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Altria Branch Exhibition Records

 Collection
Identifier: NNWhit.015

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises exhibition records from the Altria Branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The records consist of correspondence, loan agreements, installation information, photographs, publicity, and ephemera produced by staff members involved in exhibition planning. Significant material documents the acclaimed “Performance on 42nd street” series.

Dates

  • 1983-2000

Biographical / Historical

Originally known as the Philip Morris branch, the Whitney Museum of American Art branch at Altria operated for twenty-five years, from April 1983-January 2008. Housed within the 26-story international headquarters of the Altria Group (known until 2003 as Philip Morris), the space included a 5200-square-foot, street-level plaza/sculpture court and an 1100-square-foot gallery that was specifically designed by architect Ulrich Franzen to house the Whitney branch. The branch was located at 120 Park Avenue and was accessible via its own entrances on Park Avenue and 42nd Street. Describing the branch in the forward to “Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria: 25 years,” Adam D. Weinberg writes, “…while it maximized benefit for the company's employees and burnished the corporation's image as a cultural leader, it must be acknowledged that the creation of a museum branch also provided the corporation with certain zoning and tax benefits.” The Whitney at Altria operated as a self-contained, semi-autonomous unit with a director/curator, educator, and support staff who had their offices onsite. Exhibitions primarily focused on site-specific projects where invited artists produced new installations in the gallery or the sculpture court. The gallery also housed exhibitions curated by students of the ISP (Independent Study Program). The sizable space of the Altria branch sculpture court, which was unmatched at the Whitney Breuer building uptown, also became the main space for presenting performance. Each spring, the Whitney at Altria presented new works and works-in-progress in its Performance on 42nd series, which ran from 1984-1999. Admission to the museum, performances, and education programs were always free-of-charge to the public.

Bibliography                    

  • Weinberg, Adam D.,and Shamim M. Momin. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria: 25 years. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2008. https://archive.org/details/whitneymuseumofa1922whit 
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    Partial branch staff history:
  • Lisa Phillips. Associate Curator and Head, Branch Museums, 1983-1985
  • Thelma Golden. Branch Director 1990-1993; Associate Curator and Branch Director 1994-1997; Curator and Director of Branches 1997-1999
  • Eugenie Tsai. Associate Curator and Curator of Branches 1997-1998; Senior Curator and Curator of Branches 1998-1999
  • Susan Lubowsky. Branch Manager 1982-1984; Branch Director 1985-1987
  • Jeanette Vuocolo. Branch Manager 1985-1987
  • Dina Helal. Gallery Assistant 1990-1992; Coordinator Family and Community Programs 1992-1996
  • Shamim M. Momin. Gallery Assistant, Exhibition Programs, 1996-1997; Assistant Curator and Manager, Branch Programs 1999-2000
  • Deb Singer. Branch Manager 1997-1999; Branch Curator 1999-2000; Branch Manager 1997-1999
  • Allison Smith. Gallery Assistant, Educations Programs 1995-1996, Senior Gallery Assistant, Education Programs 1996-1997
  • Howie Chen. Gallery/Curatorial Assistant 2001-2002; Gallery/Curatorial Coordinator 2002-2003; Branch Manager 2004-2007; Senior Curatorial Coordinator 2006-2008

