The Whitney Museum of Art was established in 1931 to showcase American art in the 20th century. Now in the 21st century a whole new light has been cast: a fresh new building by Italian architect Renzo Piano. It is superb! Located at one end of the High Line in the meatpacking district, it’s a new New York treasure.
The galleries were well conceived to contain art of all sizes and mediums with three terraces of sculpture gardens and views of the city and Hudson River.
The spaciousness is impressive. It was not claustrophobic and even with the crowds there was room to wander and sit. There is an airiness that doesn’t rush you through one gallery to the next. The walls are on some kind of rafter system that can be changed out and the white pickled oak floors are a nice feature too.
I’ve always appreciated the Whitney’s collection but the Piano Whitney is a few times the size of the previous and there is so much more to see. The viewer gets a nice expanse of its collection from Hopper to Kara Walker and the eclectic lineup that best represents American art. Calder’s Circus now plays well with others and is centered as the big top it was meant to be.
When visiting, make time to walk the 1 ½ mile High Line, the magical elevated green space. It’s a nice perspective of Manhattan with changing sculptures on route.