General admission: $18
Ages 19–25: 12
Ages 62 and over: 12
Full-time students: 12
Ages 18 and under: FREE
Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 6–9 p.m.
The Whitney Museum of American Art, often referred to simply as «the Whitney», is an art museum with a focus on 20th- and 21st-century American art. Located at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street in New York City, the Whitney's permanent collection contains more than 18,000 works in a wide variety of media. The Whitney 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 by the museum.
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the museum's namesake and founder, was herself a well-regarded sculptor as well as a serious art collector. As a patron of the arts, she had already achieved some success as the creator of the «Whitney Studio Club,» a New York–based exhibition space which she created in 1918 to promote the works of avant-garde and unrecognized American artists. With the aid of her assistant, Juliana Force, Whitney had collected nearly 700 works of American art, which she offered to donate to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1929, but the museum declined the gift. This, along with the apparent preference for European modernism at the recently opened Museum of Modern Art, led Whitney to start her own museum, exclusively for American Art, in 1929. In 1931, architect Noel L. Miller converted three row houses on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village – one of which had been the location of the «Studio Club» – to be the museum's home as well as a residence for Whitney.