Founded in Greenwich Village in the 1930s, the Whitney Museum of American Art graced many addresses as it grew and expanded its mission. Its striking new home, designed by Renzo Piano, opened its doors in 2015 to much fanfare. Now at the crux of three neighborhoods – Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District, and Chelsea – the museum is a magnet for all ranks of the art community.
What to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Renzo Piano’s glass-enclosed structure offers a large, sheltered public space created by a dramatic cantilevered facade. The breezeway highlights the southern entrance to the High Line. From there, visitors can see through the museum’s lobby gallery and to the water beyond.
Begun out of the passion of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a prominent sculptor and art collector in the early 20th century, the Whitney Museum showcases living American artists. Whitney became a champion of her colleagues by purchasing and showing their work. By 1929 she had collected more than 500 pieces. Today the museum’s collection includes over 21,000 works from more than 3,000 modern day U.S. artists. Pieces from such renowned names as Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Georgia O’Keeffe are on view. Exciting regular exhibits include The Andy Warhol Film Project, a massive collection of the fascinating artist’s films, screen tests and stills.
Visit at a set time for one of the free daily tours, or choose a multimedia guide for individual exploration of the galleries. On the culinary side, the museum’s restaurants are works of art in their own right. Gramercy Tavern’s chef Michael Anthony helms the restaurant Untitled, from Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer.