The Grey Art Gallery, New York University’s widely admired fine arts museum, will move to larger quarters at 18 Cooper Square from its current location on Washington Square East. The move is due, in part, to a major gift from Dr. James Cottrell and Mr. Joseph Lovett, which was announced a year ago. Longtime art patrons, social activists, and downtown Manhattan residents, Cottrell and Lovett have already gifted some 40 works from their extensive collection of downtown New York artists. Fourteen works from the Cottrell-Lovett Collection are on view in the Grey’s current exhibition, Mostly New: Selections from the NYU Art Collection. The new Grey Art Museum at 18 Cooper Square will open in February 2024.
While the Grey had previously been planning to undertake renovations, the gift has allowed the gallery to embark upon a more ambitious plan, which includes construction of new facilities—designed by Ennead Architects—that will highlight the importance of the arts on campus and reshape the visitor experience for all audiences. In addition to ground floor galleries, the new location will house expanded art storage on the lower level.
The Cottrell-Lovett gift of artworks has greatly expanded the New York University Art Collection holdings on the downtown scene. The Grey’s new location on the Bowery will allow for three galleries—expanding ground-floor space by 40%—and enhanced collection facilities for the NYU Art Collection. Key among the major planned improvements are a named Cottrell-Lovett Gallery and the creation of the Cottrell-Lovett Study Center, which will enable students, faculty, and researchers to have more direct access to the collection of some 6,000 objects.
A renaming will accompany the move: When the space at 18 Cooper Square opens in 2024, it will be as the Grey Art Museum. The Grey—named in honor of art patron and collector Abby Weed Grey—was inaugurated in 1975 as the Grey Art Gallery and Study Center and adopted the shortened version of its name in 1998.
Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France, 1946–1962, which is the first major exhibition to assess the expatriate art scene in Paris after World War II, is the first show currently scheduled to open at the new Grey Art Museum, in February 2024.