Sotheby’s buys New York landmark from Whitney in near $100mn deal

Sotheby’s has agreed to purchase the Brutalist constructing owned by the Whitney Museum of American Artwork on the Higher East Aspect, in a deal that can lastly transfer the public sale home nearer to the guts of the New York artwork market.

The corporate, which was bought by French billionaire Patrick Drahi in 2019 for $3.7bn, is buying the constructing in a deal value roughly $100mn, mentioned two individuals with data of the matter. Positioned on the nook of Madison Avenue and seventy fifth Avenue, it was designed by Marcel Breuer and accomplished in 1966.

Sotheby’s mentioned it will hold its present headquarters, wedged between medical amenities on York Avenue and alongside Manhattan’s East River. It plans to make use of the Breuer constructing as an exhibition area and can maintain vital auctions there as soon as it completes renovations in 2025.

The sale solutions a query that has dogged the Breuer for the reason that Whitney moved out to the Meatpacking District close to Manhattan’s West Village in 2015: what precisely would the establishment do with the Higher East Aspect constructing?

For a time it was leased by the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork, however the Met finally vacated the area because it labored to handle its personal monetary troubles. The Frick then leased the area because it renovated its own residence on Fifth Avenue. Because the Frick’s 2024 homecoming neared it was unclear whether or not the Whitney would attempt to function a satellite tv for pc location on the stark granite and concrete constructing or discover a new tenant.

Rumours started to swirl this yr that Sotheby’s would step in. Charles Stewart, chief government, on Thursday mentioned the constructing was “ideally located” and would enable the public sale home to “reimagine an iconic and globally famend architectural landmark”.

Sotheby’s mentioned it will attempt to preserve essential components of the constructing because it renovates the area.

“We frequently seek advice from the provenance of paintings, and within the case of the Breuer, there isn’t a historical past richer than the museum which has housed the Whitney, Metropolitan and Frick collections,” he added.

Plenty of high-profile galleries have blossomed within the space, together with the Gagosian and Mnuchin, and the Breuer is blocks from the Met’s flagship dwelling that counts tens of millions of holiday makers a yr.

Adam Weinberg, the Whitney director who led the museum’s profitable transfer downtown, mentioned proceeds of the sale would strengthen the establishment’s endowment and permit it to focus its efforts on its Meatpacking dwelling.

“The Breuer constructing will all the time be a beloved a part of the Whitney’s wealthy historical past,” he mentioned. “We’re happy that it’s going to proceed to serve a creative and cultural function by the show of artworks and artefacts.”

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