Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 13th 2011
If your art interests include American Art, then the Whitney Museum of American Art is a must-see when you visit New York City. This museum is devoted American art, including 20th century and contemporary.
However, the museum takes that one step further. It also puts a special focus on the artwork of those artists who are or were still living at the time the museum procured their works. For many of these, this brought them the recognition they deserved and would surely have obtained, but in a more timely manner.
Who founded the Whitney Museum of American Art and when?
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a sculptor in her own right, founded the Whitney Museum of American Art for, as mentioned earlier, the specific purpose of recognizing living American artists. She began collecting the works of those artists living in 1907 and continued to do so until her death in 1942.
The Whitney Museum of American Art came as a result of her establishment of the Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village in 1914. By 1929, her collection had grown to more than 500 pieces, and she offered them, along with an endowment to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was turned down, so she set up her own museum. The Whitney Museum of American Art was "born" in 1930 and opened in 1931.
The Whitney Museum of American Art has always made its home in Greenwich Village. The original location was West Eighth Street, then West 54th Street, and finally Madison Avenue at 75th Street, where the Museum is located today.
What will I see at the Whitney Museum of American Art?
Sculpture, photography-including freeze-frame, paintings (think modern rather than classical) and even digital art. The exhibits have a very modern, up-to-the-minute feel. Remember, this isn't the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so don't expect to see exhibits like you'd see there.
What are the hours and how do I get there?
The Whitney Museum of American Art is closed on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday, the museum is open from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Friday hours are 1:00 PM until 9:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday hours are from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM.
You can get to the Whitney Museum of American Art by taking the 6 subway train to 77th Street, or M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus lines to 74th Street. You can drive, but you'll probably have to use parking garages near the museum. They can be expensive, so why not just use public transportation?
General admission prices are $18 for adults 25 and older; $12 for adults ages 19-25, ages 62 and older, and full-time students. Ages 18 and under are free; members are free. On Fridays between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM, you can pay however much you wish (in other words, you make a donation).