In early February, the Metropolitan Museum of Art began talks about selling some of its artworks in the face of a $150 million deficit. As the New York Times explained, the Association of Art Museum Directors created a two-year window during which its members could use the proceeds from sales of works in a collection to pay for its own expenses as opposed to just for future art purchases, as was the rule in the past. But a new Change.org petition is calling for the Met’s board members, many of whom are billionaires, to foot the bill instead of selling off its art.
A little over two years ago, the Frick Collection announced it would take over Madison Avenue’s famous Breuer building from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Up until 2016, the brutalist landmark was home to the Whitney Museum of American Art, but when the Whitney moved to its new High Line building, the Met took it over as a contemporary wing. The new move allows the Met to ease the burden of some of its debt while providing a temporary home for the Frick while its permanent home–a Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue-undergoes a renovation. The Frick Madison will open at 25-percent capacity on March 18.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday unveiled the “New York Arts Revival” initiative, a plan to bring art and culture back to the state after the coronavirus pandemic has brought much of the industry to a standstill. As part of a public-private partnership, the effort will bring a series of pop-up performances and arts events across New York starting February 4. According to the governor, who made the announcement during his multi-day State of the State address, the events will feature performers like Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Wynton Marsalis, Renée Fleming, Hugh Jackman, and others. “We will not let the curtain fall on their careers or the future of our cities,” Cuomo said.
Landmarks Preservation Commission, Major Developments, Museums, New Developments, South Street Seaport
All renderings courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill / Howard Hughes Corporation
Plans to construct two 470-foot towers and expand a museum in the historic South Street Seaport neighborhood were met with mixed feedback during a public Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Tuesday. The Howard Hughes Corporation presented a proposal for a $1.4 billion mixed-use project consisting of rentals, condos, and office space at 250 Water Street, as well as a new building for the South Street Seaport Museum at 89 South Street. While those in favor of the project say it will bring much-needed affordable housing to a neighborhood that has almost none and help the museum stay open, opponents claim the project is out of scale with the rest of the district. New renderings of the proposed expanded museum show plans for a copper-clad exterior, flexible gallery space, an outdoor terrace, and a connection to the historic structure.
The Museum of the City of New York opened an outdoor photo installation this summer titled “New York Responds,” Photo courtesy of MCNY
The New York City Council on Thursday passed legislation permitting cultural institutions to use public outdoor space for events and performances. Sponsored by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, the bill requires the city to create the “Open Culture” program, modeled after the city’s successful outdoor dining initiative, which lets restaurants set up seating on sidewalks and some streets closed to cars. The program is set to be established by March 1, 2021.
When it comes to reopenings, we’re seeing a lot of positive news–most major museums reopened, we got to watch a baseball season, and the holidays are being reimagined. In other cases, reopening is further off–the Met Opera and Philharmonic cancelled their entire 2021 seasons, and Broadway will remain dark until at least June. But whatever the case, 6sqft has put together a list of reopenings, postponements, and cancellations for New York City’s many museums, performance venues, outdoor spaces, and events.
Photo Credit: Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance
The last remaining farmhouse in Manhattan will explore a new side of its over 200-year history with an art exhibit. Inwood’s landmarked Dyckman Farmhouse Museum on Tuesday will open the exhibition Unspoken Voices: Honoring the Legacy of Black America, which will highlight the history of the enslaved and free Black residents that lived and worked at the farm. Unspoken Voices, which coincides with the museum’s reopening, includes work by five local artists who hope to bring these previously untold stories to light.
Photo via The City Reliquary
The City Reliquary is a strange place. It’s completely cluttered and full of oddities like the bones of a subway rat and schist cores, as well as local memorabilia like the original 2nd Avenue Deli sign and vintage seltzer bottles. But that what makes it so special and so New York. The small-but-mighty Williamsburg museum has been closed during the entire pandemic, as they’re completely staffed by volunteers. And in order to reopen, they need to be able to pay their rent and show their financial stability. The Reliquary is asking New Yorkers to help them meet this goal so they can avoid closing their doors for good in November.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist Administers the Oath of Office to Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Associate Supreme Court Justice at the White House (1993); Courtesy of the National Archives
A special exhibit dedicated to Ruth Bader Ginsburg will open at the New-York Historical Society next fall. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on view from October 1, 2021, to January 23, 2022, will include archival photos and documents, a robe from Ginsburg’s Supreme Court dress, and three-dimensional “reimaginations” of significant places of her life, including her childhood home in Midwood, Brooklyn. Ginsburg passed away at her home in D.C. on September 18.
A young Tenement Museum member was treated to an advance tour after starting her own fundraising for the museum and raising $1,000. Photo by Gemma Solomons
The pandemic has taken its toll on almost every New York City museum, but the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum has had it especially hard. Because of the cramped quarters of the historic tenement houses that make up the museum, they’ve been unable to reopen indoors. As NY1 reported in late July, the museum laid off 76 part-time employees, 71 of whom were tour guides. But there’s now a glimmer of hope for the museum that educates people on the history of immigration to New York in the 19th and 20th centuries. They will be restarting their outdoor walking tours for single household groups beginning this weekend. Read more