During my first month as intern in New York I had the opportunity to visit the Whitney Museum of American Art.

I had been thinking about doing so for a couple of weeks, since at the Architecture firm that I work on, the Witney Museum was the topic of several conversations. I had admired the building from the outside, one of my first days in the city when I visited the HighLine. But at that time, I did not even know what building it was. It’s funny how little by little the single pieces of the city that I saw on my first time in NY a few years ago, begin to be located on the map inside my head, interconnecting with each other creating a whole vision of the city; as it already happened with Madrid during the years I spent there as a student.

While the outer space and those stairs to heaven were what made me go to the museum. The temporary exhibition was the first thing that caught my attention. Once I had my ticket in my hand, a sense of obligation to complete the full tour took over. I was there, and did not want to miss anything. After the first step, I carefully followed the descending order from the last to the first floor, as if I were at the Solomon Museum. The collection and temporary exhibitions really surprised me. But after half an hour I found myself taking pictures of corners, stairs and walls materials. Six years in an Architecture School leave a deep mark.

My time in the city that never sleeps has been busy. While I have always tried to take advantage of this opportunity. But Visiting the Witney was the first time that I felt that I had completed this task. Probably going by own and for the first time, freely walking around Renzo Piano’s building plus the impressive selection of works on display, triggered in me an optimist sense of belonging, a connection feeling with the American culture. For the first time seeing America through American eyes, beyond my European preconceptions. A bath in their values, a claim of its people’s culture. Its essence. A view through all the constraints that have influenced building its own character. The huge industrial building makes justice to the States‘ brief but intense history. From its industrial foundation until the achievement of the acceptance of its different people and cultures.

Susana Zárraga


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