The Whitney's Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965

Solo en Inglès

“I think that’s what our collection aims to be—to really ground people in the work of the particular moment, but also to show how historical work can have new resonance in our contemporary moment.”
—David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection

Hear from a range of artists, curators, and scholars speaking about works on view.

Man leaning out window to view various scenes of life

Narrator: Koerner, who was Jewish, was born in Vienna, and had to flee when the Nazis invaded. He was the only member of his family to survive the war. He came to New York, but returned to Europe during the war as part of the U.S. Army. Later, in 1946, he visited his native city and found that the building where he’d grown up had been destroyed. He painted Mirror of Life that same year.


Henry Koerner, Mirror of Life, 1946. Oil on composition board, 36 × 42 in. (91.4 × 106.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art; purchase 48.2