America Is Hard to See

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide highlights selected works by artists in America Is Hard to See. Curators, scholars, and artists provide additional commentary.

000—Introduction to America Is Hard to See


A painting of three figures carrying large round objects up an incline.

ADAM WEINBERG: Welcome to the Whitney Museum of American Art. I’m Adam Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Museum. This inaugural exhibition, America Is Hard to See, is drawn entirely from the Whitney’s own collection—and it celebrates the rich, complex, surprising history of American art. 

The exhibition’s title proposes that there is no single history of American art. American history itself is a subject of debate, and artists’ approaches and viewpoints are constantly evolving. Even what might define an American artist has changed many times since the Museum was founded. This exhibition works to honor that multiplicity and depth, taking its organizational cues from the works themselves—not from neat textbook examples of movements or styles. Each gallery has been conceived as a chapter in a new history of art in the United States, and takes its name from the title of an artwork in that gallery. 

You can explore the exhibition in any order you choose. If you’d like to go chronologically, please begin on the Eighth Floor and work your way down. This is the first of many stories that we look forward to telling in the new Whitney Museum through its collection. Please enjoy your visit. 

Jacob Lawrence, War Series: Another Patrol, 1946. Tempera on composition board. 16 1/8 × 20 1/4 in. (41 × 51.4 cm) Image: 15 7/8 × 20 × 1/8 in. (40.3 × 50.8 × 0.3 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger 51.8 © artist or artist’s estate