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Meet the Director

About the Whitney

As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holdings of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum's key resource. The Museum's flagship exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's leading survey of the most recent developments in American art.

Innovation has been a hallmark of the Whitney since its beginnings. It was the first museum dedicated to the work of living American artists and the first New York museum to present a major exhibition of a video artist (Nam June Paik, in 1982). Such important figures as Jasper Johns, Jay DeFeo, Glenn Ligon, Cindy Sherman, and Paul Thek were given their first comprehensive museum surveys at the Whitney. The Museum has consistently purchased works within the year they were created, often well before the artists who created them became broadly recognized.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, the Whitney's current building vastly increases the Museum’s exhibition and programming space, providing the most expansive view ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

2019 Biennial
Floor 5

Solo en Inglès

Find sound descriptions and transcriptions of all works with sound.

Transcription: Kota Ezawa

National Anthem, 2018

Sound description: Four stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello, and bass) play a harmonic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Applause swells from a distant audience at the extension of the line “for the land of the free,” and crescendos upon completion of the piece. Applause transitions into a conversation between a male reporter and NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

Reporter: [Faintly] What would you like this, you know, to be the end game for you?

Kaepernick: [Faintly] no space, please. [Clearly, into a microphone] Um, I mean ultimately it’s to bring awareness and make people, you know, realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust that a lot of people aren’t being held accountable for, and that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that, you know, this country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all, and it’s not happening for all right now. 

[The piece transitions into silence before looping]