New Museum Plans Sept. 15 Reopening; Union Files Labor Complaint

new museum

In the past week, the New Museum announced that it will be reopening, with limited capacity, on Sept. 15.

In accordance with city and state COVID-19 reopening regulations, the Lower East Side museum will be required to stay below 25% capacity, plus everyone entering the building must wear  masks. You’ll need to reserve your tickets in advance. The museum has been closed for the past six months as New York battled the pandemic.

The museum, located at 235 Bowery, will be open Wednesday-Sunday noon-6 p.m. (there are late hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays). Admission will be free to all visitors until Sept. 27. You can reserve your timed entry tickets here. Exhibitions, staying up until the end the year, include: “Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment,” “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach,” and “Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around Itself,”

The New Museum’s union has some major issues with management’s handling of the temporary closure and reopening plan. It’s filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The union argues that the museum behaved in a “discriminatory and retaliatory” manner during two rounds of layoffs and furloughs. More from an Aug. 11 story in Artforum:

Represented by UAW Local 2110, the New Museum Union contends that the dismissals violated the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, which gives private employees the right to organize and to bargain. The union additionally maintains that the New Museum withheld information about its reopening, inhibiting the group’s ability to bargain, and that it has harassed union members for personal Instagram posts.

Some of the staffers were brought back this month in preparation for the reopening. In a statement to Hyperallergic, a museum spokesperson addressed the charges in the NLRB complaint, “We don’t believe this charge has merit… Since our closure, we have suffered a devastating loss of income as have most museums around the country, forcing a dramatic and painful downsizing of programs and staffing.”

Just the other day. in a story on high director salaries, the New York Times noted that the New Museum’s Lisa Phillips was paid $768,000 in 2019. The Times reported that a New Museum board member quit when Phillips was previously attempting to negotiate a higher compensation package. The museum says Phillips agreed to take a 30% pay cut from April 1 through June of 2021 and she has not received a raise since 2015.

Raymond Pettibon Exhibition Closes April 9; Talkback at New Museum Thursday Night

Raymond Pettibon, No Title 2009. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Raymond Pettibon, No Title 2009. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.

If you’ve been meaning to take in Raymond Pettibon’s solo exhibition at the New Museum, there’s not much time left. The huge survey, including more than 800 pieces on all three floors of the museum, closes April 9.

Also take note of this. Pettibon will be participating in a conversation with New Museum Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni on Thursday evening. This event was just announced.

“Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work,” draws from four decades of the artist’s memorable work. While many people became first acquainted with Pettibon for his punk album covers (Black Flag, Sonic Youth, etc.), the show vividly illustrates Pattibon’s sizable role as social critic over multiple eras. His pieces, pairing sketches and text, seem especially relevant in these dark political times.

Click here for more information about the exhibition.

The New Museum Debuts Collectors’ Dream Show, “The Keeper”

The Keeper|Dentaduras |Arthur Bispo do Rosario

The Keeper|Dentaduras |Arthur Bispo do Rosario

On Wednesday, the New Museum debuted, The Keeper, an exhibition dedicated to artist-collectors and quirky collections of all sorts. Carefully curated items fill the first four floors of the museum, featuring thousands of obscure objects, materials, photos and paintings; presented with obsessive aplomb.

Head curator Massimliano Gioni described the exhibit as a giant collaborative project that pays tribute to collectors and challenges the idea of ownership and value. “We ask what it means to hold on to something and what it means to lose something or someone,” said Gioni. “We ask what it means to care for an image and how and why we project emotions on certain objects.”

Among the varied collections are a series of famed novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s butterfly illustrations/classifications, 126 mixed-medium model houses discarded by Austrian insurance clerk Peter Fritz, and ancient artifacts from the National Museum of Beirut that survived a fire during the Lebanese Civil War.

Also featured in the collection is artist-collector Ydessa Hendeles’ Partners (The Teddy Project). Showcased as the centerpiece of the exhibit, Partners is an installation of 3,000 family-album photographs of people and their teddy bears. Some of the (now) antique teddy bears are on view, enclosed in glass cases alongside an image of the original owner.

The Keeper|Partners (The Teddy Bear Project by Ydessa Hendeles

The Keeper|Partners (The Teddy Bear Project by Ydessa Hendeles

The Keeper pays tribute to the individuals who were motivated to create and compulsively safeguard both fascinating and mundane objects. Of course, when deciding how to display collections, the curators themselves often take on the role of the artist.  Viewed as an overwhelming whole, the exhibition explores today’s ongoing dialogue around the questions of “outsider art” — “What is art?” and “What defines someone as an artist?”

The Keeper is on view through September 25th.

Simone Leigh’s “The Waiting Room” Opens Tomorrow at the New Museum

Image via Creative Time

Image via Creative Time

Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Simone Leigh‘s latest project entitled The Waiting Room opens tomorrow at the New Museum. Featuring a new installation, a series of “care sessions” and underground public programs, The Waiting Room aims to shift the preconceived ideas of medicine.

