Fall arts season has arrived, and we’ve got the shows to add to your can’t-miss list.

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Smithsonian art museum
Credit: © Philip Scalia / Alamy Stock Photo

Read on for our ever-expanding list, or jump ahead to your point of interest: Amsterdam; Australia; Baltimore; London; Los Angeles; New York City; Paris; South America; Texas; and Washington, D.C.

Van Gogh Museum
Credit: Jan Kees Steenman


Munch: Van Gogh
Van Gogh Museum
September 25 – January 17, 2016

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which recently reopened, has the planet’s largest collection of works by the universally popular artist Vincent van Gogh. More than 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters are inside, including beloved masterpieces such as Sunflowers and Irises. A special exhibition, Munch: Van Gogh, opens September 25 and explores the parallels between the two artists, who had much in common but never met.

—Jane Szita

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Modern art musesums
Credit: Rolf Schulten


Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Now through November 8

This wide-ranging exhibit features more than 400 works from the collection of Catherine the Great, including works by artists including Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez, and Van Dyck.

Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes
Ian Potter Center: NGV Australia, Melbourne
October 9 - January 31, 2016

This mind-bending show boasts more than 200 works, including those by Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Max Dupain, Leigh Bowery and Julie Rrap, exploring Surrealism and its influence on Australian creative life.

Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei
National Gallery of Victoria
December 11 - August 24, 2016

In collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, this exhibit includes works by two of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st centuries side by side, including a suite of major commissions by Ai Weiwei.

—Carrie Hutchinson

Modern art musesums
Credit: John Greim


The Big Hope Show
Baltimore AVAM
October 3 – September 4, 2016

Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an exhibition about the power and transcendence of hope, “The Big Hope Show.” More than than twenty-five artists examining the transcendence of hope, in both serious and whimsical work, are on display, including pieces by Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips and Bobby Adams, one of John Waters’ extended group of renegade “Dreamlanders.”

—Tom Austin

Ai Weiwei Exhibit
Credit: Alex B. Huckle


Frieze Art Fair
Frieze London
October 14 – 17, 2015

Every October, as the white marquees start popping up across Regent’s Park, London’s gallerists and collectors gear up for Frieze, an art fair conceived by the publishers of the contemporary art magazine of the same name. This huge event, which draws up to 60,000 visitors each year, is less of an exhibition, more a must-go. This year, wide-ranging content covers the gamut, from independent short films to site-specific creations by the likes of U.S. installation artist Rachel Rose. Emerging artists can be seen in the Frieze Focus area (look out for the tapestry/collage-style pieces by local artist Samara Scott) and armchair travelers can get in on all the action with regular podcasts on the website.

—Emily Mathieson

Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age
Science Museum
Now through March 13, 2016

Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age at the Science Museum dives deep into the astronaut world, and reveals the story of Russian Space travel. Buzz Aldrin has already visited and given their seal of approval, and the exhibition was officially opened by Dr. Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. Highlights include an ejector seat for dogs, the capsule flown by Tereshkova, and the Sputnik satellite.

Going Public: International Art Collectors in Sheffield
Sheffield Cathedral
Now through December 12, 2015

Going Public is a brand-new initiative that sees the private invade the public. The culmination of four years of work by Mark Doyle, previously head of the Contemporary Art Society, and Sebastien Montabonel, a contemporary art consultant, works from the likes of Marcel Duchamp, the Chapman Brother (Jake and Dinos), and Sol LeWitt with speckle the city’s galleries and public spaces for the next four months for the first time in Sheffield.

Ai Weiwei
Royal Academy of Arts
Now through December 13, 2015

It has been a tumultuous few years for Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who was held under house arrest in China until this past July, when his passport was reluctantly returned. A much-celebrated artist in the U.K., two decades of his provocative work are currently showing at the main galleries at The Royal Academy, including a number of complicated installations that use a wide-range of materials, from marble to steel to glass—including his tree installation, which was brought to life via Europe’s largest-ever arts-based Kickstarter Campaign.

