He Whitney Museum in New York announced Thursday the sale of the historic Breuer building, where it was based for nearly half a century, to the auction house Sotheby’swhich will move there in 2025.
The building, an icon of brutalism located on the busy Madison Avenue, was inaugurated in 1966 and until 2014 housed the Whitney collection, which the following year was installed in its current headquarters in the southwest of Manhattan.
Known by the surname of its architect, the Hungarian-American Marcel Breuerin recent years it has been occupied, first, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, currently, by the Frick Collection, which will be there until next year while its permanent home is renovated.
Although neither party has made the amount of the operation public, sources quoted by various local media place it at around 100 million dollars.
“We are honored to acquire and write the next chapter of such an iconic and well-known New York architectural landmark,” Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart said in a statement.
The firm announced that it will take control of the building in September 2024 and that in 2025 it will move its main galleries, with free and public access, and its auction room there.
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Thus, Sotheby’s will move from its current headquarters almost on the banks of the East River, on the Upper East Side, to the heart of the so-called Museum Mile, in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue, where the MET Museum and the Guggenheim are located, as well as others lesser known.
On behalf of the Whitney, its director, Adam Weinberg, pointed out that the Breuer building will always be part of the museum’s history and expressed his satisfaction that it will continue to be dedicated to art and culture. “Most importantly, this architectural masterpiece will be preserved,” Weinberg said.
The Breuer Building was the third site that the Whitney, founded in 1930, occupied throughout its history and was built specifically for that purpose.
However, it soon began to outgrow its growing art collection, prompting the institution to use other spaces as well and to study possible expansions, before moving to the spectacular building where it is now headquartered, which cost more than $400 million to build. of dollars.
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