As the Whitney Museum spawns a branch in the meatpacking district— Renzo Piano’s design for the satellite was unveiled to top museum brass last week—director Adam Weinberg is interested in expanding the Whitney’s brand overseas as well. But he seems to want to avoid the chain-museum model of the Guggenheim under former director Thomas Krens. “I don’t think there will be a Whitney Shanghai,” he says. “But there could be Whitney in Shanghai, which is a different thing. The Whitney is not so much interested in creating physical franchises out in the world, but we believe in partnering and doing projects in other countries. We don’t have a specific plan for Shanghai, but I would hope that we would find some partnerships in Asia and Latin America and other parts of the world.” Weinberg says the museum, which is newly flush with board chairman Leonard Lauder’s $131 million gift (mostly to the endowment), wants to steer clear of being a “cultural imperialist.”
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