About the Museum
Part American palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory is dedicated to supporting unconventional works in the visual and performing arts that need non-traditional spaces for their full realization, enabling artists to create, students to explore, and audiences to consume epic and adventurous presentations that cannot be mounted elsewhere in New York City. Since its first production in September 2007, the Armory has organized and commissioned immersive performances, installations, and cross-disciplinary collaborations by visionary artists, directors, and impresarios in its vast Wade Thompson Drill Hall that defy traditional categorization and push the boundaries of their practice. In its historic period rooms, the Armory presents small-scale performances and programs, including its acclaimed Recital Series in the intimate salon setting of the Board of Officers Room; the Artists Studio series in the newly restored Veterans Room; and Interrogations of Form, a series of conversations which featured artists, scholars, activists, and cultural trailblazers encouraging us to think beyond conventional interpretations of and perspectives on art. The Armory also offers robust arts education programs at no cost to underserved New York City public school students, engaging them with the institution’s artistic programming and the building’s history and architecture.
Built between 1877 and 1881, Park Avenue Armory has been hailed as containing “the single most important collection of nineteenth century interiors to survive intact in one building” by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, with an 80-foot-high barrel vaulted roof, is one of the largest unobstructed spaces in New York City. The Armory’s magnificent reception rooms were designed by leaders of the American Aesthetic Movement, among them Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White, Candace Wheeler, and Herter Brothers. The building is currently undergoing a $215-million renovation designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Platt Byard Dovell White Architects as Executive Architects.