Frames of Reference: Looking at American Art, 1900-1950 : Works from the Whitney Museum of American Art

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University of California Press, 1999 - Art - 223 pages
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The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded by visionary patron and artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942), is home to one of the finest collections of American art in the country. Frames of Reference features eminent contributors from the fields of art, literature, and contemporary culture who together provide a wide-ranging introduction to American art as well as to the Whitney Museum's unparalleled collection.
Kennedy Fraser's introductory essay focuses on Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, especially on her relationships with the artists of her time, her own artistic development, and her farsighted advocacy of American art and artists. In section two, Adam D. Weinberg, Beth Venn, Kathryn Potts, and Kate Rubin concentrate on twenty-seven of the Whitney's most popular works, each entry accompanied by captions and related images that shed new light on old favorites. The book's third section features ten "icons" from the Whitney's Permanent Collection, with three contributors providing distinct perspectives on each work. This stimulating combination of voices instructs, enlightens, and, at times, amuses: John Updike on Edward Hopper's Early Sunday Morning, Alan Dershowitz on Ben Shahn's The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, and George Plimpton on George Bellows' Dempsey and Firpo are examples of this section's diverse mix.
With its unique design and variety of approaches to viewing and understanding art, Frames of Reference will change the way visitors experience the Whitney Museum and will delight art lovers who might not have the opportunity to visit New York. The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded by visionary patron and artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942), is home to one of the finest collections of American art in the country. Frames of Reference features eminent contributors from the fields of art, literature, and contemporary culture who together provide a wide-ranging introduction to American art as well as to the Whitney Museum's unparalleled collection.
Kennedy Fraser's introductory essay focuses on Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, especially on her relationships with the artists of her time, her own artistic development, and her farsighted advocacy of American art and artists. In section two, Adam D. Weinberg, Beth Venn, Kathryn Potts, and Kate Rubin concentrate on twenty-seven of the Whitney's most popular works, each entry accompanied by captions and related images that shed new light on old favorites. The book's third section features ten "icons" from the Whitney's Permanent Collection, with three contributors providing distinct perspectives on each work. This stimulating combination of voices instructs, enlightens, and, at times, amuses: John Updike on Edward Hopper's Early Sunday Morning, Alan Dershowitz on Ben Shahn's The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, and George Plimpton on George Bellows' Dempsey and Firpo are examples of this section's diverse mix.
With its unique design and variety of approaches to viewing and understanding art, Frames of Reference will change the way visitors experience the Whitney Museum and will delight art lovers who might not have the opportunity to visit New York.
 

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About the author (1999)

Adam D. Weinberg, formerly senior curator, Permanent Collection, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is director of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Beth Venn is curator of traveling exhibitions and director of branch museums at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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