Through September 27, the Whitney Museum is open late until 10 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. In celebration of the summer solstice, here are some our favorite ways to make the most of these long summer days in the new galleries.
The Museum’s light-filled building offers perfect perches for viewing the sunset—from the shop on the ground floor to the floor-to-ceiling, west-facing windows on the fifth. We suggest two places in particular: begin at the eighth-floor Studio Cafe, which offers outdoor seating along with 300-degree views of the city. Then walk down to the fifth floor, and see the sky change from one of Mary Heilmann’s colorful chairs, part of her installation Sunset.
Explore the galleries for night-themed works of art in America Is Hard to See. Plenty of works on view depict the sunset or stars, or show instances of New York City at night. Start with Joseph Stella’s Luna Park on the eighth floor, Edward Hopper’s Railroad Sunset on the seventh, or Peter Hujar’s photograph West Side Parking Lots, NYC on the fifth.
Drop by after work and take a walk around the first-floor gallery, which is free and open to the public. Tap into the energy of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s Studio Club by browsing works by Mabel Dwight, Edward Hopper, Yasuyo Kuniyoshi, and John Sloan—all part of a single chapter within America Is Hard to See. Then head back outdoors and relax on the Whitney’s outdoor plaza or “largo.”
If you can’t make it to the Whitney, visit whitney.org for an alternative. Almost There by Rafaël Rozendaal is the newest iteration of Sunrise/Sunset, a series of Internet art projects activated when the sun rises and sets in New York. Rozendaal’s project uses black and white circular shapes—vaguely suggestive of the sun or full moon—to “eclipse” the Whitney’s website.