By KAREN MATTHEWS Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — The auction house Sotheby’s will buy the modernist Marcel Breuer-designed building that
housed New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art for nearly 50 years, Sotheby’s announced Thursday.
Sotheby’s will start moving its New York sale room and galleries to the Breuer building on Madison Avenue
in 2024 and will open to the public the following year, the auction house announced.
“We are honored to acquire and write the next chapter of such an iconic and well-known New York
architectural landmark,” Sotheby’s Chief Executive Officer Charles F. Stewart said in a statement.
The cantilevered Madison Avenue building designed by the Hungarian-born Breuer opened in 1966 as the
third home of the Whitney, which had been founded in 1930 to showcase American art. The five-story
granite and concrete structure is considered an important example of the architectural style known as
The building was leased to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for five years after the Whitney’s 2015 move to
its new Renzo Piano-designed building at the foot of the High Line, the elevated park on Manhattan’s west
side. The Met operated the former Whitney building as the Met Breuer until 2020, and the Frick Collection
has occupied the building since 2021 while its permanent home is being renovated.
Sotheby’s is buying the building from the Whitney for an undicsclosed sum.
“The iconic Breuer Building will always be a beloved part of the Whitney’s rich history,” Whitney
Director Adam Weinberg said. “We are pleased that it will continue to serve an artistic and cultural
purpose through the display of artworks and artifacts.”
The art-loving public will retain access to the building after Sotheby’s moves in, as the auction house
puts works on display before they are sold. The Breuer building a block from Central Park is more
centrally located than Sotheby’s current global headquarters on York Avenue on Manhattan’s far east side.