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Whitney Museum of American Art
art museum in New York City
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Whitney Museum of American Art
art museum in New York City
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99 Gansevoort Street
New York, New York
United States

ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

An awesome museum if you like contemporary stuff.  Every couple years they have the Whitney Biennial, where lesser known artists come to show off their goods in hopes of hitting it big.  The event is super entertaining because there is lots of weird performance art.  In the 1976 there was an exhibit of live body builders, starring California’s own Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

mbaa's picture

Contributor

The Whitney Museum of American Art sticks out.

The Museum moved to the Meatpacking district in 2015, fulfilling a kind of gentrification prophecy. In the '70s the neighborhood was a thriving meat market, in the '80s it was dotted with BDSM clubs, in the '90s artists started moving in, and so on and so forth.

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was a sculptor who didn’t get taken very seriously. Well, she was the great-granddaughter of the one, the only, Vanderbilt Rail tycoon. That kind of money and the wrong set of genitals ensured her humiliation in the art world. Her husband was no help either, and she even learned later that he was having an affair. Due to the prejudices of the time, Gertrude had to work under a false name to get work.

In 1907, Gertrude set up a studio/cafe/residence at 8-12 West 8th street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. She used the space to sculpt, live, and have other artists meet up and chat. Early bohemian life sounds like a lot of fun. 

When the Metropolitan Museum of Art refused to accept a generous gift of 500 paintings from her collection, she was upset. So, she did what any Tommy Wiseau would do. She built her own museum. 

The museum moved two more times before it arrived at the Meatpacking district in New York.

The Whitney is populated by some of the most important artworks in America’s modern history. They deal with a lot of contemporary art, but you will definitely find work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Jean Michel Basquiat lining the gallery walls.

A rich lady sculptor, married to an asshole husband, created a legacy that simply keeps on giving. We need a lot of different people to change this world. Next time you’re in NYC, just go have a look at what this artist started. The Museum shuts at 6 in the evening, so we recommend you get there around 4, at the latest. It's big. 

Sources

Sources

  1. "From Glory Holes to Gentrification: NY's Meatpacking District." Air Design. April 11, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2019. https://www.airdesign.co.uk/from-glory-holes-to-gentrification-nys-meatp....
  2. Schultz, Dennison. "Women's History Month: Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney." Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. March 31, 2017. Accessed July 04, 2019. https://crystalbridges.org/blog/womens-history-month-gertrude-vanderbilt...
  3. Ro, Lauren. "Original Home of Whitney Museum to Open to the Public for First Time in History." Curbed. May 18, 2016. Accessed July 04, 2019. https://www.curbed.com/2016/5/18/11701924/gertrude-vanderbilt-whitney-st...
  4. Schwiegershausen, Erica. "The Iconoclastic Woman Who Founded the Whitney." The Cut. May 01, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2019. https://www.thecut.com/2015/05/iconoclastic-woman-who-founded-the-whitne....
  5. "Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney." Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney | Whitney Museum of American Art. Accessed June 18, 2019. https://whitney.org/collection/works/6564.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art, known informally as the "Whitney", is an art museum in Manhattan. It was founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), a wealthy and prominent American socialite and art patron after whom it is named.

The Whitney focuses on 20th- and 21st-century American art. Its permanent collection comprises more than 23,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, videos, and artifacts of new media by more than 3,400 artists. It places particular emphasis on exhibiting the work of living artists as well as maintaining an extensive permanent collection of important pieces from the first half of the last century. The museum's Annual and Biennial exhibitions have long been a venue for younger and lesser-known artists whose work is showcased there.

From 1966 to 2014, the Whitney was at 945 Madison Avenue on Manhattan's Upper East Side in a building designed by Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith. The museum closed in October 2014 to relocate to a new building designed by Renzo Piano at 99 Gansevoort Street in the West Village/Meatpacking District neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan; it reopened at the new location on May 1, 2015.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Whitney Museum of American Art.