About the Museum
The 2015 opening of the Whitney Museum’s new West Village building was the most significant moment of the decade for the New York City museum landscape. The Whitney, long in the shadow of its former Museum Mile neighbors, has become a destination in itself. The spacious, Renzo Piano-designed building allows the more of the museum’s massive collection of American Art to be on display. Its location at the terminus of the High Line serves as a capstone to that unique achievement in urban redevelopment and brings large-scale curation to a revitalized neighborhood previously underserved by institutional museums. And its former Upper East Side home now houses the Met’s long underappreciated collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. Everyone wins, especially the museum-going public.
What You Will See
This is not the place for Spanish Surrealists, French Impressionists, Swiss Dadaists or Italian Masters. The Whitney is home to one of the largest collections of works by American artists in the world, and given the relatively short history of American art, exhibits lean towards the modern. The permanent collection of paintings and sculpture includes some of the most recognizable and iconic works produced in the New World during the twentieth-century from such names as Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol. But the museum is also an active curator of contemporary art and its (often controversial) Biennial Exhibition is of the premier events in the Contemporary Art.
Why You Should Go
While the Whitney does not have the luxury of drawing upon the rich artistic traditions of other countries and cultures, its focus on American Art is unique among New York museums, and its collection rivals (or surpasses) that of larger, polythematic institutions. Come review the brief but intense history of American art in the permanent collection or discover a new contemporary artist highlighted in a rotating exhibits. Even if your interests do not lay in traditional art museums, the building alone is an experience, with its sleek design, outdoor plazas and incomparable views of the Hudson River, Lower Manhattan and the High Line.