Whitney Museum of American Art


Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art, often referred to simply as "the Whitney", harbors one of the most important collections of 20th century American art. Located in New York City, New York USA, the Whitney's permanent collection contains more than 18,000 works in a wide variety of media. The Whitney places a particular emphasis on exhibiting the work of living artists for its collection as well as maintaining an extensive permanent collection containing many important pieces from the first half of the century. The museum's Annual and Biennial exhibitions have long been a venue for younger and less well-known artists whose work the museum showcases.

History

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the museum's namesake and founder, was herself a well-regarded sculptor as well as a serious art collector. As a patron of the arts, she had already achieved some success as the creator of the "Whitney Studio Club," a New York-based exhibition space which she created in 1918 to promote the works of avant-garde and unrecognized artists. By 1929, she had amassed nearly 700 works of contemporary American art which she offered to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met turned down her gift, and Mrs. Whitney instead used her collection to found the "Whitney Museum of American Art" in 1931.cite book|last=Berman|first=Avis|title=Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art|publisher=Atheneum|date=1990|place=New York]

Gertrude Whitney's daughter, Flora Payne Whitney, served as a museum trustee, then as vice president. From 1942 to 1974 she was the museum's president and chairman after which she functioned as honorary chairman until her death in 1986. Her daughter, Flora Miller Biddle, served as its president until 1985. In 1999, her book "The Whitney Women and the Museum They Made" was published by Arcade Publishing (ISBN 978-1559705943).

After two changes of venue, the Whitney settled in 1966 at Madison Avenue at 75th Street in Manhattan's Upper East Side. The present building, planned and built 1963–1966 by Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith in a distinctively modern style, is easily distinguished from the neighboring townhouses by its staircase façade made from granite stones and its external upside-down windows.

The Whitney Museum is currently in the process of constructing a new building downtown, designed by famed Italian architect Renzo Piano. The new satellite museum on Gansevoort St will mark the Southern entrance to the nearly-complete High Line park. The building is scheduled to open in 2012 and will feature over 100,000 square feet of gallery space.

Collection

The museum displays paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, video, and photography. Every two years, the museum hosts the Whitney Biennial, an international art show which displays many lesser-known artists new to the American art scene.

The permanent collection contains more than 18,000 works of art from many renowned artists. Artists represented include Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Knox Martin, Keith Haring, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Edward Hopper, who bequeathed many of his works to the Whitney Museum.

In addition to its traditional collection the Whitney has a website, called Artport, that features "Net Art" that changes monthly.

Its current director is Adam Weinberg (since 2003). Former directors include Maxwell L. Anderson (1998-2003), David A. Ross (1991-1997), and Thomas Armstrong III (1974-1990).

Independent study program

In 1968, Ron Clark, at the age of 25, established in conjunction with the Whitney Museum of American Art an independent study program (known as the ISP or sometimes the Whitney ISP), which helped start the careers of artists including Julian Schnabel, Rirkrit Tiravanija, as well as many other well-known, influential artists. The program includes separate art history and studio programs. The programs include Critical Studies, Curatorial Studies and the Studio Program for Artists. It is a one year program that includes many both visiting and hired influential artists, art historians, and critics and involves the reading of theory. Ron Clark remains director of the program.

Governance

* Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees
* Flora Miller Biddle, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees
* Robert J. Hurst, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees
* Brooke Garber Neidich, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees
* Neil G. Bluhm, President of the Board of Trustees
* Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney

References

ee also

*List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City
*Whitney Biennial

External links

* [http://www.whitney.org/ Whitney Museum of American Art official website]
* [http://www.artseditor.com/html/features/0208_whitney.shtml "Curatorial Charge: the 2008 Whitney Biennial: Part One"] ArtsEditor.com
* [http://www.artseditor.com/html/features/0308_whitney.shtml "Time/Stop/Time: the 2008 Whitney Biennial: Part Two"] ArtsEditor.com
* [http://artport.whitney.org/ Artport: Whitney Portal to Net Art]
* [http://www.samuelanderson.com/default.aspx?page=5&type=104&project=388&set=1&focus=0&link=1 Conservation Lab Interiors]


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