Art Market

The Whitney Museum acquired 300 artworks in the past six months.

Benjamin Sutton
Apr 10, 2019 4:18PM, via Whitney Museum of American Art

Emma Amos, Baby, 1966, oil on canvas. © Emma Amos; courtesy the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

The Whitney Museum of American Art has been on a buying spree, acquiring 300 works for its permanent collection over the past six months. The acquisitions, announced on Tuesday, contain works by 60 artists and artist collectives not previously represented in the museum’s collection, including the painters Nina Chanel Abney and Kay WalkingStick, the video and installation artist Meriem Bennani, photographers Kwame Brathwaite and David Benjamin Sherry, sculptor Simone Leigh, new media artists Eva and Franco Mattes, and the collective Postcommodity, whose video installation from the 2017 Whitney Biennial, A Very Long Line (2016), was acquired.

The new and recent acquisitions also add significantly to the Whitney’s holdings of works by artists already present in its collection, including Diane Arbus, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Pope.L, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Jasper Johns. The acquisitions bring the Whitney’s total collection to almost 25,000 works by about 3,500 artists.

Kay WalkingStick, April Contemplating May, 1972, acrylic on canvas. © Kay WalkingStick. Courtesy of the artist and the June Kelly Gallery.

Some of the newly acquired works are currently on display in the museum, including paintings by WalkingStick and Emma Amos that are featured in “Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s.”

In a statement, the Whitney’s curator and director of the collection, David Breslin, said:

The Whitney’s collection is a living, growing, dynamic resource that allows us to continually reframe the history of America life and artistic culture. Our new acquisitions permit us to present new art histories, especially when we put those works on the Whitney’s walls so soon after acquiring them.

Simone Leigh, Cupboard VIII, 2018, stoneware, steel, raffia, and Albany slip. Image courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. © Simone Leigh. Photo by Farzad Owrang.

Benjamin Sutton