    Whitney Museum at Philip Morris. Exhibition History: April 1983 - January 2002
  • 20th Century Sculpture: Process and Presence. April 8 - May 11, 1983
  • The Forum Exhibition: Selections and Additions (ISP). May 18 - June 22, 1983
  • Reginald Marsh's New York. June 29 - August 24, 1983
  • Three American Families: A Tradition of Artistic Pursuit. September 8 - October 26 1983
  • Still Life: Hollywood Photographs. November 2 - December 30, 1983
  • Raymond Hood: City of Towers. January 7 - March 7, 1984
  • Flowers in Folk Art. March 15 - May 9, 1984
  • Calder: Selections from the Permanent Collection (PC). May 18 - July 11, 1984
  • The Art of Music: American Paintings and Musical Instruments, 1770-1910. July 19 - September 19, 1984
  • On 42nd Street: Artists' Visions. September 26 - December 5, 1984
  • Modern Masks. December 13, 1984 - February 7, 1985
  • The Box Transformed (ISP). February 15 - April 25, 1985
  • The Surreal City: 1930s - 1950s. May 3 - July 11, 1985
  • Art for the Masses 1911-1917: A Radical Magazine and Its Graphics. July 19 - October 3, 1985
  • Modern Machines: Recent Kinetic Sculpture. October 11 - December 5, 1985
  • The Photography of Imogen Cunningham: A Centennial Selection. December 13, 1985 - January 30, 1986
  • Urban Pleasures: New York 1900-1940 (PC). February 7 - April 3, 1986
  • Yasuo Kuniyoshi. April 11 - June 19, 1986
  • The Changing Likeness: 20th-Century Portrait Drawings (PC). June 27 - September 4, 1986
  • Walter Murch. September 12 - November 18, 1986
  • Contemporary Cutouts. November 26, 1986 - February 17, 1987
  • Monotypes by Maurice Prendergast. February 26 - April 22, 1987
  • The Viewer as Voyeur (ISP). April 30 - July 8, 1987
  • The Social Graces: 1905-1944. Prints and Drawings from the Permanent Collection (PC). July 16 - September 24, 1987
  • Stuart Davis: An American in Paris. October 2 - December 10, 1987
  • Elements: Five Installations. December 18, 1987 - February 18, 1988. Peter Shelton's work remained on view in the Sculpture Court through September 17, 1988
  • Precisionist Perspectives: Prints and Drawings. March 2 - April 28, 1988
  • Real Faces. May 6 - September 22, 1988
  • The gallery was closed from September 23 to November 16, 1988 for renovation
  • Urban Figures. Gallery: November 17, 1988 - February 15, 1989. Sculpture Court: November 17, 1988 - November 26, 1989
  • From the Model (PC). February 24 - May 3, 1989
  • Straphangers. May 12 - July 22, 1989
  • Miniature Environments. August 2 - September 27, 1989
  • Isamu Noguchi: Portrait Sculpture. October 6 - December 6, 1989
  • Out of Wood: Recent Sculpture. Gallery: December 15, 1989 - February 20, 1990. Sculpture Court: December 15, 1989 - December 5, 1990
  • Cadmus, French, and Tooker: The Early Years. March 1 - May 5, 1990
  • The (Un)Making of Nature: Installations by Michael Paha (ISP). May 16 - July 11, 1990
  • With The Grain: Contemporary Panel Painting. July 25 - September 26, 1990
  • Abstract Expressionism: Other Dimensions. October 5 - December 5, 1990
  • Painted Forms: Recent Metal Sculpture. Gallery: December 19, 1990 - February 20, 1991. Sculpture Court: December 19, 1990 - December 4, 1991
  • Abstraction Before 1930: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art (PC). March 1 - June 1, 1991
  • Drawing Acquisitions, 1980-1991: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art (PC). June 12 - September 5, 1991
  • Immaterial Objects (PC). September 14 - November 16, 1991
  • Ellen Driscoll: The Loophole of Retreat. December 4, 1991 - February 8, 1992
  • Alison Saar: Slow Boat. February 20 - April 18, 1992
  • Judith Shea: Monuments and Statues. Sculpture Court: February 20 - June 20, 1992
  • Gary Simmons: The Garden of Hate. May 7 - July 2, 1992
  • David Chung: Turtle Boat Head
  • July 17 - September 25, 1992
  • Glenn Ligon: Good Mirrors Art Not Cheap. Sculpture Court: July 17 - December 31, 1992
  • Suzanne McClelland: Painting. October 12 - December 31, 1992
  • Amalia Mesa-Bains: Venus Envy Chapter One.... January 19 - April 2, 1993
  • Maren Hassinger: Window Boxes. Sculpture Court: January 19 - July 30, 1993
  • Expanding the Collection: Biennial Acquisitions (PC). May 3 - September 3, 1993
  • Sylvia Plachy: The Call of the Street, Photographs of NYC. September 28 - December 31, 1993
  • Lorna Simpson: Standing in the Water. January 19 - March 25, 1994
  • Sam Gilliam: Golden Elements Inside Gold. Sculpture Court: January 20 - July 1, 1994 (might have been extended)
  • Leone and Macdonald: Double Foolscap. April 8 - July 1, 1994
  • Works on Paper: Selections from the Permanent Collection. July 13 - October 14, 1994
  • Photographs: Selections from the Permanent Collection. October 20 - December 30, 1994
  • Jacob Lawrence: War Series. January 6 - March 31, 1995
