Last night, the Fire Department of New York was called to the Whitney Museum, where a fire had broken out in the lobby. The fire took place around 8:30 p.m., after the museum was closed to the public for the day.
“On Thursday evening, a small, contained fire in the lobby of The Whitney Museum of American Art was discovered and quickly extinguished,” a museum spokesperson said in a statement. “There were no injuries and no art works were damaged. The Whitney expresses its gratitude to the FDNY for their swift response.”
The museum’s statement did not specify what had caused the fire, although the New York Post reported that the FDNY said that sparking wires had initiated the small blaze.
The Whitney plans to open to the public at 12 p.m. today, about an hour and a half after it normally would on a Friday. On Twitter, the Whitney said it would allow ticket holders who planned to enter the museum before then to reschedule their visit.
The fire came as the museum was installing this year’s edition of the Whitney Biennial, a recurring survey of contemporary art that is considered the institution’s most important show and the one of the biggest shows in the United States. On social media yesterday, the museum posted video of art handlers installing an Alia Farid work a the sixth-floor outdoor area. Curated by David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, and featuring 63 artists, from Lisa Alvarado to Kandis Williams, the Whitney Biennial is slated to open on April 6.