The New Whitney Museum

Every once in a while, nature gives us a nearly perfect day. Last Wednesday the temperature fluctuated between 70 and 80 degrees, the humidity was low, the sun shone and the bus that I took to New York City arrived unscathed and on time. For several months I looked forward to taking this trip to the new Whitney Museum in the old meat packing district of the city.

 

The media had made a great deal about the move of the Whitney from down town Manhattan to the old meat -packing district. With the help of the city government and the determination of sponsors, 100% of the funding needed for the construction of the new museum was reached in pretty much record time. I’d been following the progress of the museum project, as well as that of the High Line, a park developed along an abandoned elevated train line, right next door for a few years. Completed in 2015, I waited somewhat impatiently, for my “arty” friends to form a party to visit the new museum and the High Line. Tired of waiting, almost on the spur of the moment, I joined a ladies’ group heading for the Big Apple.

 

I’d read good things about the architecture of the building, but had never seen a picture of it. What a delight! Although at first glance, the museum seemed to contrast with the 19th century buildings around it, a short visual study made me realize that the architect, Renzo Piano, designed a building that incorporated the factory/wear house 19th century shapes into a modern concrete/glass museum to house contemporary American art.

 

Inside, the galleries were large and spacious. Visitors were encouraged to use the stairs, which, in nice weather, would take them out of the building to stand on balconies that overlooked the entire district. More importantly, huge windows in the outer halls looked out over the city, offering visitors vistas of city icons and the bay. On such a beautiful day, I had to force myself to look at the art work!

 

The work of Stuart Davis fit perfectly into the mood created by this open, light-filled setting. My sister-in-law and I felt like happy children among the colorful works of the artist and the spacious freedom inspired by the building. This combination, along with the weather made Wednesday a perfect day.

 

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