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Each year, the Whitney undertakes special projects to look at and care more deeply for our collection, to attract new audiences through partnerships, and to continue the debate around what constitutes American art.

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Conserving Calder’s Circus

Suitcases in which Calder transported the Circus

Suitcases in which Calder transported the Circus

The Whitney has undertaken a holistic survey and treatment of Alexander Calder’s Circus. The multi-year project is designed to stabilize and preserve the work’s material integrity, replace broken parts and missing elements, and define the history of the Circus. By interviewing family members and examining historical photograps and films, conservators determined Calder’s original kinetic design for each figure. Next year, the team will make a stop-action animated film depicting each figure in action, giving the next generation of Calder’s Circus viewers a chance to see the work as it was originally presented.

This project is supported, in part, by the Getty Foundation.

PRE-HISTORY PROJECT

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in her studio

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in her studio

The Whitney’s Frances Mulhall Achilles Library holds material related to the Museum’s pre-history (1907–1931), deriving from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s own studio, where she formed a community of artists prior to founding the Whitney in 1931. Included are photographs, correspondance, catalogues, news clippings, and ephemera that will be digitally scanned and disseminated online to increase understanding of the early twentieth-century New York art scene and the origins of the Whitney.

This project is supported, in part, by the Leon Levy Foundation, Inc.

my turn

Artists Howie Chen and Mika Tajima

Artists Howie Chen and Mika Tajima

My Turn is a new public program offered by the Whitney in which a guest artist is invited to interpret another artist’s work on display in the galleries. Musician and installation artist Howie Chen, the summer 2009 guest artist, has curated a film screening of Put Blood In The Music, an acoustic rock concert with indie rock veterans The Feelies, and a roundtable discussion with Dan Graham, all in conjunction with the exhibition Dan Graham: Beyond. In fall 2009, artist Spencer Finch will use his Turn to interpret Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction and Roni Horn aka Roni Horn.

ALICE GUY BLACHÉ: PARTNERS

Composer Du Yun

Composer Du Yun

In conjunction with Alice Guy Blaché: Cinema Pioneer, the Whitney has formed partnerships with three New York institutions to expand upon the exhibition themes. We are collaborating with the French Institute Alliance Française on musical commissions and live performances by four emerging female composers responding to Blaché‘s films; an academic symposium on women in film with New York University; and a special screening of Blaché’s film La Vie du Christ at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

This symposium is underwritten by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.