A Visit to the Whitney’s New Home

A Visit to the Whitney’s New Home

Most people familiar with Museum Mile—the famed stretch of the Upper East Side peppered with some of the world’s most-recognizable cultural institutions— probably have heard of (and most likely visited) the Whitney Museum of American Art, the large granite structure that hugged the corner of Madison Avenue and East 75th Street for almost five decades.

Well, the venerable institution now has a home in downtown Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, and, with a new residence comes a new look, which I got to check out on a recent visit to the lower Manhattan locale, which opened in May.

With a sleek design by architect Renzo Piano, the contemporary, sculptural building embraces its surroundings, with large windows on the west side from which visitors can take in awe-inspiring views of the Hudson River and beyond. Plus, the institution boasts 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces teeming with artwork that face the popular High Line elevated park. 

Back inside, the Whitney still has a pretty impressive collection of art housed in its multi-floor gallery spaces—from Patrick Henry Bruce’s Painting, c. 1921-22, a collection of vivid pinks, ocean-like blues and deep navy in geometric forms; and Mark Rothko’s impactful Four Darks in Red, 1958; to Edward Hopper’s iconic Early Sunday Morning, 1930; and more.

The building also includes an education center; a multi-use black box theater for film, video, and performance with an adjacent outdoor gallery; a 170-seat theater; and a Works on Paper Study Center, Conservation Lab, and Library Reading Room.

Visitors can take home a bit of their Whitney experience thanks to a retail shop on the ground floor, and, on the food front, restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group operate the ground-floor restaurant Untitled, helmed by Chef Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern fame; and Studio Cafe on the eighth floor—which is also run by Chef Anthony and features delectable bites (think fancy toast like summer squash, baby tomatoes, pickled pole beans, goat cheese and balsamic; roasted eggplant, tomato and sesame chutney, shishito peppers; and more, as well as snacks, soups, salads and desserts) plus Kodak-moment-worthy views of downtown and beyond from the sprawling outdoor terrace.

The museum is open until 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For additional hours and more on the museum, click here.


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