The season's best openings, exhibits, and festivals that are worth planning an entire trip around.
The New African-American Museum in DC
The long-awaited National Museum of African American History & Culture on the Mall, by British architect David Adjaye, will open with exhibits on slavery, segregation, and historic figures like Louis Armstrong and Muhammad Ali. The debut weekend will also have a celebratory vibe: there’s a film and music festival, and President Obama will inaugurate the museum.
Food & Music in New Orleans
This year’s ultimate Halloween celebration is the Voodoo Music & Art Experience. Sixty-five bands will perform, with Arcade Fire and the Weeknd as headliners. A Ferris wheel and interactive art installations will serve as backdrops. You’ll be well fed, too—look for fried-duck quesadillas and shrimp po’boys.
Stargazing in Joshua Tree
As part of the centennial celebration for the National Park Service, Joshua Tree is hosting a Night Sky Festival with some of the best stargazing in the country. Throughout the night, photographers will capture the scene, while astronomers will point telescopes toward Venus and Saturn, as well as Andromeda and the Great Square of Pegasus—two constellations visible only in the fall.
Picasso in Houston
September 15-January 8
On the heels of MoMA’s Picasso sculpture exhibit, the Menil Collection will show other, lesser-known works by the artist—this time his line drawings. The exhibition contains 90 careerspanning works pulled from private and public collections around the world, including a selfportrait and an early charcoal version of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Modern Art in Paris
October 21-February 20
Russian businessman Sergei Shchukin’s collection of French art has masterpieces by Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, and Degas— most of which have not been seen outside Russia for years. The Fondation Louis Vuitton is bringing 130 of the works to Paris for “Icons of Modern Art,” which will also showcase some of Russia’s top artists. And the new Fondation has undergone a temporary makeover: artist Daniel Buren covered the building in colored filters that create a kaleidoscope effect.
Historical artifacts in New York
The Museum of the City of New York is opening a permanent exhibition dubbed “New York at Its Core”’—its most comprehensive examination of the city’s history to date. The three galleries trace four centuries of events, objects (like Boss Tweed’s cuff links and Milton Glaser’s original I Love New York logo design) and personalities from Alexander Hamilton to Jay Z.