Fotografiska Plans New Photo Center in Park Avenue Building Made Notorious by Socialite Scammer Anna Delvey
New York is officially getting a new cultural destination—although one scam artist is likely not happy about it.
The Stockholm-based photography center Fotografiska has announced that it is moving forward with plans to make a splashy expansion to New York in spring 2019. The private, for-profit institution will open a 45,000-square-foot facility in a historic building on Park Avenue South in the Flatiron district. You might remember the space—it’s the same one that now-jailed-on-Rikers Island scammer Anna Delvey sought to lease for her own ill-fated, imaginary art center. (Sorry, Ms. Delvey.)
According to a statement, the institution represents “the first major opening of a cultural museum” in the city since 1977. Like Fotografiska’s space in Stockholm, the center—founded by brothers Jan and Per Broman—combines photography exhibitions, dining, and entertainment. The six-floor, 45,000-square-foot New York space will include a photography bookstore and three floors of exhibition space dedicated to rotating presentations of work by both local and international photographers. (Fotografiska, which has only a small collection of Swedish photography, hinges its business on the notion that visitors will pay for admission and then spend at its swanky cafe and bookshops.)
Passersby will get a taste of what’s to come this summer. Starting in July, the street-level windows will be adorned with images from past Fotografiska exhibitions.
The newly confirmed details about the center’s opening, which has been in the works for many months, might have passed without much notice. But the space became notorious after published a lengthy profile of Anna Delvey (real surname: Sorokin), who posed as a wealthy German heiress to foot an international spending spree and became consumed with the idea of turning the venue into her own contemporary art center. (When confronted with the news that Fotografiska had signed a lease for the same location, she dismissed it as “fake news.”)
The space is owned by RFR Realty, the real estate company founded by art collector Aby Rosen. In a statement, Fotografiska New York’s general partner Geoffrey Newman said: “We have been looking for the right New York location for quite a while, and the Park Avenue South space is a great opportunity for us.” The photography center is also expanding in London, where it is planning to occupy a new building near the Whitechapel Gallery at the end of the year.
Fotografiska first opened on the waterfront in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010. Since then, it has showcased famous photographers including David LaChapelle and Annie Leibovitz alongside lesser-known talent such as the late Chinese photographer Ren Hang. It also hosts workshops, events, and artist talks and says it attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year.
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