New Whitney Museum Reopens Friday in Downtown Space

The Whitney Museum of American Art reopens Friday in a new, towering geometric white and glass building next to the High Line in the Meatpacking District.

First Lady Michelle Obama, who flew to New York City Thursday to attend the dedication ceremony, says she "fell in love with" the new museum, which opens after six months in a larger building to showcase more artwork, according to its curators.

This is the third move for the Whitney in the last century. 

The new building, designed by Renzo Piano, includes indoor and outdoor temporary installation exhibits, as well as the Whitney’s 19,000-piece permanent collection, according to the museum.

Obama took a brief tour ahead of the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. She said that as a young girl growing up in Chicago she was like many children who believe a museum is not a place for them, and praised the Whitney for its outreach efforts to the community.

The Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village opened in 1914. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a leading patron of American art, founded the museum which opened in 1931 and was the first American art museum, according to the Whitney.

In 1954, the museum relocated to 54th Street. It moved a second time in 1966 to 75th Street and Madison Avenue where the museum remained until October.

The Whitney will open with two temporary exhibitions: America Is Hard to See and Mary Heilmann’s Sunset. For more details:

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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