The New Museum is one of New York City’s most important venues for contemporary art. This institution often hosts exhibits that promote up-and-coming artists in the underground scene on a global scope. Occupying a seven-floor building that resembles a bunch of enormous boxes, the museum’s exterior design makes a bold and eye-catching statement in the heart of a bustling historic district in Lower Manhattan.
New Museum Exhibits
In its original charter, the New Museum wasn’t supposed to accumulate a massive collection of artwork. Instead, the focus has always been on showcasing artwork by artists who haven’t yet received widespread recognition in their respective niches.
There isn’t a particular core exhibition that defines the highlights of the institution. Seasonal exhibits simply reveal the brilliance and creativity of international masters who would otherwise struggle to find outlets in other galleries and cultural venues. The New Museum hosts plenty of abstract exhibits that have three-dimensional installations of abstract artifacts. The aesthetic value of the artwork is explained in detail in audio tours, printed brochures, and other presentations that are embedded into the walls of galleries. Tall ceilings and the all-white interior design create a unique spatial relationship with the 3-D exhibits at the New Museum.
The museum’s Digital Archive is another central component of the overall collection. This virtual library includes more than 6,000 publications that focus on former exhibits and other events that have shaped the foundation’s evolution. Visitors are encouraged to browse multimedia files that provide deep insights into the museum’s role in the contemporary art field on a global scale.
The lower level of the museum includes the “White Box” theatre that can accommodate just more than 180 individuals. This intimate room is used to show films and other multimedia presentations relating to ongoing exhibits and the museum’s history. While navigating all seven gallery floors, visitors will also embrace unique interior design concepts. For example, the third floor has the claustrophobia-inducing Shaft Space, which is a very narrow stairway that rises more than 50 feet.
The New Museum was established by the persistent and ambitious efforts of Marcia Tucker. For nearly a decade, she enjoyed her role as a curator at the acclaimed Whitney Museum of American Art. In the late 1970s, Tucker developed a deep interest in forming something innovative in the contemporary art scene. Throughout the years, the institution was housed in temporary venues throughout Manhattan, including the Chelsea Art Museum and The New School for Social Research.
The arrival of the 21st century marked a dramatic new chapter in the museum’s history. The Japanese architectural firm Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA was commissioned to design a permanent home for the New Museum. Working along with the NYC-based company, Gensler, the Japanese firm designed a contemporary building that would surely stand out in the historic Bowery district. Featuring a total of seven floors, the property resembles a giant stack of boxes. This revolutionary and somewhat odd facade reflects the unconventional character of the New Museum. The futuristic high-rise has become a renowned landmark in its own right.
Visiting New Museum
The New Museum is situated in the heart of the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. Skyscrapers are limited in numbers in the Bowery district, so this 175-foot-tall museum dominates the local skyline. Located at the corner of the busy Bowery and Houston Street, the 2nd Avenue station is served by the F and M lines of the NYC subway system. Some other subway stops that are located within walking distance of the museum include Spring Street and Bleecker Street. Overall, the Lower East Side also has frequent bus service by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Location: 235 Bowery, New York, NY, 10002
Click here to visit New Museum official website.