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5 Art Exhibitions We’re Excited About This Month


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Did you know that May 18 is International Museum Day? Since 1977, this annual holiday has highlighted the cultural importance of  institutions around the world. To help you mark this special occasion, we've put together a list of exhibitions on view throughout May—because we think that International Museum Day deserves a month-long celebration!

From kimonos to kinetic sculptures, the art showcased in these exhibitions illustrates the eclectic nature of museums. So, no matter your artistic tastes, you'll be able to make the most of International Museum Day throughout the entire month of May.

Here are five exhibitions we’re looking forward to this month.


Kimono Refashioned (The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco)


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For centuries, the kimono has typified Japanese fashion. While the symbolic garment is steeped in history and cloaked in tradition, it also plays a pivotal role in modern-day design. To illustrate its enduring prominence, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Kyoto Costume Institute have come together to craft Kimono Refashioned.

Featuring over 40 ensembles, accessories, and artworks from nearly 30 creators, this exhibition explores the unexpected similarities between the historic gowns and haute couture. Much more than a history lesson on the kimono, this exhibition “emphasizes the cultural fluidity of kimono and its expression in modern fashion, vividly demonstrating how a simple item of clothing can contribute to meaningful exchanges of ideas.”

Kimono Refashioned closes on May 5. Don't miss it!


Calder-Picasso (Picasso Museum, Paris)


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If you've ever been to a modern art museum, chances are you've encountered works by both Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder. As two of the most influential figures in 20th-century art, the artists are often exhibited together, prompting viewers to compare what they see—or, in the case of an exhibition at the Picasso Museum in Paris, what they don't see.

Rather than present similarities in form and color, Calder-Picasso focuses on the duo's likeminded approach to empty space. Specifically, the show explores “how these two artists, each in his own very different ways, engaged with the void” through both their figurative and abstract works.

 Calder-Picasso is on view until August 25.


Toshio Suzuki to Ghibli (EDOCCO – Edo Culture Complex)


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For the first time in three years, a Studio Ghibli exhibition has come to Tokyo. Revolving around the work of Toshio Suzuki, the company's co-founder and legendary producer, this exhibition shines a spotlight on his cinematic contributions—and then some.

Through interactive exhibits and authentic objects like production notes and sketches, Toshio Suzuki to Ghibli traces Suzuki's role in the 34-year-old film house. What sets this exhibition apart from other Ghibli spectacles, however, is its focus on one of Suzuki's lesser-known skills: calligraphy. Interspersed throughout the show, his exquisitely crafted characters enhance an already beautiful art form.

Toshio Suzuki to Ghibli is on view at the EDOCCO – Edo Culture Complex until May 12.


Garry Winogrand: Color at the Brooklyn Museum


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The work of street artist Garry Winogrand is renowned for—and recognized by—its black-and-white color palette. However, even at the height of his career, Winogrand explored another aesthetic avenue: color film.

Between the early 1950s and late 1960s, Winogrand created over 45,000 color slides. Garry Winogrand: Color, a landmark exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, presents 400 of these photographs. Though rendered in hues not typically associated with the photographer, these photos feature the familiar settings present in his entire portfolio, including “streets and highways, suburbs, motels, theaters, fairgrounds, and amusement parks.”

Garry Winogrand: Color is on view from May 3 through December 8.


Chihuly: Reflections on Nature (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London)


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May might be a museum-centric month, but that doesn't mean you have to stay cooped up indoors—you can also enjoy some art en plein air! In fact, some pieces—including Dale Chihuly's glistening glass sculptures—are best viewed in the shining sun.

Want to see this phenomenon for yourself? Wander through Chihuly: Reflections on Nature, an exhibition set in the stunning Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Here, you can see “the perfect marriage of art, science and nature” as Chihuly's amazing sculptures transform the Gardens and glasshouses into a contemporary outdoor gallery space.

Chihuly: Reflections on Nature will be in full-bloom until October 27.


Related Articles:

20 of the World’s Most Famous Museums Offering Free Museum Days

7 Museums With Iconic Architecture Everyone Should Recognize

10 of the Best Contemporary Art Museums to Visit Around the World

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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