  • Double Take: Views of Modern Life by Stuart Davis and Reginald Marsh. April 10 - July 7, 1995
  • Carmen Lomas Garza. July 18 - September 22, 1995
  • Altered and Irrational: Selections from the Permanent Collection. October 12, 1995 - January 5, 1996
  • Terry Adkins: Firmament Rhea. Sculpture Court: October 18, 1995 - March 29, 1996
  • Matthew McCaslin: Harnessing Nature. January 17 - March 29, 1996
  • Jane Dickson: Paradise Alley. April 10 - June 28, 1996
  • Ik-Joong Kang: 8490 Days of Memory. July 12 - September 27, 1996
  • Permanent Collection. Sculpture Court: April 10 - June 28, 1996
  • Beverly Semmes: She Moves. October 17, 1996 - January 4, 1997
  • Romare Bearden in Black-and-White: Photomontage Projections 1964. January 17 - March 20, 1997
  • Quicker Than A Wink: The Photographs of Harold Edgerton. March 31 - June 27, 1997
  • Tunnel Visions: Photographs by Accra Shepp. July 11 - October 10, 1997
  • Pictures at an Exhibition: An Installation by Christian Marclay. October 24, 1997 - January 25, 1998
  • Garden of Qian by Ming Fay. February 6 - April 17, 1998
  • Who What When Where: An Installation by Carrie Mae Weems. May 1 - July 10, 1998
  • Hope Sandrow: Water Life. July 24 - October 9, 1998
  • Shirin Neshat: Turbulent. October 23, 1998 - January 15, 1999
  • The Long Twilight: An Installation by Lynne Yamamoto. January 29 - April 23, 1999
  • Whitney Philip Morris: Wall Drawings by Byron Kim. May 7 - July 16, 1999
  • Jeanne Silverthorne: The Studio Stripped Bare, Again. July 30 - October 15, 1999
  • Fred Tomaselli: Big Painting. October 29, 1999 - January 7, 2000
  • Lee Boroson: Underpass. October 29, 1999 - March 17, 2000
  • Correspondences: Isamu Noguchi & Ellsworth Kelly (PC). January 21 - April 7, 2000
  • Shahzia Sikander: Acts of Balance. April 21- July 7, 2000
  • Expanding Horizons: Landscape Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art (PC). July 21 - October 6, 2000
  • Pastoral Pop!. Sculpture Court: July 21 - December 15, 2000
  • Sowon Kwon: Two or Three Corridors. October 20, 2000 - January 5, 2001
  • A Way with Words: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art (PC). January 19 - March 30, 2001
  • Do-Ho Suh: Some/One. April 19 - June 29, 2001
  • Miranda Lichtenstein: Sanctuary for a Wild Child. July 13 - September 21, 2001
  • Alex Katz: Small Paintings. October 5, 2001 - January 4, 2002
  • E.V. Day: G-Force. October 5, 2001 - January 4, 2002
  • Jane Hammond: Backstage. January 18 - April 5, 2002
  • Lucky DeBellevue: Khlysty, the Owls, and the Others. January 18 - April 5, 2002
  • Ellen Harvey: A Whitney for the Whitney at Altria. January 23-April 4, 2003. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Shamim Momin
  • Dario Robleto: Say Goodbye to Substance. April 17-July 3, 2003. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Shamim Momin
  • Mark Bradford: Very Powerful Lords. July 24-October 24, 2003. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Shamim Momin
  • Katie Grinnan: Adventures in Delusional Idealism. July 24, 2003-January 4, 2004. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Sculpture Court. Shamim Momin
  • Luis Gispert: Urban Myths Part II (Return of the Hypenaholics). November 6, 2003-March 12, 2004. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Shamim M. Momin
  • Architecture By Numbers. March 25-July 9, 2004. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Michael Hays
  • Hubbard and Birchler: Single Wide. July 22-October 22, 2004. The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Shamim M. Momin. Fight or Flight. November 4, 2004 - February 18, 2005. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Curated by Shamim M. Momin
  • Sue de Beer: Black Sun. March 3 - June 17, 2005. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Curated by Shamim M. Momin
  • Past Presence: Childhood and Memory. July 7 - October 13, 2005. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Curated by Carter Foster
  • Rob Fischer. October 27, 2005 - January 22, 2006. Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Curated by Shamim M. Momin.
    **Key: PC = Permanent Collection; ISP = Curated by Independent Study Program participants




  • Extent

    4 Linear Feet

    Language of Materials

    English

    Arrangement

    The exhibition records are organized chronologically by the opening date of each exhibition.
    Author
    Tara Hart, 2019
    Language of description
    English
    Script of description
    Code for undetermined script

    Repository Details

    Part of the Whitney Museum of American Art Archives, New York, NY Repository

    Contact:
    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort St.
    New York, NY 10014 United States




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