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The Whitney Museum of American Art (In Pictures)

So I was back in NYC last week and as I am wont to do when I travel, I decided to drag my family to yet another art museum (they pretend to hate them but I know that deep down they actually enjoy them). We've already been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (photographs HERE) and the Brooklyn Museum (photographs HERE) so this time, I picked the Whitney Museum of American Art – known informally as "The Whitney".

The Whitney was founded in 1931 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), a wealthy and prominent American socialite and art patron after whom the museum is named. Mrs. Whitney was inspired to become an artist herself after visiting Europe in the early 1900s. Because of her wealth and status, she worked under an assumed name but by 1910 she became a well-regarded sculptor exhibiting her work publicly under her own name. Her sculptures can be found all over the world including at the Washington Heights-Inwood War Memorial, the Women's Titanic Memorial in Washington, D.C. and on the Victory Arch on Madison Square on 5th Avenue in NYC.

With the aid of her assistant, Juliana R. Force, an American art museum administrator and director, Whitney had collected nearly 700 works of American art and in 1929, she offered to donate over 500 works of art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the museum declined the gift(!). This led Whitney to start her own museum, exclusively for American art, in a converted row of houses on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village in 1931.

In 1954, the museum left its original location and moved to a small structure on 54th Street connected to and behind the Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street before relocating again to a larger structure on the southeast corner of Madison Avenue at 75th Street in Manhattan's Upper East Side in 1966. After grappling with space problems, the museum returned to the West Village in a new 200,000 square foot structure designed by Italian architect and engineer Renzo Piano. Construction began in 2010 and was completed in 2015 for a cool $422 million.

Today the Whitney focuses on 20th and 21st century American art. Its permanent collection comprises more than 21,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, videos, and artifacts of new media by more than 3,000 artists. It was our first visit to "The Whitney" and we spent several hours perusing the offerings of this fine museum. Time very well spent. Brought along my camera, here are a few photographs - enjoy...

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

From the exhibition 'Mary Corse: A Survey in Light' which approaches the question of light through painting...

The Whitney

"A Woman in the Sun" (1961) by American realist painter Edward Hopper

The Whitney

The Whitney

Henry Koerner's fascinating "Mirror of Life" (1946)

The Whitney

A young woman observing "$199 Television" (1961) by Andy Warhol

The Whitney

"Standing Lincoln" (1912) by Daniel Chester French, one of the most prolific and acclaimed American sculptors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries...

The Whitney

"Baptism in Kansas" (1928) by John Steuart Curry

The Whitney

One of my favorites at the Whitney, "The Family" (1955) by Charles Alston, an African-American painter, sculptor, illustrator, muralist and teacher who lived and worked in Harlem. Alston's 1990 bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. became the first image of an African American displayed at the White House...

The Whitney

"The Lord Is My Shepherd" (1926) by American painter and muralist Thomas Hart Benton. His fluid, sculpted figures in his paintings showed everyday people in scenes of life in the United States...

The Whitney

"Office Girls" (1936) by Russian-born American painter Raphael Soyer

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney Museum boasts four terraces and exterior staircases that let museumgoers enjoy sweeping views of the city...

The Whitney

A young woman takes a seat on one of the outside terraces of the Whitney next to "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" (2008), a steel rendering of a rifle’s crosshairs by African-American artist Rashid Johnson. The title is borrowed from a 1988 song by Public Enemy, whose logo features an image of crosshairs...

The Whitney

Another one of my faves, "The Subway" (1950) by American figurative painter George Tooker

The Whitney

"Employment Agency" (1937) by artist Isaac Soyer, a social realist painter who often portrayed working-class people of New York City in his paintings...

The Whitney

The Whitney

"Stop The War" protest posters from the Whitney's "An Incomplete History of Protest" exhibition which looks at how artists from the 1940s to the present have confronted the political and social issues of their day...

The Whitney

“Felix, June 5, 1994” by artist AA Bronson depicts Felix Partz, one of Bronson’s collaborators in the Toronto-based collective General Idea. Partz died in 1994 of an AIDS-related illness...

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

African-American artist Carl Pope's brilliantly disguised installation, "Some of the Greatest Hits of the New York City Police Department" addresses the history of police brutality in New York between 1949 and 1994. The inscriptions, which include the names of people who were killed or brutalized as well as the officers who committed the acts, were written by the artist using trophies and plaques made specifically for law-enforcement use...

The Whitney

A young man ponders the meaning of artist Melvin Edwards' barbed wire "Pyramid Up and Down Pyramid" (1969)

The Whitney

The Whitney

My daughter takes a break under "New No's", a poem written after the election of Donald J. Trump and acts as a declaration against the drift of American society toward what is most un-American. Designed by Paul Chan and Badlands Unlimited, a book publisher...

The Whitney

The Whitney

The Whitney

Felix Gonzalez-Torres's "Untitled” (America) (1994–95), which consists of twelve light strings, each with forty-two 15-watt lightbulbs and rubber sockets, hangs in the museum's grand staircase...

The Whitney

Colombian artist Carolina Caycedo’s "Cosmotarrayas" combine handmade fishing nets and collected objects, many from Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. It's part of the museum's "between the Waters" exhibit...

The Whitney

My wife and daughter admiring the work of NYC based artist Cy Gavin's "Aubade II (Spittal Pond)" (2016). The painting, made up of acrylic, chalk and oil on denim, is part of the collection of Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave...

The Whitney

And a good time was had by all...

ORANGE STRIPE

Check out my photographs from my visits to other art museums: Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, National Museum of Art of Romania and the Museo Nacional de Arte and Museo Soumaya in Mexico City (yeah, I got a thing for art museums).

ORANGE STRIPE

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