Museums are best visited on rainy or sweltering days. Everyone knows that.
So it felt a little strange to drag myself inside to visit a museum on a beautiful Saturday. It was the public opening of the Whitney Museum in its new downtown, Meatpacking location. Sunshine or no, I had to check it out.
And because I did, I can now tell you this museum is awesome. Even on a gorgeous day. In fact, the new building features so much out-door space it’s very much part of the museum. The views of NYC are an exhibit of their own.
Impressive and as all-American as our cityscape is the art inside. The Whitney exclusively features American modern art. America Is Hard To See is the opening showcase, drawn entirely from the Whitney’s permanent collection. It spans the top floors of the museum from now through September.
You’ll recognize the work of renown artists like O’keefe, Hopper, and Stella on the 8th floor.
The top floor is flooded with natural light and flooded with people on this first day, which was open and free to the public in celebration. Natural light is prominent on all floors, enhancing the modern feel of this modern art museum.
You’ll find Rothko and Pollock on the 7th floor, along with provocative and stirring pieces by artist you may be unfamiliar with unless you made it past Art History 101.
The focus of America Is Hard To See is the changing perspectives and representations of the culture of the ol’ USA. There’s some celebration and plenty of critique, above all commentary. This is a museum that has never been afraid of the controversial.
The art work on this wall on the 7th floor stuck with me more than any other art I saw during this visit. It was part of an exhibit in 1935 that the NAACP commissioned. An anti-lynching exhibit. Disturbing, visceral, and contains uncomfortable parallels to current events, the pieces are powerful. They are absolutely not fun to look at but they need to be seen.
I always think it’s weird to take pictures of paintings- you can find thousands of the same (and better, given my meh camera) image online! You have to go to the museum if you actually want to see things for real! I hope to give enough of a sense of the museum that you’ll want to visit.
If you’re like me and have interest in visual art, I highly recommend visiting the Whitney.If you’re not really into art, this is not the museum for you.
This museum is the perfect size to see everything in one trip. Plus it’s right next to the High Line = 2 amazing NYC activities on the same block! Basically one on top of the other!
The level with the rainbow chairs is an outdoor exhibit at the Whitney. The level below with the trees is the High Line!
For all the information you need about visiting and more of what you can expect to see, visit the Whitney Museum website.
Are you a modern art fan or not? Hate it? Did you visit the old Whitney Museum location? Let me know below!