The Whitney: A Modern Place to Connect Over a Shared Appreciation of Contemporary Art in the Heart of NYC

Women's Dating

The Whitney: A Modern Place to Connect Over a Shared Appreciation of Contemporary Art in the Heart of NYC

Adam West Adam West • 1/20/17

The Short Version: Museums provide limitless sources of inspiration, but when we experience a piece of art that resonates, the memory of it can linger for years to come. The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City is a place where art lovers can unite over an appreciation of 20th-century and contemporary art and, more specifically, enjoy the works of today’s living artists. Sharing these experiences with friends, loved ones, and dates can not only lead to great conversation and strengthened relationships, but it can also create lifetime bonds.

New York City is arguably one of the most walkable cities in the world, boasting boundless sights and activities to be enjoyed solo or in the company of others. Museums and galleries line the streets of the city, and they provide ideal destinations for passing a day or evening away. They’re also stimulating venues in which to connect with others, both socially and intellectually.

Established in 1931, the Whitney Museum of American Art is home to over 22,000 works from more than 3,000 artists, many of whom are alive today. It was founded by sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney — an advocate of living American artists, with a collection of over 500 of their works, originally offered to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with an endowment.

Portrait of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney

The museum’s namesake, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, advocated for living American artists to have a place for their work to be recognized and appreciated.

Gertrude’s offer was refused, so she decided to open her own museum — one that was exclusively focused on American artists and their art. The Whitney Museum of Art gives families, friends, couples, and strangers the opportunity to connect over a shared love of avant-garde American art, right in the heart of the city.

Folks can explore their creative sides and learn with one another through both hands-on and hands-off workshops that include everything from collage-making to educational lectures led by museum curators, authors, and artists. A quick visit to the Whitney’s Public Programs page allows guests to buy tickets and plan their next fun outing with a date or friend.

In addition to the workshops and the museum’s expansive collections of art, film, and video exhibits, guests can enjoy light bites downstairs at Chef Michael Anthony’s Studio Cafe or seasonal American fare on the eighth floor at Untitled. Visitors can bring dates and sip on cocktails at the long bar while enjoying breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline through Untitled’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

With 50,000 square feet of indoor space at the Whitney, there’s no shortage of visual and intellectual stimulation with a chance to bond over works from the likes of America’s top artists, including Cindy Sherman and Cy Twombly.

Educational & Interactive Activities Help People Come Together

Creativity and education can provide so much inspiration, and they’re an ideal way for people to bond on an intellectual level. The Whitney provides a multitude of ways for people to unite and learn about art while simultaneously exploring their creativity.

Visitors have many great opportunities to learn more about their favorite artists and genres and can even roll up their sleeves and get some hands-on experience creating in some of the workshops offered.

1. Learn the Inspiration Behind Paintings, Sculptures & Other Works

The Whitney regularly hosts lectures that take museum-goers through their current exhibitions and permanent collection. These lectures are frequently hosted by the artists themselves, in addition to curators, writers, and scholars.

Visitors can learn more about the inspiration behind paintings, sculptures, and other works housed in the museum. The Whitney is known for showcasing pieces from artists well before they’re broadly recognized, so this experience can be truly unique in the sense that you gain early exposure to these works and firsthand insight into their background.

2. Engage With Artists & Experts Through Public Programs

The museum’s public programs provide an opportunity to learn about the exhibits, the artists, and the history behind the art, and a lot of these programs are included in the admission price. Guests can engage in hands-on creative projects using different media and listen to art historians during the museum’s evening programs.

Photo of the Public Programs at the Whitney

The Whitney hosts public programs that give aficionados a chance to learn about displayed works.

There are also opportunities for post-lecture connections with the Whitney’s curators. Experiences gained from these programs can serve as great conversation starters. And, most importantly, you’ll likely leave these programs with more knowledge.

3. Innovative Courses & Workshops Challenge Your Perspectives

The venue’s visitors always have access to things like in-depth crash courses to challenge creative perspectives. Those who sign up enjoy intensive overviews on key topics surrounding modern and contemporary art.

Immersion in these types of creative and educational activities are a great way to get to know other people with shared interests. Courses and workshops at the Whitney also offer a chance to meet like-minded people.

4. Share a Meal at Chef Michael Anthony’s Untitled or Studio Cafe

Take friends, dates, or loved ones to the eighth floor of the Whitney and enjoy views of Manhattan’s skyline from Chef Michael Anthony’s Untitled restaurant. The space boasts some incredible views of the city, and the seasonal American fare from the award-winning chef will not disappoint. Or, simply, enjoy a cocktail at the long bar while discussing your favorite exhibit with a date.

Craving something a little more casual? Anthony’s Studio Cafe downstairs has lighter, quick bites, like sandwiches, soups, and salads, for museum-goers on the move. Guests can also enjoy daily coffees and pastries at the cafe.

Art as Architecture: A New Building with Space to Explore

With the continual evolution of the museum and its ever-expanding collection, it ultimately became time for the Whitney to move into a new home. The museum has had four (homes) with this latest having been completed in 2015.

The stunning asymmetrical and steel structure, designed by architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, gives museum-goers 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries to explore together. It also boasts 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line.

“The design for the new museum emerges equally from a close study of the Whitney’s needs and from a response to this remarkable site,” Renzo said. “We wanted to draw on its vitality and at the same time enhance its rich character.”

Having this new space to explore provides folks with a great place to get lost and appreciate architecture as a form of art while soaking up all the museum has to offer.

The Whitney: A Legacy of Highlighting Avant-Garde Art

New York City is a daters’ paradise, given its walkability and abundance of cultural sites and activities.

Nestled in the heart of The Big Apple, the Whitney Museum of American Art gives visitors an ideal venue for exploring works of 20th-century and contemporary artists and, more specifically, many living American artists.

At the museum’s core, still, are Gertrude’s own holdings, which totaled over 600 works at the time the museum opened its doors.

With its workshops, world famous exhibitions, and unique space, the Whitney offers eye-opening works that continue to bring people together over a shared love of art.