7 museum exhibitions to see this fall

Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama and Hokusai are the stars of major exhibitions

Keith Haring stands in front of his art in 1986
Keith Haring's distinctive symbols used in his art include a radiating baby and barking dog
(Image credit: Joe McNally / Getty Images)

"Manet/Degas" - Metropolitan Museum of Art

The oil painting "Plum Brandy" by Manet

Édouard Manet painted "Plum Brandy," an oil on canvas, circa 1877

(Image credit: VCG Wilson / Corbis via Getty Images)

Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas were sometimes friends, sometimes rivals, and always keeping an eye on what the other was painting. The "Manet/Degas" exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City explores the relationship forged between the men, two of the most important French painters of the 19th century. More than 150 paintings, prints and drawings by Manet and Degas will be shown side by side in the exhibition, which also delves into their connection through the context of their social circles and families. Runs Sept. 24, 2023 to Jan. 7, 2024

"Camille Claudel" - Art Institute Chicago

Camille Claudel's 1893 sculpture "L'Age Mur" (The Age of Maturity)

Camille Claudel's 1893 sculpture "L'Age Mur" (The Age of Maturity)

(Image credit: Chesnot / Getty Images)

The groundbreaking French artist Camille Claudel was active at a time when most sculptors didn't look like her, carving a space for herself in this male-dominated world. She lived from 1864 to 1943, and is now known for her attention to detail and technical prowess, with her pieces often reflecting themes of love and loss. "Camille Claudel" at the Art Institute Chicago is the first extensive showing of her work in the United States in more than two decades, with 60 sculptures on display, loaned by over 30 institutions and private collectors. Runs Oct. 7, 2023 to Feb. 19, 2024

"Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice" - Wichita Art Museum

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass circa 1855

Abolitionist Fredrick Douglass was one of the figures painted by William H. Johnson in his "Fighters for Freedom" series

(Image credit: Library of Congress / Getty Images)

The American modernist painter William H. Johnson wanted to celebrate Black excellence, and for his final series of paintings in the 1940s, focused on the leaders, activists, performers, and teachers who sought to change the world for the better. His "Fighters for Freedom" paintings featured well-known figures like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, plus individuals who silently participated in the social justice movement. "Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice" is comprised of works pulled from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection. Runs Oct. 8, 2023 to Jan. 14, 2024

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

"Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love" - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Artist Yayoi Kusama in front of colorful objects

Artist Yayoi Kusama is known for her colorful installations

(Image credit: Andrew Toth / Getty Images)

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art invites visitors to enter the "kaleidoscopic world of Yayoi Kusama," a Japanese contemporary artist known for his installations using mirrors and light to create infinite dazzling reflections. The "Infinite Love" exhibit, Kusama's first solo presentation in Northern California, will have two Infinity Mirror Rooms: her newest, 2023's "Dreaming of Earth's Sphericity, I Would Offer My Love," as well as 2013's "Love is Calling." This room is one of the largest Kusama has created, and is illuminated by inflatables that rise from the floor to the ceiling. Runs from Oct. 14, 2023 to Sept. 7, 2024

"William Blake: Visionary" - The Getty Center

"Urizen Penned in the Rock" by William Blake

"Urizen Penned in the Rock" from William Blake's 1794 work "The Book of Urizen"

(Image credit: Culture Club / Getty Images )

The British poet, painter and printmaker William Blake lived from 1757 to 1827, and held an unorthodox worldview. Today, he is considered an innovator, thanks to his own mythology that he weaved through his works, but he was "all but ignored in his lifetime, dismissed by many who knew him as insane, and died in poverty and obscurity," BBC said. "William Blake: Visionary" at The Getty Center in Los Angeles in cooperation with the Tate in London, will shine a light on some of Blake's most imaginative pieces, including one inspired by a vision he had during a séance. Runs Oct. 17, 2023 to Jan. 14, 2024

"Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence" - Seattle Art Museum

"The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Katsushika Hokusai

"The Great Wave off Kanagawa" was made by Katsushika Hokusai in the 1820s

(Image credit: Buyenlarge / Getty Images)

Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is more than just the "Great Wave." The Japanese artist's most famous print is known the world over, having been plastered on clothes and purses and even turned into a Lego set, but "Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence" at the Seattle Art Museum aims to tell a fuller story, bringing light to more than 100 of his paintings, book illustrations and woodblock prints. These works will be on display next to art created by his teachers, students and rivals, providing an opportunity for visitors to compare and contrast the pieces. Runs Oct. 19, 2023 to Jan. 21, 2024

"Keith Haring: Art is for Everybody" - Art Gallery of Ontario

Keith Haring works on a mural in Manhattan in 1987

Keith Haring works on a mural in Manhattan in 1987

(Image credit: Mark Hinjosa / Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Keith Haring's iconic symbols, from the radiating baby to the barking dog, are instantly recognizable, decades after he first started scrawling the characters on posters in Manhattan subway stations. These figures will be on display in the exhibition "Keith Haring: Art is for Everybody," at Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario. The show will include more than 120 works by the artist, who died in 1990, as well as archive materials. Visitors will see how Haring progressed from being a student at the School of the Visual Arts in New York City to a vital member of the downtown club scene to an activist who used paint to speak up for AIDS awareness and against apartheid and nuclear weapons. This touring exhibit is coming from The Broad in Los Angeles, and is the only stop in Canada. Runs Nov. 8, 2023 to March 17, 2024

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.