In a press release sent out this afternoon, the Metropolitan and Whitney museums confirmed long–rumored plans for the latter’s iconic Madison Avenue building to be shared by the two institutions once the Whitney’s new building in the Meatpacking District is completed in 2015.
The Whitney, which breaks ground on that new building at Gansevoort and Washington in a couple weeks, will keep some storage space in the Marcel Breuer-designed building at Madison Avenue and 75th Street, but exhibit exclusively downtown. The Metropolitan, which is planning a major renovation of its Modern and Contemporary galleries, will exhibit those collections in the old Whitney building, and pay for its annual operating costs (around $3 million).
This initial agreement, which begins in 2015, is good for 8 years, at which points the two institutions may decide to continue with the arrangement. Or the Whitney may take back the whole building and run a two-site museum. The Times offers some extensive background info on this half-century-in-the-making Met-Whitney collabo, but you’ll be happy to know that the Met will take care of the site-specific installations at the old Whitney building, including Charles Simond’s wonderful “Dwellings” sculptures in the stairwell and across the street.