By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff
April 15, 2015
The Whitney Museum
Credit: Timothy Schenck

New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art is re-opening May 1 in its new downtown digs. The megalith in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, designed by famed architect Renzo Piano, will soon house a new curation: America is Hard to See, an assemblage from the museum's permanent collection.

Some 400 artists are represented in the 600-work exhibit, and no works date back further than 1900. The museum calls the it "the most ambitious display to date of the Whitney's collection."

Michael Chini, who created the painting below, spoke to T+L about the dynamism of the museum’s new home:

“I’m fascinated by the idea of the art museum as an institution, as this place that’s loaded with art energy, but which is somehow separated from the works inside. I wanted to paint the Whitney as a way of connecting with what will be shown there before it even opens—like history being written in the present. I spent half a day painting oil on linen in a south-facing room at the Standard High Line hotel. The view was epic, with pure blue skies and intense sunlight that reflected off the glass façade and lit up the room like flash photography. It made this incredibly modern piece of architecture appear almost nuclear.”

Whitney Museum Painting
Credit: Daniel Heidkamp

Michael Chini