The Whitney Museum in New York holds the most comprehensive collection of twentieth century American art in the world. The museum was founded in the early 1930s by the socialite, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney who pioneered the importance of American art of her time. In fact she was a sculptor herself. This book, the first to deal with the museum's holdings of paintings and sculptures highlights according to the curators the most noteworthy pieces. Besides a museum catalogue, it also introduces the wide range of American art movements such as the Ashcan School, early American abstraction, Precisionism, Regionalism, Social Realism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop Art, and Photorealism. Some of the iconic works illustrated include John Sloan's "Backyards, Greenwich Village", George Bellows' "Dempsey and Firpo", Max Weber's "Chinese Restaurant", Georgia O'Keeffe's "Summer Days", Reginald Marsh's "Twenty Cent Movie", Charles Demuth's "My Egypt", Thomas Hart Benton's "The Lord is My Shepherd", Edward Hopper's "Early Sunday Morning", Alexander Calder's "The Circus", and Andy Warhol's "Green Coca Cola Bottles". There is also a brief introductory essay and at the end biographies of all the featured artists, a big plus. Although the reproductions are beautifully photographed and the commentaries are well written, I'm only giving it four and a half stars because it omitted a couple of other key canvases and had too many examples of contemporary sculpture. I'd rather have pictures of Everett Shinn's "Revue", John Steuart Curry's "Baptism in Kansas", and Jacob Lawrence's "Tombstones" than these minimalist three dimentional works. However, the book still provides a nice tour of the museum and a concise survey of modern American art.

Whitney Museum of American Art: Selected works from the permanent collection

  • by Whitney Museum of American Art (Author)