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The Whitney Museum is named for Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the Gilded Age heiress who, in the first decades of the past century, began to devote herself to the then-quixotic mission of promoting American artists. It is that mission which continues to distinguish the Whitney Museum—NYC's top art museum for American art—from the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and even the Met. Its collection tells the story of modernism’s growth in America, and more indirectly, the tale of a country evolving from provincial backwater to superpower. Both can be seen in this list of the nine best examples of work from the museum’s permanent collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the Whitney Museum in NYC