The Whitney strives to provide every visitor the ability to experience and enjoy the Whitney’s collection, exhibitions, and programs. Each month we host a free American Sign Language gallery tour led by Museum educators who are deaf. We also offer programs and services for visitors who are hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or have limited mobility. Such services and programs include use of free sound amplification devices, sign language interpretation for tours and programs, transcripts, captioning, large print materials, verbal description tours, and customized guided visits for school aged visitors with disabilities or diverse learning needs.
The Whitney’s Conservation Department preserves our collection, evaluates and treats new acquisitions, and advances scholarship of modern and contemporary art in the United States. We have recently undertaken several long-term projects, including treating Alexander Calder’s Circus, developing a state-of-the-art crating system for transporting and storing Eva Hesse’s famed Untitled (Rope Piece), and conserving three George Segal works from our collection.
The Whitney’s Education Department offers diverse programs that respond to the complexity and challenges of contemporary art and extend the themes of exhibitions on view. Each program encourages creative thinking and, whenever possible, incorporates working artists into the programming. In 2008–09, our education programs impacted over 100,000 people, including 11,000 schoolchildren and 1,000 seniors.
Each year the Whitney demonstrates the exciting range and diversity of American art through its forward-thinking, creative exhibitions. Hundreds of thousands of visitors annually explore displays drawn from the permanent collection and special exhibitions, all of which focus on artistic process and seek to further the dialogue on the nation’s cultural fabric.
The Whitney’s Independent Study Program (ISP) is one of the world’s leading centers for the study of the history, theory, and practice of art. The program features weekly seminars with a professional artist, theorist, or art historian, as well as weekly reading seminars in social and cultural history. Over the past four decades, the ISP has launched the careers of many prominent artists, curators, and historians throughout the art world.
The Whitney’s Frances Mulhall Achilles Library serves Whitney staff as well as an international community of scholars, curators, and students. Its unique holdings and special collections chronicle the development of modern and contemporary art through extensive archives on artists ranging from Edward Hopper to Ed Ruscha.
Hailed by The New York Times for its “youthful vibe,” the Whitney’s performing arts program, Whitney Live, presents emerging artists and new trends while also honoring established artists who have shaped American music. Upcoming events include a commissioning project, a composer’s showcase, and a virtual artist-in-residency. All performances are free with Museum admission, typically on pay-what-you-wish Friday nights.
Each year, the Whitney publishes an array of catalogues in conjunction with works on view. They often sell out due to their scholarly significance and public popularity and frequently earn awards. In 2009, Buckminster Fuller: Starting With the Universewas selected for inclusion in the the Association of American University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show in the category “Trade Illustrated.” In 2008, two catalogues, Terence Koh and Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure, each won an award of Merit in the International Design Annual.