Lower East Side View from the New Museum Rooftop

Lower East Side View from the New Museum Rooftop (2016)

The New Museum is an art museum located in the Lower East Side on the Bowery that specializes in contemporary art, with a focus on new or underrepresented living artists. The museum was established in 1977 and moved into its current home in 2007. New Museum is comprised of seven stories that feature a wide range of viewing areas from rooms with 24ft ceilings to more intimate viewing spaces. The rooftop Sky Room depicted in this painting is open to museum visitors on the weekend. As the museum features rotating exhibits and doesn’t have any permanent collection continually displayed, each visit is a unique experience.

I visited the New Museum on May 7 2016 in the mid-afternoon. As with any museum, I like to head straight for the top and make my way down, and with the Sky Room at the top there was no question. The tight staircase leading down from the roof to mysterious fire escape doors on each floor made traversing the museum interesting, particularly if you’re uninformed on what lies behind each unmarked door. On this day, the rooftop was quiet and serene with only around 8 other visitors present. In a city filled with rooftops, I found the New Museum Sky Room view quite special, as it was just so calm and relaxing up there.

The subject in the painting is taking in the South-West view from the glass walled balcony. With the jacket slung perfectly over his shoulder, it’s almost as if he is posing for the painting. The One World Trade Center in the distance completes this iconic view.