Pay-as-you-want Friday nights are a staple of many museums scattered throughout the city, and the Whitney Museum of American Art is no exception. Boasting nine stories of art galleries, a theatre, educational learning centers, a library with accompanying reading rooms, and a conservation lab, the Whitney is ideal for those who may not necessarily be most at home in a traditional museum. This is due to the vast array of art displayed throughout the museum, including (at least when I was able to attend) an entire floor dedicated just to open space with floor to ceiling
windows and a continuous loop of recordings from prisons blaring through the speakers. Another exhibit, entitled Astro Noise, was scattered across several floors, and featured one particular work in which the attendees of the museum became art themselves, as displayed on a heat map-reading monitor to other guests exploring different areas of the Whitney. In my opinion, the greatest features of the Whitney aren’t necessarily the works of art; rather, I think that the several balconies located on different floors of the museum offer the most spectacular sights available. The views provided from these balconies include those of the vast expanses of the New York City skyline, the stunning visual of the Hudson (which is beautiful even at night), and a more exclusive view of the surrounding Chelsea area. This is not to say that the exhibits contained within the Whitney are not absolutely amazing and inspiring as well, though. The exhibits are continually in flux, so repeating visits to this enticing museum does not guarantee repeats of the same exhibitions, allowing patrons to return time and time again to the Whitney anticipating new exhibits sure to please. The current exhibitions (as of July 5) include: Stuart Davis: In Full Swing; Danny Lyon: Message to the Future; Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection; Mirror Cells; Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens; June Leaf: Thought Is Infinite; and Torbjørn Rødland: Blue Portrait. A guide to what each exhibition entails is available on the Whitney’s official website (http://whitney.org/Exhibitions), but a description of a work is almost never comparable to the work itself, so if any of the current or upcoming exhibitions seem enticing, you should without a doubt visit the Whitney for yourself. Tickets can be purchased online (https://visit.whitney.org/tickets/ItemList.aspx?node_id=86) in advance and are slightly cheaper than tickets purchased at the museum the day of your visit, and for those who get overwhelmed in such a huge museum (or those who just want a more in depth knowledge of the Whitney itself as well as the art on display), there are free tours provided every day that do not require a reservation. Multimedia tours (either through headphones or on a video display) are also available for 6$ for adults and for free for anyone under 18. Hungry from walking the expanse of the Whitney? There are 2 locations within this museum at which you can satisfy your cravings: Untitled (an upscale restaurant providing lunch and dinner everyday, as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays located on the 1st floor) and Studio Cafe (a restaurant on the 8th floor offering lighter fare while providing alluring views of Chelsea, the High Line, and the Hudson). Whether your preference is enjoying breathtaking views of the city that we all love or exploring nine stories of both non-traditional and the more classic arts (or a combination of both!) the Whitney Museum of American Art is a must-visit with the ability to appeal to members of an ever growing, diverse audience.
For more information: http://whitney.org