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.
The museum displays paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installation art, video, and photography. Every two years, the museum hosts the Whitney Biennial, an international art show which displays many lesser-known artists new to the American art scene.
The original 600 works in the permanent collection grew to about 1,300 by 1954 when the second Museum building opened, and to approximately 2,000 with the opening of the Breuer building in 1966. Today the permanent collection contains more than 18,000 works of art from many renowned artists. Artists represented include Josef Albers, Donald Baechler, Thomas Hart Benton, Lucile Blanch, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Burchfield, Alexander Calder, Greg Colson, Dan Christensen, Ronald Davis, Stuart Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Arthur Dove, William Eggleston, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Keith Haring, Grace Hartigan, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, Eva Hesse, Hans Hofmann, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Ronnie Landfield and hundreds of others. A photography collection was begun in 1991. In addition to its traditional collection the Whitney has a website, called Artport, that features "Net Art" that changes monthly.
Independent Study Program
In 1968, Ron Clark, at the age of 25, established in conjunction with the Whitney Museum of American Art an independent study program (known as the ISP or sometimes the Whitney ISP), which helped start the careers of artists, critics, and curators including Julian Schnabel, Paul Pfeiffer, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kathryn Bigelow, Roberta Smith, and Mai-Thu Perret, as well as many other well-known, influential cultural producers. The program includes separate art history and studio programs. The programs include Critical Studies, Curatorial Studies and the Studio Program for Artists. Each year the Independent Study Program selects fourteen students to participate in the Studio Program (artists), four in the Curatorial Program (curators) and six in the Critical Studies Program (researchers). It is a one year program that includes many both visiting and hired influential artists, art historians, and critics and involves the reading of theory. Ron Clark remains director of the program.