- Classic meets contemporary in New York: the Leon Levy and Shelby White Court is part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s New Greek and Roman Galleries. Photography by THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK
Don’t mention the words “economic slowdown” to New York, once again topping the list of our readers’ favorites. The Big Apple hosted a record-breaking 46 million visitors in 2007-visitors who spent $28 billion. And much of that money is being reinvested into the city in the form of new arts institutions and beautification projects.
New York “boasts an infrastructure to support and advance the work of local artists and arts organizations of all sizes, shapes and forms,” said AmericanStyle reader Susan Boskoff, of Reno, Nev., in casting her vote. The much-anticipated New Museum of Contemporary Art opened on the Bowery in December. The seven-story, 60,000-square-foot glimmering metal-mesh structure is the first art museum to be built from the ground up in downtown Manhattan.
Then there’s the expansive new Museum of Arts & Design building at Columbus Circle, set to open its doors in September. The 54,000-square-foot space will allow MAD to dedicate galleries to its growing permanent collection for the first time in its history. It will also house the new Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, offering contemporary jewelry exhibitions and publicly accessible study storage of the museum’s entire jewelry collection.
At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, recent renovations include the New Greek and Roman Galleries, Galleries for 19th- and Early 20th- Century European Paintings and Sculpture, the Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts and the brand-new Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography.
A lesser-known project in the works? The transformation of Manhattan’s High Line, a retired elevated rail structure running through the Chelsea historic district and a concentration of art galleries, into an innovative public space. Robust plantings, overlooks and a butterfly garden will help make the 1.5-mile stretch an accessible way for pedestrians to rise above the hustle of the city streets. The first section is set to open in the fall.