Sotheby's is set to acquire the former Whitney Museum of American Art building, designed by Marcel Breuer, in a deal worth over $100 million. The auction house plans to relocate its headquarters from its current location on York Avenue, where it has been based for over 40 years. Sotheby's will take possession of the Breuer building in September 2024 and will retain ownership of the York Avenue complex until it opens its new galleries in 2025.
The Breuer building, known for its Brutalist architecture, has been a prominent fixture in the New York art scene since its completion in 1966. It served as the Whitney Museum until 2015, after which it became the Met Breuer and is currently rented to the Frick Collection. Sotheby's CEO, Charles F. Stewart, expressed excitement about acquiring such an iconic architectural landmark and emphasized its rich history of housing renowned art collections. The move comes after rumors circulated for months about Sotheby's potential headquarters relocation. The sale of the York Avenue building will boost Whitney's endowment and allow the museum to focus on its mission in the Meatpacking District.