Met Breuer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Met Breuer
The Breuer building in 2010, when it was the Whitney Museum of Art
EstablishedMarch 18, 2016 (2016-03-18)
Location945 Madison Avenue, New York City
TypeArt museum
Renovated lobby

The Met Breuer (/ˈbrɔɪ.ər/ BROY-ər)[1] is a museum of modern and contemporary art at 945 Madison Avenue and East 75th Street in the Upper East Side of New York City; it is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met). The Met Breuer opened in March 2016 in the building formerly occupied by the Whitney Museum of American Art, designed by Marcel Breuer and completed in 1966.[2] Its works come from the Met's collection and are both monographic and thematic exhibitions.[3]


In 2008, the idea behind the Met Breuer project was initiated by philanthropist Leonard Lauder. An agreement between the Met and the Whitney was signed, after three years of negotiation, in 2011.[4]

The location opened in March 2016 following a year and a half of preparations as part of a $600 million Metropolitan Museum of Art renovation plan. Architects Beyer Blinder Belle updated the Met Breuer building,[5] which had been designed by Marcel Breuer.[6] The Met will allocate an annual operating budget of $17 million to run the museum as part of an integrated expansion of the main museum's outreach, with a focus on modern art.[7] The Met has an eight-year lease on the building from the Whitney Museum, with the option to renew another five and a half years, until approximately 2029.[8][9]

The Met Breuer will be overseen by Sheena Wagstaff, previously at the Tate Modern, who has been the head of the Modern and Contemporary Art Department of the Met since 2012.[10][11] Director and CEO of the Met, Thomas P. Campbell, has spearheaded the effort with a stated focus on the digital (moving from analog to digital)[12] and focusing on accessibility and outreach. He considers the Met to be the largest encyclopedic museum in the world, with the Met Breuer an important part of that, especially as it works towards meaningfully engaging with a global audience, as well as the visitors who come to the museum in person.[3] Both Campbell and Wagstaff see the Met Breuer as a sculptural creation and artwork in its own right.[13]

The opening featured a survey of Nasreen Mohamedi and "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible",[14] an exhibit of incomplete works that ranged over 500 years, from Italian Renaissance to contemporary paintings.[15][16] The exhibit notably featured Pablo Picasso's never-before-exhibited 1931 painting Woman in a Red Armchair as well as work by Kerry James Marshall, who will have an upcoming exhibition at the Met Breuer.[17]


But the Met is huge and old, with a history of treating contemporary art as an afterthought. Getting it to change is like turning around an ocean liner; captain and crew are perhaps understandably proceeding cautiously.

New York Times art critic Roberta Smith on the Met Breuer's opening, March 2016[15]

In advance of the Met Breuer's opening, art critic at The New York Times Roberta Smith wrote that the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other major art institutions feared to miss out as the rest of the art world displayed more contemporary art exhibitions. Smith said that the Met excelled at "bringing older art to life" and that the Met Breuer's cautious opening exhibit showed unclear goals for the new building.[15] Wallpaper cited the renovations involved in the opening as being more representative of Breuer's design for the building, with a lower level sunken garden and a more welcoming emphasis on the sculptural design.[18] The Architect's Newspaper sees the Met's approach as one that treats the building itself as an artwork versus a building, with a focus on the patina of the materials as part of a holistic entity.[19]

Critics of the new endeavor challenge its mission to be less safe and salubratory, with a focus on engagement and innovation.[20] The Met Breuer will address the lack of collection activity of modern and contemporary art in the early to mid-1900s.[4][21]




  1. ^ Nicholson, Louise (17 March 2016). "The Met Breuer's biggest strength is its ability to make you think". Apollo. Retrieved 24 April 2016. its pronunciation, which should be 'broyer', as in a broiler chicken
  2. ^ "About Marcel Breuer & The Breuer Building". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  3. ^ a b Rose, Charlie (8 April 2016). "Thomas Campbell (includes interactive transcript)". The Charlie Rose Show. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b Tomkins, Calvin (25 January 2016). "The Met and the Now". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  5. ^ Goldberger, Paul (4 March 2016). "The Met Breuer Restores a Postwar Gem to Greatness". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Randy (1 March 2016). "A Look at the Met Breuer Before the Doors Open". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  7. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (4 March 2016). "Breuer Building Expands the Imagination, and the Budget, of the Met". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  8. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (13 April 2016). "The restored Met Breuer (formerly the Whitney) has a new energy as well as a lived-in look". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  9. ^ Golden, Thelma; Campbell, Tom; Weinberg, Adam; Brown, Alice Pratt (14 April 2016). "Directors in Dialogue" (Video). Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Sheena Wagstaff to Head Metropolitan Museum's New Modern and Contemporary Art Department". Metropolitan Museum of Art. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  11. ^ Solomon, Deborah (25 November 2015). "Becoming Modern: The Met's Mission at the Breuer Building". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Karen (1 March 2016). "The Take: The Museum "Non-Finito": How the New Met Breuer Reflects the Digital Disruption of Art History". Artspace. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  13. ^ Lange, Alexandra (3 March 2016). "Met Breuer: Better or worse than the former Whitney Museum?". Curbed NY. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  14. ^ Davis, Ben (2 March 2016). "The Met Breuer Botches Its 'Unfinished' Show". artnet News. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  15. ^ a b c Smith, Roberta (2 March 2016). "At the Met Breuer, Thinking Inside the Box". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  16. ^ Swanson, Carl (2 March 2016). "Inside the New Met Breuer's Housewarming Show". Vulture. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  17. ^ Cotter, Holland (2 March 2016). "A Question Still Hanging at the Met Breuer: Why?". The New York Times.
  18. ^ Murg, Stephanie (14 January 2016). "Architecture. Design Awards 2016: Best Reboot – The Met Breuer". Wallpaper. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  19. ^ Shaw, Matt (18 March 2016). "Why the Met Breuer Matters". The Architect's Newspaper. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  20. ^ Farago, Jason (2 March 2016). "The Met Breuer review – museum's new outpost has an uncertain start". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  21. ^ Lipsky-Karasz, Elisa (1 February 2016). "The Met Goes Modern: The Met Breuer Opens With 'Unfinished' Artworks". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Nasreen Mohamedi: April 2016 to June 2016". Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible: April 2016 to September 2016". Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  24. ^ "Humor and Fantasy—The Berggruen Paul Klee Collection". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 22 September 2016.

Further reading

  • "Lost and Found". Wallpaper. Spring 2016. pp. 74–77.

External links

Coordinates: 40°46′24″N 73°57′50″W / 40.7734°N 73.9638°W / 40.7734; -73.9638