—Bridget Arsenault

Broad Museum
Credit: Iwan Baan

Los Angeles

Inaugural Installation
The Broad
Now through Spring 2016

As if you needed another reason to visit Los Angeles, there’s the long-awaited opening of The Broad, Los Angeles’ newest contemporary art museum. The inaugural exhibition features some 250 works by 60 artists, including Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, and Jeff Koons. Admission is free, but plan ahead—online ticket reservations are already full until mid-October.

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
The Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Now through December 13, 2015

Shoe obsessives, rejoice. Pack your best sandals and head out to Palm Springs for Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. This exhibition of more than 160 contemporary and historical designs culled from fashion houses, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renowned costume collections, will be on display at The Palm Springs Art Museum through mid-December. Among the highlights: 18th century court heels, tiny 19th century Chinese slippers for bound feet (ouch), and iconic 20th century heel designs by Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin (but of course), and Roger Vivier for Christian Dior. From stilettos to wedge platforms, the emphasis is on the architecture and artistry, and yes, there is an accompanying catalog.

—David Keeps

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Modern art musesums
Credit: MoMa

New York City

Picasso Sculpture
Museum of Modern Art,
Now through February 7, 2016

More than 100 of Picasso’s sculptures—the first exhibition of its kind in the U.S. in nearly 50 years—show that the famous painter was an equally skilled sculptor. The formally trained painter was self-taught in this medium, making the works in this show especially personal.

Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch
Museum of FIT
September 18 – December 5, 2015

Throughout the 1980s, Susanne Bartsch reigned as the queen of nightlife—in New York City and around the globe. Known for her elaborate charity balls and parites, Bartsch has had an extraordinary life in fashion, and now her life and collection—featuring more than 80 designs by The Blonds, Alexander McQueen, Pam Hogg, and Zaldy—are featured in this new exhibit at the Museum of FIT, which is designed to evoke her 1980s boutique, her legendary AIDS balls, and her Chelsea Hotel apartment.

—Tom Austin

Pixar: The Design of Story
Cooper Hewitt
October 8 – August 7, 2016

This fascinating look into the animation process at one of the world’s most famous studios will be presented in the museum’s Process Lab. Featuring original artwork, including rarely seen hand-drawn sketches, paintings and sculptures, the exhibit will examine the design process behind Pixar Animation Studios and its films Toy Story, Wall-E, Up, Brave, The Incredibles, and Cars.

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Modern art musesums
Credit: Getty Images


JR Decade: Portrait of a Generation
Perrotin Gallery
September 12 - October 17

After recently displaying his work on the streets of New York City and various village walls in Provence (among other alternative venues), French “photograffeur” JR is going the traditional route, if only for a brief time. This exhibition at the popular mod-meets-pop gallery in a courtyard in the Marais focuses on the 32-year-old artist’s work from the last 10 years. The main focus includes pieces and films featuring members of the New York City Ballet among the ruins of Cité des Bosquets in Clichy-Montfermeil, a suburb of Paris that saw destructive riots in 2005.

Warhol Unlimited
Musée d’Art Moderne
From October 2 - February 7, 2016

This collection of more than 200 pieces will highlight the pop artist’s serial works, with the European debut of Shadows in its entirety. The group of 102 silkscreened and hand-painted canvases features 17 different colors and runs more than 400 feet long. The exhibit, housed in the space on the Right Bank with an incredible courtyard view of Tour Eiffel, will also feature additional classics like Brillo Boxes, Mao friezes and various portraits.

Picasso Mania
Grand Palais
From October 7 - February 29, 2016

There’s more than enough Picasso to go around in Paris these days, with the recent reopening of the Musée Picasso in the Marais. But to really see the impact of the Spanish visionary’s work, see how his oeuvre influenced other artists. This exhibit will focus on just that, with a chronological display of canvases such as Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Guernica hung among pieces from the likes of Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Jacques Doucet and Yves Saint Laurent: Living For Art
Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent
From October 15 - February 14, 2016

French fashion designers Yves Saint Laurent and Jacques Doucet were huge collectors. This fall, their personal collections—including work from Manet, Matisse, Modigliani, and Picasso—will be on display in the very matter in which they hung in each of their Parisian homes. While most of the rotating exhibits at the Fondation, YSL’s former atelier in the 16th arrondissement, are worth visiting, there’s no better way to experience his mastery than by getting an inside peek at his studio and office upstairs—left as if he’d just stepped out for un café—which are only accessible via pre-booked tours at cultival.fr.

