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Met Breuer opens at Whitney Museum’s old home on the Upper East Side

A new Met outpost has moved into the Whitney’s old home.

The Met Breuer, an expansion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, opened to the public on Friday.

The modern and contemporary art space has taken over the Madison Avenue building that housed the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1966 until October 2014.

Sandra Jackson Dumont, the Met's chair of education,
Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sandra Jackson Dumont, the Met's chair of education, said that the new outpost has been in the works for about seven or eight years and "provides audiences with the opportunity to experience modern and contemporary art." It will primarily house temporary exhibitions, but will also feature works from the Met's permanent collection.

The building, designed in the 1960s by the
Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The building, designed in the 1960s by the late architect and furniture designer Marcel Breuer, is a work of art itself, featuring five levels and 29,000 square feet of gallery space. It's still owned by the Whitney, but the two museums developed an agreement which will allow the Met to use the space for eight years.

In honor of the Met Breuer's opening, composer
Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In honor of the Met Breuer's opening, composer John Luther Adams wrote "Soundwalk 9:09." The composition is divided into two nine-minute parts, "Uptown" and "Downtown," which are meant to be listened to while walking the nine minutes between the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue and the Met Breuer on Madison Avenue, Dumont said.

"Soundwalk 9:09" emphasizes the museum's effort to unify its three different sites. "We're one museum, three locations," Dumont said, explaining that they each have their own unique attributes, but are connected through a single philosophy.

When amNewYork asked Dumont how she'd spend
Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

When amNewYork asked Dumont how she'd spend just 30 minutes at the Met Breuer if that was all the time she had, she laid out a path. She said she'd start in the lobby, where she'd listen to "Relation: A Performance Residency by Vijay Iyer" before moving on to the fourth floor for "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible." She'd then work her way down to see "Nasreen Mohamedi" on the second floor and close out her visit with another set at the Vijay Iyer installation.

"There's something, for me, that's pretty incredible about starting on the fourth floor, which is more modern and contemporary, and going backwards in time through history," she said.

The three main exhibitions on view are
Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The three main exhibitions on view are "Nasreen Mohamedi," from March 18 to June 5, 2016; "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," March 18 to Sept. 4, 2016; and "Relation: A Performance Residency by Vijay Iyer" March 18 to 31, 2016. Future exhibits at The Met Breuer in 2016 include: "Diane Arbus: In the beginning," from July 12 to Nov. 27, 2016; "Kerry James Marshall: Mastry," Oct. 25, 2016 to Jan. 29, 2017; and "Inhabiting Marcel Breuer's Architecture: Four Public Buildings Photographed by Luisa Lambri and Bas Princen," opening Nov. 29, 2016.

See the Met Breuer's website for a full schedule of events.

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