The Whitney Museum of American Art

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In August Chris and I went to New York City to visit with friends and went to The Whitney Museum. I had read about it online and knew that it was newly renovated and had recently changed locations. The museum holds a wide range of art mediums and truly has something for everyone. I love art museums but I’ve visited the Met and MoMa so I wanted to see something new on this particular visit. 

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 contains more than 21,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, films, etc of new media by more than 3,000 artists. The museum was located on the Upper East Side for almost 50 years before it was moved to the Meatpacking District and went under construction in 2014 and reopened in the new location in 2015. 

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The new building is located along the High Line and actually features outdoor terraces that overlook the High Line. It’s also close to The Standard. The hotel is known for giving folks a show since the windows are floor to ceiling. In fact while we were there we got an eyeful of a woman who hadn’t quite realized her body was on display via the huge windows. But back to the art…

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Currently they have seven separate collections but my favorites were Stuart Davis: In Full Swing and Human Interests: Portraits from The Whitney’s Collection.

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Stuart Davis: In Full Swing

Faced with the choice between realism and pure abstraction early in his career, Davis invented a vocabulary that harnessed the grammar of abstraction to the speed and simultaneity of modern America.

I loved Davis’ work because it contained bold and bright colors. His earlier pieces didn’t have words but were just lines in bright colors but as time went on he started adding words to each piece. His later pieces are made up primarily of words. I could have looked at his pieces for hours.

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Human Interests: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection

Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection offers new perspectives on one of art’s oldest genres. Drawn entirely from the Museum’s holdings, the more than two hundred works in the exhibition show changing approaches to portraiture from the early 1900s until today. Bringing iconic works together with lesser-known examples and recent acquisitions in a range of mediums, the exhibition unfolds in eleven thematic sections on the sixth and seventh floors. Some of these groupings concentrate on focused periods of time, while others span the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to forge links between the past and the present.

There were so many unique pieces in this collection from photos, paintings, and sculptures that looked so real a crowd had generated to see if the “person” moved! I find it so interesting to see what different folks can dream up and create. There was an 8 or 10′ tall wax sculpture of a man that was being used as a giant candle. Different parts of his body were melting before our eyes. I wouldn’t have thought of that- would you? 

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Beyond the collections I loved the outside space. It was such a beautiful view of the city, the High Line and the water. Although the day we visited was SCORCHING hot, we kept popping outside to take in all that New York City had to offer. 

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I HIGHLY recommend a visit and it looks like they have some cool exhibits coming later this year! You can find The Whitney Museum of American Art at 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014

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  • Jen

    What a cool place! I love any art museum!

  • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

    I LOVE that there is so much outdoor space at this art gallery. That really breaks up the time walking around looking at art. I sometimes feel like you enter museums and your in a box until you are ready to leave, so that is a big benefit.

  • http://www.thefreeandwildblog.com Annie

    I love it! I am seriously in love with those white lights. They make me all warm and fuzzy inside.