It’s a two-decade-old art gallery that houses a collection of works and among the most prestigious in the country, but New York’s Solow Art and Architecture Gallery, at 9 West 57th Street, has never been open to the public. Finally, this will no longer be the case, at least from 2023. New York Post reported that the gallery will welcome art lovers, the curious in general, or anyone passing by next year.
The Soliviev Group, founded by real estate magnate Sheldon Solow, who died last November, owns and manages 9 West 57th Street, which opened in 1975 and is one of the city’s swankiest and most expensive office buildings. . The company’s vice president, Hayden Soloviev, one of Solow’s grandsons, confirmed the news of the opening of the To post. The Solow Art & Architecture Gallery would also be expanding, with an extension to the west 58th Street side of the building.
The gallery’s inaccessibility is something of a sore spot for art lovers and the public alike, according to Natasha Schlesinger, founder of art consultancy and touring firm ArtMuse. “Everyone is excluded, and even the most connected people cannot enter,” she says. “I got a glimpse looking out the windows, but I’ve never been inside.”
Solow’s site spells out its banned status in a way that has the potential to put anyone off. In keeping with the way shops, museums and restaurants indicate their opening hours, the homepage lists the days of the week as follows:
Wednesday: No public hours
Friday: like the rest of the week
Sunday: Absolutely not
The gallery is also controversial because Solow and his art foundation receive tax benefits from the space, even though it has been closed to the outside world. Again, his site almost seems to flout that fact. “The gallery was established by Sheldon Solow, a billionaire developer from New York City, and is classified as a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. According to its official mission, it “maintains and exhibits works of art intended for be displayed to the public”. There is no public access to any of the artwork. The explanation continues: “As a private operating foundation, it provides tax benefits to the sole member of its board of Directors, Sheldon Solow.”
Regardless of that detail, Schlesinger says she would happily give private tours of the gallery because she knows her collection would be well appreciated by anyone who loves art even a little. The works on display at Solow are valued at more than $200 million, according to its site. Hit pieces include Henry Matisse’s circus-themed cut-out piece called acrobats and a blue-hued painting by Joan Miró named To paint. Other acclaimed artists on display include Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore.
“I’m so excited to add this to a list of must-see New York art destinations,” says Schlesinger. “Let’s not look back at what was and look forward to this new addition. “