Whitney Blizzennial! Snowstorm Blasts the Show’s Gala Opening Plans to Kingdom Come

Museums across New York are closed due to the storm.

The Whitney Museum of American Art in the snow, March 2015. Courtesy of Ed Lederman/the Whitney Museum of American Art.

As a massive snowstorm bears down on the East Coast, museums across New York City have shut their doors due to inclement weather. Among them is the Whitney Museum of American Art, which was planning to debut the highly anticipated Whitney Biennial with special member preview hours and a VIP party this evening.

“Due to tomorrow’s expected snowstorm, the Tuesday, March 14 Biennial opening reception has been cancelled,” wrote the museum in an email sent out at 10 p.m. on March 13. Guests on the list for the exclusive event, which was expected to attract Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Zoë Kravitz, Zosia Mamet, and Tavi Gevinson, among others, are instead invited to come to the additional parties celebrating the new exhibition already scheduled for March 15 and 16.

Winter storm Stella, as the Nor’easter has been named, was forecast to dump 20 inches on New York City, according to the National Weather Service. Mayor Bill de Blasio closed schools, libraries, and the courts, and shut down above ground Subway service in anticipation of a crippling snowfall. Due to “heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions,” Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency across New York’s 62 counties.

Workers clear snow in front of the Guggenheim Museum in 2010. Courtesy of Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

Workers clear snow in front of the Guggenheim Museum in 2010. Courtesy of Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

The Whitney is also closed during its regular daytime hours, which would have seen members previewing the Biennial. Luckily, press were already granted access to the show on March 13, so a photo slideshow of the exhibition and a review from critic Ben Davis are already available on artnet News.

The closures continue uptown, where the Guggenheim and all three locations of the Metropolitan Museum of Art opted not to open their doors as a result of the storm. The Frick Collection shared news of its closure on Twitter with an image of a snowy scene, titled Vétheuil in Winter, by French Impressionist Claude Monet.

The first big storm of 2017 comes on the heels of unseasonably warm weather that saw temperatures in New York City nearing 70 degrees in late February.

Claude Monet, <em>Vétheuil in Winter</em>. Courtesy of the Frick Collection.

Claude Monet, Vétheuil in Winter. Courtesy of the Frick Collection.

Breaking the trend is the Museum of Modern Art, which is staying open despite the storm. “So far as we know we’ll be open today regular hours,” a representative from the press office told artnet News in a phone conversation. So if you want to see some art today, your best bet will be MoMA, aka #SNoWMA.

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