Fifteen years before she opened the Museum, Mrs. Whitney asked the artist Robert Henri to paint her portrait, or picture of her. For her portrait, Gertrude chose some cool clothes that she had just bought in San Francisco.
Now, you can tell a lot about Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney just by looking at her portrait! So take a moment to look at her and think about what type of personality Mrs. Whitney had.
OK, how old do you think Mrs. Whitney is in this painting? Well, I’ll tell you a secret! Robert Henri made her look younger than she really was. When this portrait was painted, she was 41 years old!
Oh, guess what? Mrs. Whitney’s husband Harry didn’t want to hang her portrait in the house because he didn’t like women to wear pants, so Mrs. Whitney kept her portrait in her artist’s studio.
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney looks you straight in the eye. If she could talk to you, what do you think she would say? What would you say to her?