Yes. Summer is over. You're back at your desk.
But! New York's fall cultural life has begun at museums, concert halls and performance venues. There are the big milestones, like opening night at the Metropolitan Opera on September 23, but there are also some less trumpeted events to get excited about.
- The Guggenheim is unveiling a large retrospective of Robert Motherwell's early collages. He's best known for his large, black-and-white oil paintings. This exhibition should change that. It's organized by Susan Davidson, who previously curated the Guggenheim's excellent John Chamberlain retrospective. September 27-January 5. http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/upcoming/robert-motherwell-early-collages
- The oft-overlooked but consistently excellent Noguchi Museum in Long Island City is doing an exhibit of Noguchi's ink drawings, pairing them with the legendary scroll painter Qi Baishi, with whom Noguchi studied. Bonus: We challenge you to visit the Noguchi gift shop and leave emptyhanded. September 25-January 26. http://www.noguchi.org/programs/exhibitions/isamu-noguchi-and-qi-baishi-beijing-1930
- The Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art is putting on an exhibit of early portrait photography from Southeast Asia with over 120 photographs. Much has been made of European daguerreotypes and carte-de-visites, but up to now early Asian experiments have been largely overlooked. October 16-February 10. http://www.rmanyc.org/nav/exhibitions/view/2282
- James Levine is due at Carnegie Hall to conduct the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and soprano Joyce DiDonato. Levine has had health problems that have kept him from the Met itself. If he actually shows up, the concert is sure to be an event. October 13 at 3 p.m. http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2013/10/13/0300/PM/The-Met-Orchestra/
- Given the high attendance there, it's always surprising to find that some people aren't aware of the Metropolitan Museum's concert hall, right off the Egyptian Wing. But that's precisely where Patti Smith (seriously) will be performing a tribute to Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century (pre) renaissance woman, who wrote, composed, painted and led a Benedictine abbey. Sounds just bizarre enough to be a fun night. September 20 at 7 p.m. http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/concerts-and-performances/patti-smith-a?eid=4134
- The Austrian Culture Forum is bringing back its "Moving Sounds" festival, which puts a heavy emphasis on electronic and experimental music. Which can get grating fast. But there are several bright lights in the program, including a performance by the Argento Chamber Ensemble and the New Chamber Ballet. So it's a twofer -- listen to music by Webern, Haas and several new composers, and watch excellent dance and choreography. September 20 at 7 p.m. http://www.acfny.org/event/argento-chamber-ensemble-new-chamber-ballet/
- City Ballet is back in season, starting with its gala on September 19. One of its first performances is "Balanchine Black and White," in which chintzy sets are kept in storage and the focus onstage is just the dancers. Happily, those include luminaries like Chase Finlay, the barely legal prodigy who joined the corps de ballet in September 2009 and was promoted to a principal this year. September 24. http://www.nycballet.com/season-tickets/13-14-season/performances/fall/140924e.aspx
- The Fall for Dance festival returns to City Center in late September and early October for a solid 10 days of the world's best dance companies. Of particular note is a performance by the American Ballet Theater, Colin Dunne, the Ballet Hispanico and Introdans, on September 30 and October 1. All tickets are $15, on sale September 8. http://www.nycitycenter.org/tickets/productionNew.aspx?performanceNumber=7520#programs
- The Joyce Theater is putting on "The Metamorphosis," choreographed by Arthur Pita, a production originally made for London's Royal Ballet. The principal Edward Watson, who won an Olivier Award for this performance, will be performing the lead role of Gregor Samsa. Get excited. September 17- 29. http://www.joyce.org/performance/the-metamorphosis-a-royal-ballet-production/#.UioCscakpIk
James Tarmy reports on arts and culture for Bloomberg Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.