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.
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.