8 Inspiring Museum Shows to See Across the US Over the Holidays

Got family in town? Looking for a crowd-pleasing escape from the cold? We’ve got the antidote to your winter blues with these colorful, engaging, and inspiring museum exhibitions across the country. From Oscar Murillo in Aspen to Marcel Duchamp in Washington, DC, we’ve got something here for everyone.

“Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody” at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston
December 19, 2019–March 22, 2020

Garrett Bradley, America (2019, film still). Courtesy of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.

In New Orleans-based filmmaker Garrett Bradley’s first solo museum show, a selection of short films present an alternative history with a focus on untold African American experiences. Bradley’s film, AKA, was included in this year’s Whitney Biennial, and America, another of his works, was one of the main events at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s October 2019 film festival.

The Contemporary Arts Museum is located at 5216 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, Texas.

“When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration Through Contemporary Art” at the ICA Boston
Through January 26, 2020

Aliza Nisenbaum, <i>La Talaverita, Sunday Morning NY Times</i> (2016). Courtesy the artist, Anton Kern Gallery, and Mary Mary. ©Aliza Nisenbaum.

Aliza Nisenbaum, La Talaverita, Sunday Morning NY Times (2016). Courtesy the artist, Anton Kern Gallery, and Mary Mary. © Aliza Nisenbaum.

Twenty artists from more than a dozen countries are included in this poignant show about migration throughout the world since 2000. The title comes from a poem written by Warsan Shire, whose words, coupled with the artworks on view, visualize the staggering fact that one out of every seven people is a migrant, according to the United Nations.

The ICA Boston is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, Massachusetts.

“Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again” at the Art Institute of Chicago
Through January 26, 2020

Installation shot of Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again, 2019. Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

An installation shot of “Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again.” Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In cased you missed the East Coast iteration at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Andy Warhol’s colorful and celebrity-studded retrospective is on view in the City of Broad Shoulders just in time for the holiday crowds. The exhibition traces Warhol’s work through his commercial advertising to his take on Pop art, and provides plenty of selfie backgrounds to boot.

The Art Institute of Chicago is located at 159 East Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois.

“Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series” at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Through February 2, 2020

Romare Bearden, <i>Profile/Part 1, The Twenties: Mecklenberg County, School Bell Time</i> (1978). Courtesy of High Museum of Art.

Romare Bearden, Profile/Part 1, The Twenties: Mecklenberg County, School Bell Time (1978). Courtesy of High Museum of Art.

The “Profile” series by Romare Bearden chronicles his childhood in North Carolina through to his move to Harlem, where he lived as an artist in the 1940s. The concept began when Bearden was interviewed for a New Yorker article in 1977 and was prompted to revisit his past. He then began to make collages for each decade, cobbling together autobiographical details in his works.

The High Museum of Art is located at 1280 Peachtree St Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia.

“By Day and by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque” at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena
Through March 2, 2020

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse, </i> (1887-1888). Courtesy of Norton Simon Museum.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse (1887–88). Courtesy of Norton Simon Museum.

The years between 1871 and 1914 are known as the Belle Époque, or “beautiful era,” when Parisian artistry and urban development were at their peak. In this show, works by artists including Armand Guillaumin, Edgar Degas, and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec capture the spirit of hope—and underlying anxiety—that animated the age.

The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, California.

“Oscar Murillo: Social Altitude” at the Aspen Art Museum
Through May 17, 2020

Installation view of "Oscar Murillo: Social Altitude" at Aspen Art Museum, 2019. Photo: Tony Prikryl.

An installation view of “Oscar Murillo: Social Altitude” at the Aspen Art Museum. Photo: Tony Prikryl.

Oscar Murillo, a newly minted Turner Prize winner, makes works that directly draw upon his personal experiences as a Colombian-born artist living in London. Through videos, installations, performances, and abstract paintings, the artist questions the nature of identity. This show includes a suite of new works, and is on view in an airy mountaintop art museum.

The Aspen Art Museum is located at 637 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, Colorado.

“Still I Rise” at MASS MoCA, North Adams
Through May 25, 2020

Deborah Roberts, <i>Untitled</i> (2017). Photo: Philip Rogers, courtesy of MASS MoCA.

Deborah Roberts, Untitled (2017). Photo: Philip Rogers, courtesy of MASS MoCA.

Borrowing its title from a verse in Maya Angelou’s 1978 poem, this exhibition highlights portraits of women. Works by artists including Deborah Roberts, Genevieve Gaignard, and Tim Okamura include self-portraits and depictions of neighbors, friends, and family members. The show also presents photographs and paintings.

MASS MoCA is located at 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Massachusetts. 

“Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Through October 15, 2020

Marcel Duchamp, The Box in a Valise/Boite en Valise (Series E) From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy [de ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rrose Sélavy] (1963). © Association Marcel Duchamp/ ADAGP, Paris/ Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York 2018.

Thanks to a major gift from DC-based collectors Aaron and Barbara Levine, the Hirshhorn is now home to a trove of artworks by the OG conceptual artist, Marcel Duchamp. There wouldn’t even be a banana-gate without Duchamp and his radical notion of the readymade! Think about that. This exhibition includes portraits of Duchamp and works by his contemporaries and followers, such as Tristan Tzara, Diane Arbus, Man Ray, and others.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is located at Independence Ave and 7th Street, Washington, DC.

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