Three years after many institutions promised to diversify their offerings and start anew, signs of an expanded canon have finally arrived. Some of the biggest shows of 2023 were ones that made significant contributions to art history: surveys of contemporary Indigenous art, a vast exhibition of Black Brazilian art, and in-depth explorations of figures who had largely been relegated to the margins.

Which is not to say that grand blockbusters didn’t happen. There was a Vermeer retrospective that had been awaited for years, and Édouard Manet’s Olympia visited the US for the first time ever as part of a Manet-Degas double-header. That both kinds of exhibitions could coexist, sometimes even within the walls of the same institution, demonstrated just how much the remit of major museums has changed in the past few years.

Below, a look at the 25 exhibitions which defined 2023.