New Museum to open with 30 hours of free admission


by Lincoln Anderson

The New Museum, New York City’s only museum devoted exclusively to contemporary art, will open its new building on the Bowery to the public on Sat., Dec. 1. Coinciding with the institution’s 30th anniversary, the milestone will be celebrated with 30 hours of continuous free admission to the public, beginning at noon on Dec. 1. Local officials will preside over a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony at the New Museum on Fri., Nov. 30.

With the inauguration of the building at 235 Bowery, between Stanton and Rivington Sts. at the intersection of the Bowery and Prince St., the New Museum of Contemporary Art will occupy its own freestanding, dedicated building for the first time in the institution’s history. The structure is the first art museum ever built from the ground up in Downtown Manhattan. The seven-story, 60,000-square-foot New Museum — an aluminum mesh-clad stack of boxes shifted off axis — was designed by avant garde architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

The building has been named for trustees Mitzi Eisenberg and Susan Feinstein and their husbands Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein, who together provided the lead gift to the institution’s capital campaign.

“Downtown Manhattan has been home to generations of artists in every discipline from around the world,” said Saul Dennison, president of the board of trustees of the New Museum. “Their ideas, energy and discoveries have always been central to the very identity of New York City, and are more relevant and urgent today than ever. With this building on the Bowery, the New Museum of Contemporary Art is honored to make a contribution to the built landscape of our city and to New York’s continued pre-eminence as a global cultural capital, open to all people and forms of expression.”

The building will also house a 182-seat theater, classrooms, an education center and a top-floor events space with rooftop terraces offering panoramic views of the city. The broad, light-washed ground floor space — named the Marcia Tucker Hall in honor of the New Museum’s late founder — will be an animated public space where passersby will be able to see every function at the street level through a broad expanse of glass and where visitors will find the New Museum Store, New Food cafe and a glass-walled lobby gallery washed by daylight from a setback above.

The museum will be open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. with extended evening hours on Thursday and Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. will be free admission. The museum is closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday. General admission is $12, seniors $8, students $6 and 18 and under free.