Wed and Fri-Sun, 11am-6pm; Thu, 11am-9pm; Mon-Tue, closed
Nearby Subway Stops
J, Z at Bowery
$16, $14 seniors, $10 students, free for members and ages 18 and under
The New Museum has bounced between being audacious and being annoying in its 30 years. With a $64 million new building on the Bowery (opened December 2007) the general feeling is this is New Museum’s last best chance to get it right. From the outside, this silvery column is a symbol of an ambitious desire to reflect and participate in the discourse around contemporary art. No one has mustered the gumption to build an art museum from scratch in New York since the Guggenheim (opened in 1959) and the Whitney (1966) did so in rapid succession. And the choice of this neighborhood, at least, now looks extremely prescient. As for the people running it,
Ann Philbin, the astute director of the Hamme Museum, describes the director, Lisa Phillips, as “a samurai, someone who has everything it takes to make this museum relevant and revelatory.” So far, Phillips has done that by picking the site and hiring two of the best curators around: Massimiliano Gioni and Laura Hoptman. She has also brought in the adroit Eungie Joo as director and
curator of education and public programs, and the seasoned Richard Flood as chief curator. All these people want the New Museum to shine. But can they do that in this building? The museum, cool-looking as it is, is short on exhibition space. Case in point, “Unmonumental,” the inaugural 30-artist exhibition curated by Gioni, Hoptman, and Flood, is rife with signs of good curators working together while struggling against a shortage of space.
CIT Free Thursday Evenings
Thu., 7 p.m.— 10 p.m.; admission is free.
This stunning contemporary art space on the Bowery has three reception halls on
offer: The all-white Sky Room (seats 120 for dinner, 200 for cocktails) is like
a blank canvas, and the bird’s-eye view of lower and upper Manhattan from the
wraparound terrace ($5,000 plus an individual donation) is gorgeous. The
lobby-level Marcia Tucker Hall’s floor-to-ceiling windows give cocktail parties
a modern feel. Catering by Creative Edge.
Best of New York Awards