New Cultural Venues

Scaffold coming down on The Broad, Los Angeles. Image: ArtsHub

Gina Fairley ‘Who’s opening new doors in 2015’ ArtsHub 13 January 2015

2015 is an anticipated year for many in the art world, especially for those with an eye on architecture. Several high profile museums are set to open, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the National Gallery Singapore, the new Whitney on the banks of the Hudson in New York’s Meatpacking District, not to mention the world’s largest archaeology museum set amongst Cairo’s sites and, arguably, its antithesis the first museum to showcase gaming culture and Hello Kitty culture.

We bring you the scoop on what’s opening when, so get out that diary and work on those frequent flyer points, because these ten international museums are a must.

The National Videogame Arcade, Nottingham (UK)

Gaming is the fasted growing cultural industry in the world, so it is not surprising that a museum looking at its history and its future is soon to open. Billed as ‘the world’s first cultural centre for gaming’, the National Videogame Arcade (NVA) aims ‘to inspire and empower games-makers of all ages and backgrounds and to celebrate the UK’s unique heritage as a world-leading innovator in games development.’

Set across five floors, the 2.5 million pound project ($4.65 million AUD) will include four floors of exhibition space with quarterly rotated shows of new and specially commission works; a floor dedicated to education and hands-on learning; and a permanent gallery drawing from the 12,000 strong collection of the National Videogame Archive (managed by Nottingham Trent University and Science Museum).

Gaming industry veteran and advisory board member for the new museum, Ian Livingstone, said: ‘For the millions of people who love them, it’s only natural that videogames should have their own permanent, cultural home – just as fine art enjoys the National Gallery, performance has the National Theatre, and film and music have many permanent spaces that celebrate them.’

Iain Simons, who established the GameCity Festival in 2005 and is one of the driving forces behind the project, said: ‘It’s important to us to attract an audience of people who don’t consider themselves gamers – parents in particular. Parents will be able to understand what their kids are doing, and that it’s not necessarily going to turn them into sociopaths.’

NVA is housed in the former home of The Midland Group, once an important centre for the visual arts in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, Hockley. The US is planning its own videogame museum for Frisco, Texas. It will launch in April 2015, a month after the British opening.

Opening: March 2015

Where: The National Videogame Arcade, 24-32 Carlton St., Nottingham, UK.

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (USA)

Perhaps one of the most anticipated openings of 2015 is the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new 220,000 sq. ft, nine-storey building in downtown Manhattan’s Meatpacking district next May.

Designed by super architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, the asymmetrical design responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence – strongly articulated by a dramatic cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street, sheltering a 8,500-sq-foot plaza.

In October last year Whitney staff begin to move into their new office spaces on the third and fourth floors to prepare for its May opening. The Museum was founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1930. And, with the vacating of its former Uptown building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will move in and occupy it for a period of eight years to present educational programming and exhibitions.

Opening: 1 May 2015

Where: Whitney Museum of American Art is located at Washington Street and Gansevoort Street, in New York’s Meatpacking District, USA

Read more about the following new ventures:

  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (Russia)
  • The Broad, Los Angeles (USA)
  • Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo (Egypt)
  • National Gallery Singapore (Singapore)
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.)
  • Kunsthaus Dahlem (Berlin Post War Museum), Berlin (Germany)
  • Oita Prefectural Art Museum, (Japan)