Long before the new Whitney Museum opened, I was invited to an aftershow party by Diane Von Furstenberg at the premises. Just a block away from her own headquarters, Diane invited friends and journalists to the second floor of the building, which at that time was just a platform - no windows, no floors, just the view of the Hudson river and that magnificent skyline of New York.
In the meantime, the new Whitney opened and I visited twice. A first time when 'American Modern' was on view and I got to see some of the art works that have kept me happy for years: some Hopper, some O'Keeffe, some Mapplethorpe.
Last week, I went back to the Whitney Museum to just walk around and take in my favourite works of art again. Needless to say, I came across works that I missed on my first tour. I also took in that incredible view of the city from almost every single floor.
Architect Renzo Piano did a hell of a job. Each and every floor feels open and airy, and has a view. What always surprizes me in an American museum is the fact that each and every room has been paid for with private money. That there is no such thing as a ministry of culture, handing out gifts each and every year. Also telling: so many people lining up each and every day, to come in, at 22 Dollars a person... So good to see that art is still popular.
The bookstore is great. One of the books I bought is the one on the Whitney Women, telling the story of how the Whitney started out from the art collection of just one person: Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Oh, before I forget. I had lunch at the Whitney's restaurant, Untitled. I sat at the bar (my favourite spot everywhere) and had the most fantastic food, surrounded by happy people who all had just enjoyed a moment of bliss. Because that is exactly what art does to people. It gives courage or solace and uplifts one's mood. I certainly couldn't do without.