Leigh’s work, who is the artist-in-residence at The New Museum, specializes in a multitude of different art forms–from sculptures, videos to installations and performances–and emphasizes the unacknowledged roles of women of color in various societies. This project was developed from Leigh’s previous work Free People’s Medical Clinicwhich offered free treatments and workshops in the Brooklyn home of Dr. Josephine English, the first black ob-gyn in the state of New York.

The exhibit focuses on an expanded notion of medicine, featuring muthi markets in Durban, South Africa, meditation rooms, herbalist apothecaries, movement studios, public and private workshops and healing treatments. Waiting Room highlights the difficulties that community-organized care programs have faced in the past, “from the United Order of Tents, a secret society of nurses active since the Underground Railroad, to volunteers in the Black Panther Party’s embattled clinics active from the 1960s to the 1980s.”

The Waiting Room is on view from June 22nd to September 18th. Hours for Public Programs and Care Sessions vary. Visit the website for more details.

New Museum Announces Major Expansion Plan

Photo courtesy: New Museum/Dean Kaufman, 2015.

Photo courtesy: New Museum/Dean Kaufman, 2015.

The New Museum has launched an $80 million capital campaign to fund a major expansion of its Bowery headquarters and to support new and existing programs.

The plan involves renovating and fully integrating a six-floor warehouse building located just to the south of the institution’s main exhibition space at 235 Bowery. The New York Times reported that the project “would increase the museum’s footprint… to a little more than 100,000 square feet, from 58,000 square feet now.”  The museum purchased 231 Bowery is 2008 for $16 million. In the past decade, it’s been used as an experimental gallery space and, more recently, as the home of NEW INC, the museum’s creative incubator.

Museum board members have already committed $43 million to the capital campaign. As the Times noted, the institution started in 1977 in a single room. After moving to the Bowery from Soho in 2007, it has grown tremendously. There are now 400,000 visitors every year. Board President James-Keith Brown said, “Our building is just too small for what we’re doing.” The Times asked him if there are long-term plans to tear down the neighboring building to make room for “something more ambitious.” His response:  “I wouldn’t say that yet. It’s not not on the table, but it’s not something that we’re pursuing right now.”

More details from a press release put out this morning:

After nearly a decade on the Bowery, during which visitation has grown by 400 percent and the number of people served by its programs has grown 4,000 percent, the New Museum is bursting at the seams. Renovating its adjacent property at 231 Bowery will provide additional space for programs while adding urgently needed office and support spaces. The expansion effort will ultimately enable the Museum to double its exhibition galleries, expand educational initiatives, improve circulation, add more public amenities, and improve the visitor experience. “With our fortieth anniversary approaching, the New Museum is preparing for our next step as a pioneer for new models in the cultural arena,” said James Keith Brown. “We will expand into our adjacent building, further grow our global exhibitions and programs, and continue to lead in distinctive technology initiatives. The Museum’s energy and creativity will enable us to explore how we can further advance our founding tenets and our mission of ‘New Art, New Ideas.’”

It will be at least a year before the museum develops a specific renovation proposal.  Such artists as James Rosenquist, Robert Indiana, and Will Insley  called 231 Bowery home over the years. Some artists were still living and working on the upper floors as of a few years ago.

Sign Up For a NYC ID Card – Get Free Membership at the New Museum

New Museum.

New Museum.

New York’s new municipal identification card has been a huge success. More than three-quarters of a million applications have been approved since the program launched last year. IDNYC is accepted by many city agencies, including the NYPD, and offers a lot of other benefits.

Did you know, for example, that you can gain free general admission to culture institutions across the city, by using your NYC id card? On the Lower East Side, the New Museum and Museum of Chinese in America are both participating.

At the New Museum, IDNYC holders receive:

  • Free, unlimited general admission to the Museum for one
  • Member Discount on tickets to New Museum screenings, performances, and panels
  • 15% discount at the New Museum Store
  • 10% discount at the New Museum’s Café

For details about benefits at cultural institutions, click here.

If you want to apply for IDNYC, two pop-up centers are available on the Lower East Side. They include:

Gouverneur Health
227 Madison St.
Mon – Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Open January 20 through February 11, 2016
On February 11 this site will close at Noon

Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York
33 Bowery, Suite C204
Mon – Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Open January 13 through January 29, 2016
On January 29 this site will close at Noon
Closed Monday January 18, 2016

For application instructions and to make an appointment, click here.



New Museum/Rhizome to Screen Excerpts from Ai Weiwei/Appelbaum Encounter

Ideas City 2015 Program Lineup Announced

New Museum Triennial – Surround Audience – is Now Open

New Museum Seeks Applicants For Ideas City Street Festival

Design Competition Announced for New Museum’s Ideas City

Photos: New Museum Block Party 2014

Photos by Tim Schreier.

Photos by Tim Schreier.

On Saturday, the New Museum staged its annual block party in and around Sara D. Roosevelt Park. It was an afternoon filled with diverse performances, hands-on projects and workshops. Tim Schreier stopped by to capture some of the day’s images. Click through for more of his photos.

“Here & Elsewhere,” Window Into Arab World, Opens at New Museum

You’re Invited: New Museum’s Block Party on Saturday

An Art Weekend on the Lower East Side, NADA, Cutlog, Gallery Walk, New Museum Shows