|Location||235 Bowery |
Manhattan, New York City, New York 10002
|Public transit access|| Bus: M103 |
Subway: at Second Avenue, at Bowery
The New Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker, is a museum in New York City at 235 Bowery, on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
The museum originally opened in a space in the Graduate Center of the then-named New School for Social Research at 65 Fifth Avenue.The New Museum remained there until 1983, when it rented and moved to the first two and a half floors of the Astor Building at 583 Broadway in the SoHo neighborhood.
In 1999, Marcia Tucker was succeeded as director by Lisa Phillips, previously the curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art.In 2001 the museum rented 7,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the Chelsea Art Museum on West 22nd Street for a year.
Over the past five years, the New Museum has exhibited artists from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, India, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Kingdom among many other countries. In 2003, the New Museum formed an affiliation with Rhizome, a leading online platform for global new media art.
In 2005, the museum was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The New Museum was established by an independent curator Marcia Tucker in 1977. It is dedicated to introducing new art and new ideas, by artists who have not yet received significant exposure or recognition. Ever since it was founded, the museum has taken on the mission to challenge the stiff institutionalization of an art museum. It continues to bring new ideas into the art world and to connect with the public.
On December 1, 2007, the New Museum opened the doors to its new $50 million location at 235 Bowery, between Stanton and Rivington Streets.The seven-story 58,700-square-foot facility, designed by the Tokyo-based firm Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA and the New York-based firm Gensler, has greatly expanded the museum's exhibitions and space.
SANAA's design is chosen because it is in accord with the museum's mission—the flexibility of the building, its changeable atmosphere corresponds to the ever-changing nature of contemporary art. Its bold decision to put a stack of white boxes in the Bowery neighborhood and its success to achieve a harmonious symbiotic relationship between the two manifest the coexistence of different dynamic energy of contemporary culture.
In April 2008, the museum's new building was named one of the architectural New Seven Wonders of the World by Conde Nast Traveler .The New Museum has been and will continue to be a crucial landmark of the Bowery district. “Bowery embraces idiosyncrasy in an unprejudiced manner and we were determined to make the museum building feel like that”, as one of the directors of the museum puts it. The neighborhood appears to be a fearless confrontation with the convention image of downtown Manhattan—an adventurous spirit that the New Museum always sees itself searching for.
The Bowery location has gallery and events space, plus a Resource Center with books and computers for access to their main web site and digital archive. The New Museum Digital Archive is an online resource that provides accessibility to primary sources from exhibitions, publications, and programs. The archive holds 7,500 written and visual materials for artists and researchers to access. The New Museum Digital Archive's database is searchable through 4,000 artists, curators, and organizations connected to New Museum exhibitions, performances, and publications.
On January 24, 2019, eligible employees at the New Museum voted 38–8 to unionize, with a plan to join NewMuU-UAW Local 2110.Asked for their reasons for unionizing, the New Museum employees said, “As the New Museum Union, we ask, above all, that these ideals be mirrored in the museum's working conditions, hiring practices, wages, and benefits. We believe that fair compensation and transparency for all workers throughout the museum is essential to ensuring its diversity, reducing turnover, and strengthening the New Museum community: salaries, wages, and benefits at the museum must be sustainable for everyone, regardless of the privileges afforded them by race, class, or gender.”
When she founded the museum, Marcia Tucker decided it should buy and sell works every 10 years so that the collection would always be new. It was an innovative plan that was never carried out. In 2000, the museum accepted its first corporate donation of artworks.The museum then held a modest collection of about 1,000 works in many media. In 2004, it joined forces with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in raising $110,000 from two foundations -- $50,000 from the American Center Foundation and $60,000 from the Peter Norton Family Foundation—to help pay for commissioning, buying, and exhibiting the work of emerging young artists. As of 2021, the New Museum has been a non-collecting institution.
The museum presents the work of under-recognized artists, mounting surveys of Ana Mendieta, William Kentridge, David Wojnarowicz, Paul McCarthy and Andrea Zittel before they received widespread public recognition. In 2003, the New Museum presented the highly regarded exhibition Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
The museum organized The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, in 2009 which went on to become the first edition of its exhibition series the "New Museum Triennial".Subsequently, the museum held the second and third editions of its Triennial, respectively; "The Ungovernables" (2012 – curated by Eungie Joo) and "Surround Audience" (2015 – curated by Lauren Cornell and Ryan Trecartin).
