Please wait

Behind the Scenes Tour of Shaping a Collection: Five Decades of Gifts

  • For Insider Series members in the Curate Your Own Program
    Join now!

In the five decades since Marcel Breuer designed the Whitney’s current building, the permanent collection has expanded dramatically—from about 2,300 objects to more than 21,000 works—in large part due to donations from Museum trustees, collectors, foundations, and artists. Today, gifts comprise nearly two-thirds of the Museum’s holdings, including many works now considered to be icons. Shaping a Collection: Five Decades of Gifts, organized by Dana Miller, curator of the permanent collection, focuses on artists who came to the fore between 1940 and 1990, an extraordinarily dynamic period in American art. On the eve of the Whitney’s move downtown, this exhibition provides a small indication of the collection’s depth, soon to be seen in the Museum’s new, larger home starting in the spring of 2015. During this special tour, Insider Series members will have the rare after-hours opportunity to explore the show with curatorial assistant Sarah Humphreville, who worked closely with Dana. Sarah will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition, sharing her insight on key pieces in the exhibition, curatorial process, and installation details.

Sarah has been a curatorial assistant at the Whitney since 2013, but joined the Whitney family in 2012 when she interned for Carter Foster while he was curating Hopper Drawing. In addition to her work on Shaping a Collection: Five Decades of Gifts, Sarah has worked closely with members of the curatorial department on Edward Hopper and Photography, Collecting Calder, American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe, and Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE. Sarah received her bachelor’s degrees in art history and fine art from Cornell University and then went on to complete her master’s degree in art history at the NYU Institute of Fine Arts, focusing her studies on twentieth century American art.

Insider Series members are invited to select one of two sessions:

Option 1: Monday, July 28, 6:30 pm
Option 2: Thursday, September 4, 6:30 pm

Open to Insider Series members. Become a member, or upgrade your membership by calling (212) 570-3641.

Barnett Newman, The Promise, 1949. Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 × 68 1/8 in. (130.8 × 173 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Adriana and Robert Mnuchin  2000.338. © 2009 Barnett Newman Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Barnett Newman, The Promise, 1949. Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 × 68 1/8 in. (130.8 × 173 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Adriana and Robert Mnuchin  2000.338. © 2009 Barnett Newman Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York