Whitney Museum of American Art; Good for Blacks

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Photo credit: ARUP

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney created the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 1931. It is one of the world’s most prestigious and largest art museums. More than 22,000 works of American art from the 19th century to the present day are part of the museum’s permanent collection.

This blog post will discuss how this renowned institution has been beneficial for African Americans and why it matters, even today.

The Whitney Museum’s original purpose was to enhance the understanding of contemporary American culture; in its global and historical breadth and depth in order to promote progressive social change.

In the past, this museum acted as a place of refuge for African Americans during periods of racial oppression. Oppressions, such as when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech on its steps or when it served as a safe haven for Black artists following hostile reactions to Ousmane Sembène’s film Negro (Black).

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Why is the Whitney Museum of American Art important?

African-Americans have always played a major role in the history of art.

The Whitney Museum of American Art celebrates that role, as well as the contributions and achievements made by African-American artists.

Since its opening in 1931, the museum has been a safe space for black artists to explore and share ideas.

The Whitney Museum has been a resourceful platform for African-Americans since its inception. It’s also important because it depicts African Americans not just as slaves or victims of slavery, but as people who contributed greatly to societal development through their work.

Benefits to African Americans

Looking Back At Black Male | Whitney Museum of American Art
Black male at Whitney Museum of American Art evident of museum diversification

The Whitney Museum of American Art has been historically beneficial for African Americans because they felt the need to flee from racism in order to find refuge. They found refuge here, at this museum.

During periods of racial oppression, this museum acted as a safe space to create freely for black artists.

It served as a safe haven for both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ousmane Sembène when they found themselves in need of refuge.

This museum gives voice to artists who are often silenced by racism, which is why it still matters today.

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Future Plans for Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art opened in 1931, founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. It is one of the largest and most prestigious art museums in the world. Today, the museum still holds on to its original ideals of being an ideal space for contemporary understanding.

The museum’s permanent collection includes more than 22,000 works of American art from the 19th century to the present day. The Whitney museum existed to provide a perspective to understanding contemporary American culture. Both from a historical and global point of view, to promote progressive social change.

Historically, it served as a place of refuge for African Americans during periods of racial oppression. And though many may feel that the museum’s original purpose is dying out, this year’s Whitney Biennial proves otherwise with an expansive list of artists who are making waves today.

Despite knowing how invaluable this institution is for America. Some may still feel that it has no place in today’s society due to recent controversies surrounding racism. What is your take? Let us know in the comment section below.

Conclusion

The Whitney Museum of American Art has played a significant role in the history of African American art and culture. it continues to play a significant one now. One can only hope that the Whitney Museum of American Art remains a safe haven and a source of knowledge in the future. Ever visited this prestigious museum? Let us know your experience below.

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