—Sara Lieberman

Medellin Museum of Modern Art.
Credit: Courtesy of the Medellin Museum of Modern Art.

South America

Debora Arango: Life in All Its Admirable Force
MAMM, Medellin, Colombia
September 2 - November 8

Along with its brand new expansion, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Medellin debuted an exhibit by Medellin-born artist Debora Arango, one of the leaders of the Colombian art movement, on September 2. “Life In All Its Admirable Force” groups Arango’s work by theme, including religion, women and society, and politics, and the exhibit is a special opportunity to see Arango’s work in its natural context: her home city.

Evandro Teixeira: The Constitution of the World
Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
September 22 - 31 January

Photojournalist extraordinaire, Bahia-born Evandro Teixeira has been lauded in print and poetry, but his photos—collected in this new exhibit at the Rio Art Museum—speak for themselves. The exhibit is a brilliant introduction to Teixeira’s work; plus, the museum itself is a new landmark for Brazilian art.

Francis Alÿs: A Story of Negotiaiton
MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
November 6 - February 15

“A Story of Negotiation,” opening November 6th at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano, is a curated collection of three of Francis Alÿs’ most recent projects. The Belgian-born, Mexico-based visual and performance artist is known for creating slightly absurd but thought-provoking performance art, often with a Latin American focus, that photographs beautifully. The Buenos Aires show is the first stop on an international tour.

—Nell McShane Wulfhart

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Modern art musesums
Credit: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth


Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
September 20 – January 10, 2016

Tadao Ando’s Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, deemed “one of the world’s most beautiful art museums” by T+L, presents Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, originally organized by the Brooklyn Museum. The show entails 60 works by Wiley, who mixes contemporary street culture with the portraiture of such European masters as Titian and Van Dyck.

Mark Rothko: A Retrospective
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
September 20 – January 24, 2016

This exhibition, with more than 60 paintings from the master, infuses abstraction with beauty, and remains on view until January 24, 2016. MFAH is the only U.S. museum to present the Rothko exhibition, which culls the extensive Rothko holdings of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Houston, as it happens, is home to the Rothko Chapel, one of the Rothko’s most renowned public commissions.

International Pop
Dallas Museum of Art
October 11 – January 17, 2016

On October 11, the Dallas Museum of Art opens International Pop, which examines the domination of pop art in the 1960s and 1970s. Unlike previous pop art exhibitions, International Pop studies the global scope of pop art, from Nouveau Realisme in France to Japan’s Anti-Art movement.

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DC Art
Credit: © Kristoffer Tripplaar / Alamy Stock Photo

Washington, D.C.

Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland
Phillips Collection
October 10, 2015 — January 10, 2016

This is an opportunity to see heavy-hitters from the likes of Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall. Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland is America’s first-ever joint exhibition of the collections of two major and influential Swiss patrons of the arts: Rudolf Staechelin and Karl Im Obersteg.

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty
Smithsonian American Art Museum
October 23, 2015 — March 30, 2016

This retrospective of the work of fashion, portrait, and still life photographer Irving Penn features works from throughout his career. Penn, who often photographed celebrities and fashion models for Vogue, is known as a modern photographer with a continued influence on the medium. This exhibit includes the 146 photographs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection, as well as another 100 photographs donated by the Irving Penn Foundation.

Renwick Gallery
November 13, 2015 — Spring/Summer 2016

In celebration of the Renwick Gallery's reopening following a two-year renovation, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has asked nine contemporary artists to create installations that evoke wonder. These installations include a clutch of 8- to 13-foot towers made out of index cards by Tara Donovan, and Maya Lin's evocation of the Chesapeake Bay made with green marbles cascading down the gallery’s walls and across its floors.

— Amy McKeever

Want to know more about the above? Get the full scoop here.