Margot Norton has organized exhibitions, including one by Turner Prize-winner Laure Prouvost and the museum solo of Judith Bernstein.
The museum hosted a show on July 20, 2016, called "The Keeper". With over 4,000 objects from more than two dozen collectors, it presented object lessons about the process of collecting.
In March 2023, it was announced that Vivian Crockett and Isabella Rjeille will co-curate the 6th edition of the New Museum Triennial in 2026.
Rhizome, a not-for-profit arts organization that supports and provides a platform for new media art, has been an affiliate organization of New Museum since 2003. Today, Rhizome's programs include events, exhibitions at the New Museum and elsewhere, an active website, and an archive of more than 2,000 new media artworks.
In 2008, art dealer Barbara Gladstone initiated the formation of the Stuart Regen Visionaries Fund at the New Museum, established in honor of her late son and renowned art dealer. The gift supported a new series of public lectures and presentations by cultural visionaries, the Visionaries Series, which debuted in 2009 and features prominent international thinkers in the fields of art, architecture, design and contemporary culture. In 2020 the series shifted to focus on first-ever public conversations between leading figures, with Claudia Rankine and Judith Butler (2020) and Jeremy O Harris and Arthur Jafa (2021).Previous speakers included author Rachel Kushner (2018, in conversation with novelist Ben Lerner); explorer Erling Kagge (2017); essayist and critic Fran Lebowitz (2016, in conversation with filmmaker Martin Scorsese); critic and author Hilton Als (2015); director, screenwriter, and producer Darren Aronofsky (2014, in conversation with novelist and critic Lynne Tillman); writer, director, and producer Matthew Weiner (2013, in conversation with writer A.M. Homes); artist and architect Maya Lin (2012); chef, author, and activist Alice Waters (2011); founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales (2010); and choreographer Bill T. Jones (2009), whose talk inaugurated this program.
NEW INC,the first museum-led incubator, is a shared workspace and professional development program designed to support creative practitioners working in the areas of art, technology, and design. Conceived by the New Museum in 2013, the incubator is a not-for-profit platform that furthers the museum's ongoing commitment to new art and new ideas. Launched in summer 2014, NEW INC provided a collaborative space for an interdisciplinary community of one hundred members to investigate new ideas and develop a sustainable practice. NEW INC full-time members include Erica Gorochow, Anders Sandell, Lisa Park, Kevin Siwoff, Kunal Gupta, Justin Cone, Jonathan Harris, Joe Doucet, Greg Hochmuth, Luisa Pereira, Nitzan Hermon, Tristan Perich, Sougwen Chung, Philip Sierzega, Paul Soulellis, Charlie Whitney, Binta Ayofemi, and Emilie Baltz.
In 2021, the New Museum launched the biennial Hostetler/Wrigley Sculpture Award to commission five women artists to create sculptures. Each winning project is allotted $400,000 for its production and installation.
IdeasCity was a nine-year New Museum platform to explore art and culture beyond the walls of the museum. Founded in 2011 by Lisa Phillips and Karen Wong, IdeasCity was a collaborative initiative between hundreds of arts, design, education, and community organizations that consists of two distinct components: the biennial IdeasCity Festival in New York City, and IdeasCity Global Programs in key urban centers around the world, including Athens, Detroit, Istanbul, New Orleans, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Toronto.IdeasCity curators included Richard Flood, Joseph Grima, V. Mitch McEwen, and Vere Van Gool. The IdeasCity program concluded in 2020.
In 2002, the New Museum sold its previous home in SoHo for $18 million. It subsequently bought the new Bowery site for $5 million. In order to cover the building and endowment, it raised an estimated $64 million.
Since taking office, director Lisa Phillips expanded board membership to 42 from 18. As of 2015, it includes collectors Maja Hoffmann, Dakis Joannou, and Eugenio López Alonso, among others.
Hans Ulrich Obrist is a Swiss art curator, critic, and historian of art. He is artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries, London. Obrist is the author of The Interview Project, an extensive ongoing project of interviews. He is also co-editor of the Cahiers d'Art review. He lives and works in London.
