Soir Bleu by Edward Hopper, 1914.
The trend has now become delightfully clear: the world's best-known art institutions have got around to the important business of making their collections freely viewable online. We've already featured the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum, and the National Gallery (as well as new, internet-based institutions such as the Google Art Project and Art.sy). Today, we bring news that the Whitney Museum of American Art has joined in as well.
The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz, 1907.
"Last week, the Whitney Museum massively overhauled its online database," writes Hyperallergic's Becca Rothfeld. "The museum of American art expanded its online collection from a paltry 700 works to around 21,000. The digital reserve now includes over 3,000 pieces by Edward Hopper, in addition to offerings from a wide swathe of art from the United States, including the likes of Mike Kelley and Martin Wong." Rothfeld also notes that all this digitization has happened during the museum's physical move, currently underway, to a building in the Meatpacking District with 63,000 combined square feet of indoor and outdoor gallery space.
Morning Sky by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1916.
We non-New Yorkers have, of course, already booked our flights to experience the Whitney's new digs. But since the building won't actually open to the public until May, all of us, no matter where we live, will have to content ourselves for the moment with what the museum has put online so far. Fortunately, it has put a lot online: you can browse their digital collections by artist here; you'll notice a great deal of Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Andy Warhol already available for your browsing pleasure.
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.