reminds us how evil is born, grows and metastasizes. Eichmann was a Nazi responsible for the murder of millions of innocent people who might have lived out his days in Argentina as “Ricardo Klement”, until luck, a Holocaust survivor and Israel’s foreign intelligence service intervened. It’s one of the great spy stories of the 20th century. The exhibit reveal the secret history behind the capture, extradition, and trial of one of the world’s most notorious war criminals, and examines the enormity of the crimes committed during the Nazi regime, and calls on us to consider the meaning of justice and accountability. The actual bulletproof glass booth in which he sat during his trial is part of the display, and the historic film clips of the trial are chilling, especially the clip in which Eichmann refuses to apologize for his crimes, saying the oath he took to Hitler supercedes everything, even organizing the murder of millions of innocent people. Eichmann is evil. Purely and simply evil.
You can take a self-guided tour of the exhibit, which includes the actual airline tickets uses by members of Israel’s Mossad to travel to Buenos Aires to apprehend Eichmann, but I absolutely recommend one of the FREE docent tours, which adds so much more behind-the-scenes texture to this important historic event.
- Expect to spend 60-90 minutes here, as I did, plus additional time to visit additional exhibits in the museum, in Lower Manhattan.
Closing Monday, Jan. 15
World’s Largest Gingerbread Village – This annual extravaganza at the New York Hall of Science in Queens includes more than 1,000 structures and takes a year to build, and the village has won Guinness World Record titles several times. On the final day, the village is dismantled and the pieces are given away to charity. See it before it’s gone for the year, or go on the last day, when you can grab pieces for yourself. Bring your own bag to cart home the sweetness.
Photo of Adolph Eichmann courtesy Times of Israel