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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.

Where We Are

Solo en Inglès

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960.

Joseph Stella, The Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on Old Theme, 1939

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Narrator: Artist Joseph Stella moved to America from a small village in Italy and fell in love with the skyscrapers, subways, and bridges of New York City. They were all so impressive! Stella painted the Brooklyn Bridge several times over the years, visiting it like an old friend. 

Here, he captures its sweeping cables, glittering lights, bustling traffic, and spectacular views.

Imagine that you've just stepped into the painting—maybe with someone who’s never seen New York City before. This massive bridge is almost shaking with energy. Look around. Find the city sparkling ahead of you. Notice the different types of lights Stella added to the top and in between the openings of the bridge. They might remind you of the stars above. Or maybe the headlights of cars rushing across the bridge, or the bright lights of theater on Broadway. 

Narrator: Artist Joseph Stella moved to America from a small village in Italy and fell in love with the skyscrapers, subways, and bridges of New York City. They were all so impressive! Stella painted the Brooklyn Bridge several times over the years, visiting it like an old friend. 

Here, he captures its sweeping cables, glittering lights, bustling traffic, and spectacular views.

Imagine that you've just stepped into the painting—maybe with someone who’s never seen New York City before. This massive bridge is almost shaking with energy. Look around. Find the city sparkling ahead of you. Notice the different types of lights Stella added to the top and in between the openings of the bridge. They might remind you of the stars above. Or maybe the headlights of cars rushing across the bridge, or the bright lights of theater on Broadway. 


Joseph Stella, The Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on an Old Theme, 1939. Oil on canvas, overall: 70 1/4 × 42 3/16 in. (178.4 × 107.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase 42.15