Whitney Studio: Recycled
Jul 25, 2014

A crane lifting a shipping container

The Whitney Studio being removed by crane, June 2014. Photograph by Nick Holmes

In anticipation of the Whitney’s move to the Meatpacking District, the Education department’s temporary studio space needed to be dismantled and removed. The studio was donated to Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens. It was moved piece by piece and placed on flatbed trucks to be transported to storage while Socrates staff makes plans for the structure’s use at the park.

A studio at the museum

The Whitney Studio, 2012. Photograph by Lot-EK

Originally installed in 2012 in the Museum’s Sculpture Court, the Whitney Studio was designed by the New York-based architecture firm LOT-EK, who transformed six steel shipping containers into a 472-square foot workspace for the Whitney’s education programs. 

Adults and kids working on a crafts project

Open Studio family program during the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, September 2012. Photograph by Desi Gonzalez

For the past two years, the studio space has allowed Education to integrate art-making and experiential learning with the in-gallery experience for all audiences. It became the venue for classes, art-making workshops, teen events, and student exhibitions among other uses, and enabled Education staff to try out new projects such as an Open Studio drop-in program for families visiting the Museum with kids. The opportunity to experiment with pilot programs in the Whitney Studio has been invaluable as these experiences will inform what we do in our studio classroom at the new Museum building.

This spring before it was dismantled, Housesmarts TV filmed an episode about the Whitney Studio, featuring the space as a prime example of upcycled and recycled architecture. Watch it here.

By Dina Helal, Manager of Education Resources