New Home for the Grey Art Gallery, NYU’s Fine Arts Museum


NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, a Downtown Jewel Among NYC’s Art Museums, Will Move to a Larger Space in Cooper Square, East Village

Aliese Andersen Volk

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The Grey Art Gallery, New York University’s widely admired fine arts museum, will move to larger quarters at 18 Cooper Square from its current location on Washington Square East. The move is due, in part, to a major gift from Dr. James Cottrell and Mr. Joseph Lovett, which was announced a year ago. Longtime art patrons, social activists, and downtown Manhattan residents, Cottrell and Lovett have already gifted some 40 works from their extensive collection of downtown New York artists. Fourteen works from the Cottrell-Lovett Collection are on view in the Grey’s current exhibition, Mostly New: Selections from the NYU Art Collection.

While the Grey had previously been planning to undertake renovations, the gift has allowed the gallery to embark upon a more ambitious plan, which includes construction of new facilities—designed by Ennead Architects—that will highlight the importance of the arts on campus and reshape the visitor experience for all audiences. In addition to ground floor galleries, the new location will house the Cottrell-Lovett Study Center and expanded art storage on the lower level.

Grey Art Gallery Director Lynn Gumpert notes, “Although we have dearly loved our location on Washington Square East, we are thrilled to move to a space immediately adjacent to 20 Cooper Square, which houses many of NYU’s provostial centers and institutes.”

NYU President Andrew Hamilton concurs, “The Grey Art Gallery’s move to a larger space will enable it to occupy an even more prominent place in New York’s arts community, and the Cooper Square location will provide a strong anchor for related NYU departments and centers based there. Our deepest thanks to Jim Cottrell and Joe Lovett. The Grey’s thoughtful and innovative shows will be exhibited in handsome new quarters where students and faculty can also take advantage of the Cottrell-Lovett Study Center.”

“Ennead has a long relationship with NYU which we are proud to continue with this important project,” said Ennead Architects Partner Molly McGowan AIA. “As a cultural institution, the Grey Art Gallery has enormous reach and we are excited to deliver a design that will further open the gallery to new audiences and facilitate new experiences.”

“With its impressive curation and collection, the Grey Art Gallery has always had a presence in the art world that far exceeds its size. The newly designed space, significantly larger and more accessible, will be commensurate with their vision and more supportive of their mission. It will meaningfully engage not only with NYU’s arts programs in the building but the surrounding arts community,” said designer Richard Olcott FAIA, Partner at Ennead Architects.

The Cottrell-Lovett gift of artworks has greatly expanded the New York University Art Collection holdings on the downtown scene. The Grey’s new location on the Bowery will allow for three galleries—expanding ground-floor space by 40%—and enhanced collection facilities for the NYU Art Collection. Key among the major planned improvements are a named Cottrell-Lovett Gallery and the creation of the Cottrell-Lovett Study Center, which will enable students, faculty, and researchers to have more direct access to the collection of some 6,000 objects.

A renaming will accompany the move: When the space at 18 Cooper Square opens in 2024, it will be as the Grey Art Museum. The Grey—named in honor of art patron and collector Abby Weed Grey—was inaugurated in 1975 as the Grey Art Gallery and Study Center and adopted the shortened version of its name in 1998. “Though we have always been NYU’s fine arts museum, we are pleased, at this important juncture, to adopt a name that better reflects the special role the Grey plays in preserving art and visual culture, enhancing scholarship, and producing inclusive programming and exhibitions,” observes Gumpert.

The Grey continues to produce free public programs, scholarly publications, and digital projects from its current location at 100 Washington Square East. Mostly New: Selections from the NYU Art Collection will remain on view until the museum makes the move to Cooper Square. Gumpert adds, “This exhibition gives us the opportunity to exhibit some of the works that Jim and Joe have generously donated to the NYU Art Collection—and will give visitors a chance to say goodbye to our historic location off of Washington Square Park.”

Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France, 1946–1962, which is the first major exhibition to assess the expatriate art scene in Paris after World War II, is the first show currently scheduled to open at the new Grey Art Museum, in February 2024.

Intermittent updates about ongoing capital projects and programming will be posted on the museum’s website. Please reach out to Aliese Andersen Volk at with questions.

About the Grey Art Gallery
The Grey Art Gallery, New York University’s fine arts museum, enables and encourages transformative encounters with works of art. Engaging with challenging issues in the study of material culture, the Grey serves as a museum-laboratory, sparking interdisciplinary scholarship. Uniquely positioned to cultivate visual literacy and critical thinking, the Grey shares NYU’s fundamental commitment as a global research university to advance knowledge of different cultures, contexts, and histories across time. The Grey also fosters experiential learning through its collections and participates in the cultural, intellectual, and environmental spheres of NYU’s Global Network, of New York City, and of the broader world. In 2025, the Grey will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

General Information
Grey Art Gallery, New York University
100 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003
Tel: 212/998-6780, Fax: 212/995-4024

Monday–Friday, 12:00–5:00 pm, and the following Saturdays, 12:00–5:00 pm: September 24, 2022, October 22, 2022, October 29, 2022, November 19, 2022, December 17, 2022.
Closed November 24–25, 2022 for Thanksgiving Recess.

Suggested donation: $5; free of charge to NYU students, faculty, and staff

Health and Safety Protocols
All visitors must present proof of vaccination and photo identification upon entering the museum. Documentation must show proof that the visitor has received an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine and is up to date on their vaccinations (including booster, if eligible). Masks are strongly encouraged. Eating or drinking is not permitted inside the museum.