The Whitney Museum of American Art: Gender, Museum Display, and Modernism

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. David Zonderman, Committee Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Craig Friend, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Stephanie Spencer , Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.author Balcerek, Katherine Emma en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-19T18:19:40Z
dc.date.available 2010-08-19T18:19:40Z
dc.date.issued 2010-04-30 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-04012010-131832 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6324
dc.description.abstract The Whitney Museum of American Art founded in 1931 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney offers insight into the role of women patrons in the American art world. Furthermore, the Museum’s contemporary identification with the Museum of Modern Art obscures its unique history and different founding principles. This paper explores the foundation of the Whitney Museum in roughly the first two decades of its existence from 1931 to 1953 to examine how Whitney and the Museum’s first director, Juliana Force, negotiated gender and class ideology and the Modernist discourse to found the first museum solely devoted to American art. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Juliana Force operated the Whitney Museum based on three main principles: the primacy of the individual artist, the promotion of American art, and the importance of an informal museum space. The Whitney Museum of American Art, staked Whitney and Force’s claim in a male dominated art world. The Museum was a complex space, representing a modern feminine viewpoint that embraced inclusivity and elitism, masculine and feminine, Modernism and conservatism. Whitney and Force wanted the Whitney Museum to be less formal and more inclusive, so they designed it like a middle class home with intimate galleries, furniture, carpets, and curtains. However, the decor hindered the Whitney Museum’s influence on the modern art canon because critics perceived the Museum as feminine and personal, Modernism’s rejection of the feminine and realism that ultimately led to the exclusion of the Whitney Museum’s collection of realist art from the modern art historical canon. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject Museum Display en_US
dc.subject Modernism en_US
dc.subject American Art en_US
dc.subject Juliana Force en_US
dc.subject Art Museums en_US
dc.subject Women Art Patrons en_US
dc.subject Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney en_US
dc.title The Whitney Museum of American Art: Gender, Museum Display, and Modernism en_US
dc.degree.name MA en_US
dc.degree.level thesis en_US
dc.degree.discipline Public History en_US


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