Whitney Biennial VIP Fiasco– Patrons Left Out in the Cold

VIP's waiting in the cold to enter the 2014 Whitney Biennial

Have you ever dreamed of being an art world VIP, getting personalized invitations to exclusive previews of major exhibitions? Sounds civilized and pleasurable right? Well think again. Last night the Whitney Museum hosted a private preview of the 2014 Whitney Biennial for high level patrons and supporters but left them waiting out on the street in sub-zero temperatures for up to an hour. Say what? The VIPs were advised to gather at the south entrance to the Museum at 7pm for prompt entry to the Biennial but when they arrived they discovered the museum was not admitting them and they were forced to line up under construction scaffolding in the cold. Confusion quickly turned to anger as the party-goers realized, well, yes, they had to wait in the cold with everyone else. But wasn’t this meant to be a VIP preview? Wasn’t the whole point of the VIP preview event, the night before the main opening, so that VIPs didn’t have to mingle with the plebeians in steerage, let alone wait outside the museum in the cold? One woman stepping out of a town car without a coat was so befuddled and frozen she got back into the car and then drove off. Museum services staff with iPads made their way down the line (which stretched around the corner for a block) checking off names and weeding out party crashers but were similarly at a loss as to why there were protracted delays. “Everything is running behind schedule tonight,” one of the staff told artnet news, adding, apologetically, “we are just a bit overwhelmed.” At one point warm chocolate chip cookies were circulated to the waiting VIPs to quell the anger, but most people just wanted to get out of the cold.—artnet News


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.