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Director’s Letter

Dear Whitney Community,

As we approach the holidays and after a very long and challenging year, I want to express my personal and deep gratitude for your encouragement and support of the Museum. Since the Whitney reopened, we’ve provided a place for all of us to gather and find joy, beauty, and solace. As Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney said during the Great Depression, “It is especially in times like these that we need to look to the spiritual. In art we find it.”

This fall has been a time of renewal. We are overjoyed to present some of our most ambitious programs to date. After delays caused by the pandemic, our long-awaited retrospective, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, opened to wide critical acclaim. Five-and-a-half years in the making, this unprecedented collaboration with our colleagues at the Philadelphia Museum of Art honors nearly seven decades of one of America’s most important living artists.

With the changing seasons comes spectacular art by Jennifer Packer, My Barbarian, and the pioneering women of Abstract Expressionism. Packer’s intimate renderings of friends, family, and flowers are among the most astonishingly beautiful, evocative, and complex paintings of our day. The largest survey of this young artist to date, Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing, highlights the politics of representation and questions who, how, and what we do and don’t see.

There are more milestones to celebrate. We’re thrilled to bring a survey celebrating My Barbarian’s twentieth anniversary, which traces the group’s creative output in a range of ways, including an exhibition in the Lobby Gallery, online in livestreams, through a series of live performances, and in their first monographic publication.

You can also revel in the sense of discovery that drove the abstract artists who take the spotlight in the revealing exhibition Labyrinth of Forms: Women and Abstraction, 1930–1950. The revealing exhibition focuses on American women artists and their critical and unsung role in propelling abstraction’s formal, technical, and conceptual evolution.

The artists of Labyrinth of Forms endeavored to create a new form of expression in the aftermath of World War II, and exercising our creative sides has similarly been a lifeline during our current moment. I’m delighted to invite you and your families to participate in an array of inspiring and educational programs for all ages, both in-person and virtually.

Our programming would not be possible without the support of a Shuttered Venues Operators Grant. This critical grant from the federal government helped us—along with approximately nine thousand arts organizations around the country—stabilize our organization and fulfill our mission during this time of unprecedented disruption. We are deeply thankful to New York Senator Chuck Schumer, whose unwavering advocacy and personal leadership made these grants possible.

I hope to see you at the Whitney and, as ever, online! My warmest wishes to you, your families, and your friends for a regenerative holiday season,

Adam D. Weinberg
Alice Pratt Brown Director
Whitney Museum of American Art

December 2021



A 30-second online art project:
Ryan Kuo, Hateful Little Thing

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