Whitney Museum of American Art – or just The Whitney, as most people know to it – has been on my list of places to hit for months now. Because of a partnership with my company, I get into the museum for free so I didn’t even have a good excuse not to go. The museum took over a new space in the West Village overlooking the Hudson River last May, so it was definitely a spot I needed to hit up.
I went on a Saturday, so the line to get in in was literally down the block – not an ideal scenario considering it was 35 degrees, but it moved quickly. After getting our tickets, we took to the directory to see which exhibits to hit first. One floor of the museum was closed during my visit because it was between exhibitions. Several of the floors are filled with mostly offices and classrooms, so you basically have to start on the 5th floor. I was a little surprised by this, because well, there wasn’t that much art. The 7th floor was the main section featuring the paintings, but otherwise the space was a little sparse. The museum itself is sort of a piece of art, which I appreciated, but actual paintings and sculptures were a little lacking.
The entire 5th floor is an open exhibit space – a collection of artists has been asked to take over the “Open Plan” and transform it for a given time period. When I visited, the expansive room was empty, but piped with ambient noises. Interesting, but a little off-kilter for what I consider art. The space itself though is visually amazing, with floor-to-ceiling windows at each end, and ceilings easily 20 feet high.
My favorite part about the museum is the indoor-outdoor component. Almost every floor has a balcony, sculptures are included outdoors, and the views of the city are amazing. I was there on an exceptionally clear day, and you can see for miles around. It was pretty stunning and, in my opinion, overshadowed a lot of the art.
But, to each his own – check it out for yourself and decide. The museum is open 10:30am until 6:00pm Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and open 10:30am until 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday, but closed Tuesday. Regular tickets are $22, but if any of the exhibits are closed like when I visited, admission is knocked to $16.