The Met Breuer is closing its doors for good

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is handing over its home for contemporary art to the Frick Collection.

Written by
Howard Halle
The Metropolitan Museum, The Met Breuer, The Frick Collection, MoMA, Guggenheim, Whitney Museum, Kerry James Marshall, Diane Arbus, Vija Celmins, Gerhard Richter
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Metropolitan Museum, which has been beset by budget woes, has announced that The Met Breuer will be closing for good in July. According to a story in Artnet, The Met’s showcase for Modern and Contemporary Art is being vacated for a new tenant, The Frick Collection, which is taking over the place while its Upper East Side home undergoes a major expansion.

The hand off concludes The Met's bid to become a institutional player that would rival MoMA, the Guggenheim and the Whitney in the field of 20th- and 21st-century art. The plan kicked off in 2015, when the Whitney rented its former Madison Avenue location to The Metropolitan Museum as it was preparing to decamp to the Meatpacking District. The Met moved in, renaming the iconic Brutalist structure for its designer, Marcel Breuer. Halfway through the eight-year lease, however, financial troubles compelled The Met to sublet the space to The Frick.

During its brief existence, The Met Breuer developed a program of intriguing theme shows and first-rate retrospectives of artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Diane Arbus and Vija Celmins.

Its most recent exhibition, a survey of Gerhard Richter, was also meant to be its last—the icing, as it were, on the cake for The Met Breuer's farewell party. The lockdown in March, however, forced the exhibition to close after nine days. While there was some question as to whether the show might be reopened and extended, it was not to be. Previously, The Metropolitan Museum disclosed that it would reopen its Fifth Avenue location in August, though no exact date has been set.

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