Attraction of the Week – The Whitney
Overlooking the Hudson River, there stands one of New York’s true gems in the artistic sense. Having only moved to its new location in 2015, the Whitney Museum is somewhat of the “New kid on the block”. However, the museum has been in existence since the 1930’s and has continued to expand over the years. It’s nestled right next to the Southern entrance of High Line Park in the West Village and beautifully occupies about 200,000 square feet.
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney had become a very successful art space creator with her Whitney Studio Club in 1918. She collected art from many artists around the world with the help of her assistant Juliana R. Force and at one point was going to donate pieces to the Met. After those pieces were rejected by the Met, Whitney decided to start her own Museum where she would showcase contemporary American art. The museum would struggle with space as their collection grew over the years as they held a small building located at 945 Madison Avenue. This led to the Whitney adding multiple branch locations to show off pieces that they couldn’t fit inside of the museum.
The first additional Whitney branch opened in 1973 at 55 Water Street showcasing similar pieces to the main location but offering a smaller selection size for viewers. Multiple expansions followed including a 1981 exhibition space in Stamford, Connecticut and a lobby exhibition installed in the Philip Morris Park Avenue headquarters. While it’s great to expand and reach new audiences, what the Whitney really wanted to accomplish was getting a space big enough to hold their extensive collection which now features over 21,000 pieces. (Some big names listed in the collection include Larry Poons, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol).
They finally decided enough was enough and left their old building on Madison Avenue which was then ironically leased by the Met (current). The Whitney settled into their new location at 99 Gansevoort street in 2015 and opened their doors on May 1st. The new location not only has far more room for the Whitney’s annual and biennial exhibitions but also has some amazing views of the city. Of course the museum is next door neighbors with High Line Park which offers an elevated view of NYC so not to be outdone, the museum offers several observation decks to their visitors.
The Whitney is opened during the following hours:
Monday: 10.30am – 6pm
Wednesday: 10.30am – 6pm
Thursday: 10.30am – 10pm
Friday: 10.30am – 10pm
Saturday: 10.30am – 10pm
Sunday: 10.30am – 6pm
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