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Whitney Museum of American Art - Essay Example

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Museums are most broadly defined as a collection warehouse for a composite collection of objects which each have their own shapes, functions, designs, purposes, materials and other qualities. While these can often be appreciated simply for their own values based upon their…
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Whitney Museum of American Art
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Download file to see previous pages creasingly understood that the context of the museum setting and the principles upon which it is built must be known in order to understand the potential approach taken. This knowledge can be gained in a variety of ways such as multiple visits over a period of time through which a ‘feel’ for the museum and its philosophical approach might be developed. More practical means of discerning the particular approach a museum has adopted may include discovering the history of the museum, the distinguishing characteristics of it, the philosophies of the people who helped to build the museum to its present incarnation and an understanding of the people who govern, to some degree, the museum’s direction – the board of directors and donors. Therefore, before looking into the way the Whitney Museum of American Art treats its patrons through member benefits or the type of exhibitions they present, it is helpful to investigate some of these more practical conceptions of history, uniqueness, foundational principles and current influences.
This museum was founded in 1931 based largely around the American art objects either previously collected by the museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney or purchased specifically for the museum by Mrs. Whitney. The original collection featured 700 paintings, sculptures and other art objects. Operating on a relatively tight budget, the museum quickly established a custom of purchasing works from living artists who were on the cusp of making themselves known in the general art world. These artists were often discovered through regularly scheduled exhibitions that showcased recent American art. Inspired pieces were often acquired through these exhibitions as well as future works by these grateful artists. Although these exhibits started as annual events, as soon as the museum could afford expansion, the events were scheduled biennially instead, a custom the museum continues to practice today. According to the museum’s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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