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Sunday, December 9, 2007

The New Museum is the only museum of contemporary art in New York, and one of the oldest anywhere.

1977: FOUNDED by Marcia Tucker, who lost her job at the Whitney Museum for showing the disturbing work of Richard Tuttle. First housed at the New School for Social Research, the museum shows then-unknowns Keith Haring, Richard Prince and Jeff Koons.

1983: MOVES into a historic building on Broadway in SoHo, then one of the world's most vibrantly artistic neighborhoods. Shows often focus on art addressing feminism, AIDS and ethnic identity.

1997: RENOVATES AND EXPANDS to include 50 percent more exhibition space. Reopens with a survey of pioneering performance artist Carolee Schneemann, whose most famous work involved pulling a paper scroll from her vagina in front of a live audience. Over the next five years, the museum hosts solo shows by other controversial artists.

2002: ANNOUNCES plans to construct a new building in downtown New York. The Japanese firm Sanaa wins the design competition.

2004: MOVES to temporary space in Chelsea.

DEC. 1, 2007: INAUGURATES its new space, at 235 Bowery.

-- Blake Gopnik

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