Whitney Museum of American Art
The Whitney Museum of American Art – known informally as the "Whitney" – is an art museum located in Manhattan. It was founded in 1931 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney , a wealthy and prominent American socialite and art patron after whom the museum is named.
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 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 last century. The museum's Annual and Biennial exhibitions have long been a venue for younger and less well-known artists whose work is showcased there.
The museum displays paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installation art, 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. It has displayed works by many notable artists, and has featured unconventional works such as a 1976 exhibit of live body builders, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The original 600 works in the permanent collection grew to about 1,300 by 1954 when the second Museum building opened, and to approximately 2,000 with the opening of the Breuer building in 1966. Today the permanent collection contains more than 18,000 works of art from many renowned artists. Artists represented include Josef Albers, Joe Andoe, Donald Baechler, Thomas Hart Benton, Lucile Blanch, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Burchfield, Alexander Calder, Ching Ho Cheng, Dan Christensen, Greg Colson, Ronald Davis, Stuart Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Arthur Dove, William Eggleston, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Keith Haring, Grace Hartigan, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, Carmen Herrera, Eva Hesse, Hans Hofmann, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Franz Kline, Terence Koh, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Ronnie Landfield, John Marin, Knox Martin, John McCracken, John McLaughlin, Robert Motherwell, Bruce Nauman, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Paul Pfeiffer, Jackson Pollock, Larry Poons, Maurice Prendergast, Kenneth Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Man Ray, Mark Rothko, Morgan Russell, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Cindy Sherman, John Sloan, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and hundreds of others. A photography collection was begun in 1991.
In addition to its traditional collection the Whitney has a website, called Artport, that features "Net Art" that changes monthly. The Whitney Museum of American Art will not sell any work by a living artist because it could damage that artist’s career. But it will trade a living artist’s work for another piece by the same artist.
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