The founding mother of the Whitney Museum of American Art was Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942), a member of the prestigious Vanderbilt clan. The family patriarch, Cornelius Vanderbilt, was a self-made magnate who amassed tremendous wealth in the 1800s by building railroad and shipping empires, eventually becoming one of the wealthiest people in history, a captain of the Gilded Age. By 1929, Gertrude had amassed an extensive personal collection of hundreds of works of art. Believing that these works should be available to the public and that American art should have a place in the great galleries and museums of the City, she decided to donate the collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, along with an endowment for its care and presentation. The Met refused the works, and an indignant Whitney chose to establish her own museum, one that would follow a radical mandate, collecting and exhibiting only American art. In 1930, the Whitney Museum of American Art was founded, and the following year opened an exhibition space in the West Village. Despite the ascension of the US as a world power at the end of the nineteenth century, recognition of the cultural and artistic achievements of the new world was slow in coming, as European art still dominated the canon. Gertrude’s dedication to American art and artists and her intrepid, defiant spirit led her to create and institution that embodied those values. Nearly 80 years after its founding, the Whitney still considers itself the 鄭 r tists’ Museum � , placing special importance on supporting living American artists, and on bringing artists into direct contact with the public.
Danielle Linzer - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Youth Insights at the Whitney Museum of American Art International Symposium on Connecting Young People and Cultural Institutions Stedelijk Museum October 14, 2010
The Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY
Youth Insights 1997-2007 An Intergenerational Dialogue on American Art and Culture
Goals of Restructuring Youth Insights <ul><li>Bring program into alignment with institutional values-- The Whitney as the Artist’s Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Increase capacity to serve more students </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to fit the needs and interests of today’s teens </li></ul><ul><li>Implement a more flexible, tiered program structure to enable customized, sustained engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage students to grow with the institution and become ambassadors to their own communities </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain program strengths-- diversity, youth empowerment, institutional access, high standards </li></ul>
<ul><li>Youth Insights Today: Artists, Writers, and Leaders </li></ul>
New Youth Insights Program Structure Youth Insights Leaders, Education Internships, Summer Career Intensive Tours, Workshops, Events, and Online Interpretive Materials Youth Insights Artists Youth Insights Writers
Online Outreach and Interpretive Materials <ul><li>The Whit Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Teen Gallery </li></ul><ul><li>Student-Produced Videos and Audio Guides </li></ul><ul><li>Art Reviews and Commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Teen Bio Pages </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook, Flickr, Etc. </li></ul>www.whitney.org/Teens
Youth Insights Artists <ul><li>Brings teens together with contemporary artists, providing opportunities to work collaboratively, discuss art critically, think creatively, and make art inspired by this exchange. </li></ul>Working with Artist-in-Residence Aki Sasamoto during 2010 Whitney Biennial
Youth Insights Writers <ul><li>Teens work closely with contemporary artists to explore the connections between art and text through critical and creative writing and art-making </li></ul>Working with Artist-in-Residence Nina Berman during 2010 Whitney Biennial
Summer Career Intensive <ul><li>Introduces teens to careers in the arts and the museum field </li></ul>
Youth Insights Leaders Teens in YI Leaders learn to develop and lead tours of the museum, plan programs and events, create interpretive materials, and manage the Whitney ’s teen website.
How Do Participants in Youth Insights Benefit? Based on research conducted by Audience Focus, Inc., 2008-2009 S Social Interaction Sense of Purpose Giving Back to Society Communication Skills W World of Work Museums & Careers Access to Staff & Behind-the-Scenes I Intellectual, Aesthetic, Creative Development Content/Skills Critical Thinking, Synthesis, Meaning-making P Personal identity Self-Respect Awareness Recognition
Past, Present, and Future: Investigating the Long-Term Impacts of YI