The Whitney Museum of American Art is an interesting modern art museum in Greenwich Village on Madison Avenue. This museum has been around for decades, and it was one of the catalysts of the artsy, bohemian movement that defined The Village for so many years. The Whitney has about 18,000 pieces of permanent artwork in all sorts of different genres and styles, but it focuses mainly on twentieth and twenty-first century art and artists.
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a sculptor and art collector, was the founder of this museum. It started out as a place for local Village artists, of which there were many, to exhibit their original works for display. The museum was run for much of its history by Gertrude Whitney herself as well as by her daughter and, later, her granddaughter.
The museum offers admission for $18 to the general public and for $12 to those who are over sixty-two, between nineteen and twenty-five, or are full-time students. Admission for all those under the age of eighteen is free, so this is definitely an affordable family outing on a trip to New York! The Whitney is open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from eleven to six and on Friday from eleven to nine.
The collection at The Whitney is extensive and enough to occupy an entire afternoon of browsing. If that isn’t enough, though, the museum is constantly rotating through exhibits of all sorts. Some are exhibits by particular artists, and others are based on particular themes or are groups of artists with similar techniques or media.
Since it’s one of the main reasons for the personality of The Village, a Greenwich Village visit wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Whitney Museum of American Art, one of the few museums in the country that features exclusively American art.