Wangechi Mutu is a Kenyan-born American visual artist, known primarily for her painting, sculpture, film, and performance work. Born in Kenya, she has lived and established her career in New York City for more than twenty years. Mutu's work has directed the female body as subject through collage painting, immersive installation, and live and video performance while exploring questions of self-image, gender constructs, cultural trauma, and environmental destruction and notions of beauty and power.
Mark Tribe is an American artist. He is the founder of Rhizome, a not-for-profit arts organization based in New York City.
Petra Cortright is an American artist working in video, painting, and digital media.
Massimiliano Gioni is an Italian curator and contemporary art critic based in New York City, and artistic director at the New Museum. He is the artistic director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan as well as the artistic director of the Beatrice Trussardi Foundation. Gioni was the curator of the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
Aïda Ruilova is an American contemporary artist.
Nicole Eisenman is a French-born American artist known for her oil paintings and sculptures. She has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship (1996), the Carnegie Prize (2013), and has thrice been included in the Whitney Biennial. On September 29, 2015, she won a MacArthur Fellowship award for "restoring the representation of the human form a cultural significance that had waned during the ascendancy of abstraction in the 20th century."
Lauren Cornell is an American curator and writer based in New York. Cornell is the Director of the Graduate Program at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and Chief Curator of the Hessel Museum of Art. Previously, she worked at the New Museum for twelve years and was the executive director of their affiliate Rhizome (2005-2012).
Post-Internet is a 21st-century art movement involving works that are derived from the Internet or its effects on aesthetics, culture and society.
Lisa Phillips is an American museum director, curator, and author. She is the Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, in New York City. In 1999, Phillips became the second director in the museum's history, succeeding founding director Marcia Tucker. Prior to beginning her directorship at the New Museum, she worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art for twenty-three years.
Juliana Huxtable is an American artist, writer, performer, DJ, and co-founder of the New York–based nightlife project Shock Value. Huxtable has exhibited and performed at a number of venues including Reena Spaulings Fine Art, Project Native Informant, Artists Space, the New Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and Institute of Contemporary Arts. Huxtable's multidisciplinary art practice explores a number of projects, such as the internet, the body, history, and text, often through a process she calls "conditioning." Huxtable is a published author of two books and a member of the New York City–based collective House of Ladosha. She is on the roster of the talent agency Discwoman, a New York based collective and talent agency that books DJs for parties and events around the world. She previously lived and worked in New York City, and has been based in Berlin since 2020.
Martine Syms is an American artist residing in Los Angeles, specializing in various mediums including publishing, video, installation, and performance. Her artistic endeavors revolve around themes of identity, particularly the representation of the self, with a focus on subjects like feminism and black culture. Syms frequently employs humor and social commentary as vehicles for exploration within her work. In 2007, she introduced the term "Conceptual Entrepreneur" to describe her artistic approach.
Koyo Kouoh is Cameroonian-born curator who has been serving as Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town since 2019. In 2015, the New York Times called her "one of Africa’s pre-eminent art curators and managers", and from 2014 to 2022, she was annually named one of the 100 most influential people in the contemporary art world by ArtReview.
Josh Kline is an American artist and curator living and working in New York City.
Christine Y. Kim is an American curator of contemporary art. She is currently the Britton Family Curator-at-Large at Tate. Prior to this post, Kim held the position of Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Before her appointment at LACMA in 2009, she was Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York. She is best known for her exhibitions of and publications on artists of color, diasporic and marginalized discourses, and 21st-century technology and artistic practices.
Diamond Stingily is an American artist and poet. Stingily's art practice explores aspects of identity, iconography and mythology, and childhood. Stingily lives and works in New York City.
Aria Dean is an American artist, critic, and curator. Until 2021, Dean served as Curator and Editor of Rhizome. Her writings have appeared in various art publications including Artforum, e-flux, The New Inquiry, Art in America, and Topical Cream. Dean has exhibited internationally at venues such as Foxy Production and American Medium in New York, Chateau Shatto in Los Angeles, and Arcadia Missa in London. Dean also co-directs As It Stands LA, an artists project space that opened in 2015. Dean lives and works in New York City and Los Angeles. She is represented by Greene Naftali.
Garrett Bradley is an American filmmaker and director of short films, feature films, documentaries, and television. She is known for blending cinematic genres to explore the larger sociopolitical significance of the everyday moments of her subjects' lived experience.
Adrienne Edwards is a New York–based art curator, scholar, and writer. Edwards is currently the Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Jamillah James is an American curator. She is the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.