Five museums to fall in love with this Valentine’s Day

Five museums to fall in love with this Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, why not take a romantic stroll through a museum? We’ve rounded up five art institutions that are open late on Fridays, allowing for plenty of time to peruse a painting, linger over a placard or to admire a finely chiseled Greek sculpture.

For the bookish

Jean-Jacques Lequeu's "Designs for a Temple of the Earth, from Civil Architecture," 1794. Photo: The Morgan Library and Museum.
Jean-Jacques Lequeu’s “Designs for a Temple of the Earth, from Civil Architecture,” 1794. Photo: The Morgan Library and Museum.

When was the last time you took a leaf out of someone else’s book? While you absolutely cannot, under any circumstance do this at the Morgan Library and Museum, you can station yourself underneath three levels of caged books to admire the glint of finely bound literature. Adorned with H. Siddons Mowbray’s ornate ceiling mural, the library’s East Room offers a cozy retreat from larger museum settings. After looking at the treasures held in J. Pierpont Morgan’s library, venture around the museum to take in two recently opened exhibitions: “Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect” and “Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being.”

For the classic museum lover

Jean Honoré Fragonard's "The Love Letter," early 1770s. On view at the Met in Gallery 630.
Jean Honoré Fragonard’s “The Love Letter,” early 1770s. On view at the Met in Gallery 630.

Fancy a romp through ancient Egypt? Through a gallery of medieval armor? How about a room full of furniture? The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers all of this and more. A more time-intensive excursion, the museum collectively contains more than 5,000 years of art history. Meander through your favorite halls or head to one of the museum’s current exhibitions. Of note for those craving a bit of high couture on Valentine’s Day, the Costume Institute’s current installation features approximately 80 items assembled by collector Sandy Schreier, who has stated that she has always seen herself as a “fashion savior.” Titled “In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection,” the exhibition includes pieces from Elsa Schiaparelli, Alexander McQueen, Madeleine Vionnet and more.

For those in pursuit of the modern

Dorothea Lange's "Richmond, California,"1942. Photo: The Museum of Modern Art.
Dorothea Lange’s “Richmond, California,”1942. Photo: The Museum of Modern Art.

After a four month closure and an approximately $450 million renovation, the Museum of Modern Art reopened this past October with a brand new floor plan. For those wishing to lose themselves in a crowd, we suggest retreating into the museum’s newly imagined permanent galleries, which continue to feature treasures from the institution’s immense collection. Here, you can see Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” Henri Matisse’s “Swimming Pool” and many more delights. Photography aficionados can check out the newly opened exhibition “Dorothea Lange: Words and Pictures,” while those hoping to catch a film may enjoy “Zero,” directed by Zazuhiro Soda and presented as part “Doc Fortnight 2020.”

For the history buff

President Nixon shakes hands with the King, Elvis Presley, in the Oval Office. Photo: The New-York Historical Society.
President Nixon shakes hands with the King, Elvis Presley, in the Oval Office. Photo: The New-York Historical Society.

In case you forgot, it’s election year! Opening this Valentine’s Day, a special exhibition on the New-York Historical Society’s fourth floor recreates the White House Oval Office in great detail, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in presidential history. Titled “Meet the Presidents,” the gallery takes its interior decorating cues from President Ronald Reagan’s second term, which the museum states is “widely considered a classic interpretation of Oval Office design.” After staring at a replica of Reagan’s famous jar of jelly beans, make your way down to the institution’s other newly opened show: “Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution.”

For those who don’t want to be in Manhattan

An annotated production still depicting Stanley Kubrick and Keir Dullea on the set of the hotel room in "2001: A Space Odyssey." Photo: Warner Bros.
An annotated production still depicting Stanley Kubrick and Keir Dullea on the set of the hotel room in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Photo: Warner Bros.

If being in Manhattan is too much to bear, make the journey to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, where film lovers are in for a treat. In addition to the museum’s permanent exhibition “Behind the Screen,” visitors can check out the recently opened “Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey,” now on view through July 19. Viewing 2001 from the 1960s, the installation includes items such as the Moonwatcher ape suit worn by Dan Richter, a space suit, storyboards, contact sheets, test films and photographs — all drawn from international collections, the Stanley Kubrick Archive and the museum’s own holdings. Those seeking to retreat into the theater are in luck with screenings of both “Barbarella” and “Little Women.”