Founded in 1977, the New Museum is the first and only contemporary art museum in New York City and among the most respected internationally, with a curatorial program unrivaled in the United States in its global scope and adventurousness.
The New Museum will open its new building on the Bowery to the public on Saturday, December 1, 2007. Coinciding with the institution’s 30th anniversary, the milestone will be celebrated with 30 hours of continuous free admission to the public sponsored by Target, beginning at noon on December 1st. New York City officials will preside over a grand ribbon cutting ceremony at the New Museum on Friday, November 30th.
The public opening of the new New Museum will conclude a week of celebration and special previews to be attended by the many corporate, foundation, government and individual patrons whose passion for contemporary art and the institution’s mission of “new art, new ideas” have brought the New Museum to the successful conclusion of its $64 million capital campaign.
With the inauguration of the building at 235 Bowery, between Stanton and Rivington Streets at the intersection the Bowery and Prince Street, the New Museum of Contemporary Art will occupy its own freestanding, dedicated building for the first time in the institution’s history. The structure is the first art museum ever built from the ground up in downtown Manhattan. The seven-story, 60,000 square foot New Museum —a glimmering metal mesh-clad stack of boxes shifted off axis in a dynamic composition— was designed by noted avant garde architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the Tokyo-based partnership Sejima+Nishizawa/ SANAA, with Gensler, New York, serving as Executive Architect. The building has been named for trustees Mitzi Eisenberg and Susan Feinstein and their husbands Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein, who together provided the lead gift to the institution’s capital campaign.
The New Museum building on the Bowery will have the presence of a shimmering, gravity defying sculpture sited at a pivotal geographic and cultural intersection in New York’s urban fabric, along the storied thoroughfare where several of the city’s most distinctive communities meet and generations of artists have lived, worked, and contributed to the ongoing cultural dialogue of the nation. Clad in a silvery, anodized expanded aluminum mesh and punctuated by windows and skylights offering vistas and vignettes of the city, the building’s form was conceived to express the ever-changing dynamic of the art and ideas to be presented within. Dramatic full floor, column-free exhibition spaces will occupy three main gallery levels. The building will also house a 182-seat theater, classrooms, an Education Center, and a top-floor events space with rooftop terraces offering panoramic views of the city. The broad, light-washed ground floor space—named the Marcia Tucker Hall in honor of the New Museum’s late founder—will be an animated public space where passersby will be able to see every function at the street level through a broad expanse of glass and visitors will find the acclaimed New Museum Store, New Food café, and a glass-walled lobby gallery washed by daylight from a setback above.
These features and spaces will provide a platform for the Museum’s far-reaching international programs, including exhibitions, installations, live presentations and performances, public education programs, and a highly original new global institutional partnership initiative, Museum as Hub, all inspired by the institution’s mission to present without prejudice the art of our time to an ever-expanding and increasingly diverse public.