Whitney Museum Gets $2 Million for Educational Programming

The Whitney Museum of American Art has received a $2 million donation from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation.

The Whitney Museum of American Art has received a $2 million donation from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation to support its education programs.

“Steven and I were inspired to give more after we saw the amazing impact that art has on children first-hand at the Whitney’s Jeff Koons exhibition last summer,” said Alex Cohen, the foundation’s president. “Jeff helped the art come alive to the kids and engaged them in a completely different way. We are thrilled that our gift will help the Whitney expand their education programs and reach more people in our community.”

Current exhibitions at the Whitney include:

1. America Is Hard To See (through Sept. 27), which is drawn entirely from the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection. The exhibit takes the inauguration of the Museum’s new building as an opportunity to reexamine the history of art in the United States from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Comprising more than six hundred works, the exhibition elaborates the themes, ideas, beliefs, and passions that have galvanized American artists in their struggle to work within and against established conventions, often directly engaging their political and social contexts.

2. Mary Heilmann: Sunset (through Sept. 27), which is a site-specific installation that inaugurates the Museum’s largest outdoor gallery and transforms it into a site of reverie, memory, and leisure. Mary Heilmann became known in the 1970s for vibrant paintings that married taut abstract forms with quivering line and vivid color. For more than thirty years she has intermittently explored a stair-step motif brushed within rectangular fields or expressed through irregularly shaped canvases, which happen to rhyme with the dramatic setbacks and grid lines of the Whitney’s new building. This serendipitous connection inspired Heilmann to enlarge a detail of one such painting and print it on two large panels that playfully turn the building itself into her canvas and tweak its sharp geometries.

3. Matana Roberts: I Call America (through Aug. 9), which is an exhibit created by Matana Roberts, a New York City-based sound experimentalist. The display is a series of open-ended public explorations within the Whitney’s galleries and performance spaces as part of her extended research residency. These actions will culminate in the creation of a large-scale project that, for her, questions the perplexities of what it means to be American in the twenty-first century. She has titled this series of research-based sound excavations i call america, building off of the Whitney’s inaugural exhibition America Is Hard To See.

4. Michelle Abeles: Baby Carriage On Bike Or Riot Shield As Carriage (ongoing) is part of a planned five year public art installation series. Over the course of the next five years, a series of public art installations by key American artists will appear across from the Whitney’s new building and the southern entrance to the High Line, on the facade of 95 Horatio Street. Michele Abeles is the second artist to present work as part of the series, which was initiated by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and the High Line. The first installation, in 2014, presented a work by Alex Katz.

With the support of the donation, the museum will stage more free guided visits to students from New York City Schools, and will expand its number of workshops as well as its open access days for senior residents and others in the community.

From: ArtForum