Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Daphne, 1933, Bronze, Private Collection.

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The Newport Art Museum is pleased to welcome Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture, a traveling exhibition organized by the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida and curated by Ellen E. Roberts, Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art​. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture will be on view April 19 through July 21 in the Cushing and Morris galleries of the Newport Art Museum’s Cushing Building, located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. The show, along with two others, will be celebrated at an Opening Reception on Friday, April 26 from 5 – 7 pm. Museum members are welcome free, non-members are asked for a $10 suggested donation. Cash bar and light refreshments will be available. More details about the exhibition and opening reception are available at newportartmuseum.org or by calling (401) 848-8200. 

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney is best known as an art patron and founder of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. Yet she also had a significant career as a sculptor, exhibiting throughout the United States and Europe and receiving major commissions and prizes. This is the first exhibition of Whitney’s art since her death in 1942.

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Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture will showcase rarely seen works from private collections, examining the remarkable variety of the artist’s work—from her earliest classical sculptures to her more symbolic public monuments, from her bleakly Realist depiction of the tragedy of World War I to her late Art Deco work. Whitney was one of the only Americans who did not glorify the war in her public monuments, and her sensitive portraits of working class people, including African Americans and the unemployed, are also unusually nuanced for her time. A century after she worked, both the compelling nature of Whitney’s art and her contemporaries’ admiration for it make it time for a reassessment.

Coinciding with the exhibition, the Museum will present two lectures inspired by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture. Avis Berman, an independent writer, critic, and art historian, will present “Distilling the American Flavor: Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Juliana Force, and the Creation of the Whitney Museum” on Friday, May 17 at 6 pm. David Lubin, the Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University, will present “Whitney at War: Healing, Death, and Memory in the WWI Sculptures” on Thursday, July 11 at 6 pm. More information and tickets can be found at newportartmuseum.org.

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture is organized by the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida.

This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of Anne Berkley Smith.

Additional support is provided by The Priscilla and John Richman Endowment for American Art, The Mr. and Mrs. Hamish Maxwell Exhibition Endowment, and The Diane Belfer Endowment for Sculpture.

The Newport Art Museum is grateful to Ray and Barbara Dalio for their generous support of the exhibition in Newport. We thank Katharine B. Cushing for additional support.


About the Newport Art Museum

Founded in 1912, The Newport Art Museum is one of the oldest continuously operating and most highly regarded art museums and schools of its kind in the country. The Art Museum offers a provocative diversity of creative voices in its historic Newport setting. Visitors can expect treasures from its permanent collection featuring American art from the late 19th century to the present, as well as programmed exhibitions of contemporary art. Dedicated Museum docents are available to offer guided tours of the campus and educate visitors on the architecture, artwork and history of the Museum. Artist Talks, film screenings, lectures and musical performances are scheduled throughout the year.

The Museum operates on a three-building campus, the main building being National Historic landmark, the John N.A. Griswold House. It was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, completed in 1864 and remains the premier example of American “Stick-Style” architecture. Richard Morris Hunt went on to design Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, Belcourt Castle, and other landmarks in Newport and New York, including the base for the Statue of Liberty. Adjacent to the Griswold House is the Cushing Building, built in 1919, featuring two rotating galleries as well as the Cushing Memorial Gallery dedicated to the artist Howard Gardiner Cushing. Completing the three-building campus is the Art Museum’s art school, the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, which offers year-round art classes, camps and workshops, incorporates the Museum’s collection into its curriculum and focuses on art fundamentals as well as design, digital studies and continuing education for artists of all ages and interests. The Newport Art Museum is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays April – December until 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 8 pm every second Thursday of the month for the Art After Dark programming. The Museum is closed to the public on Mondays. Museum membership levels and benefits, art school classes and registration, exhibition schedules, public programming, and more can be found at www.newportartmuseum.org. Phone: (401) 848-8200.

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