David Whitney

David Whitney

David Whitney (1939 – June 12, 2005) was an American art curator, collector, gallerist and critic. He led a very private life and was not well known outside the art world, even though he participated naked in the 1965 Claes Oldenburg happening Washes. He was the life partner of architect Philip Johnson (1906–2005), for 45 years until their deaths six months apart and also a close friend of Andy Warhol.


Personal life

Whitney, the son of a banker, was raised in Worcester, Massachusetts and studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design.[1] While a student, he attended a lecture by Johnson and approached the architect afterwards, asking for a tour of the Glass House.


During the early to mid-1960s Whitney had a variety of roles in the contemporary art world. Early jobs at the Museum of Modern Art and several art galleries including the Green Gallery and the Leo Castelli Gallery led to him opening his own gallery in 1969.[2] [3] Some of the artists that exhibited at the David Whitney Gallery from September 1969 through March 1972 when the gallery closed included Neil Jenney, Jasper Johns, Ronnie Landfield, Kenneth Showell, William Pettet, and Phillip Wofford, among others. The David Whitney Gallery featured Lyrical Abstraction, Post-minimalism and other current movements of the period[4][5]

Later, he organized exhibitions at the Whitney Museum and elsewhere for well-known artists such as Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol.[6]

Later, he focused on younger artists such as Michael Heizer, Julian Schnabel, Eric Fischl and David Salle.


  1. ^ Kennedy, Randy (14 June 2005). "David Whitney, 66, Renowned Art Collector, Dies". June 14, 2005 (New York Times). http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/14/arts/design/14whitney.html?scp=1&sq=david%20whitney%20johnson&st=cse. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Pollack, Lindsay. "David Whitney's Collection, Warhol to Spatterware, to Be Sold". September 8, 2006. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a86OQbjPgBvI&refer=home. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  3. ^ La Prade Eric. Breaking Through Richard Bellamy and the Green Gallery 1960-1965 Twenty-Three Interviews, Midmarch Arts Press, 2009 ISBN 978-1-877675-78-3
  4. ^ [1] David Bourdon, Life Magazine May 1970, Whats Up in Art, The Castelli Clan, David Whitney Gallery and Lyrical Abstraction, Retrieved June 9, 2010
  5. ^ Glass House history chapter 1
  6. ^ "DAVID WHITNEY OBITUARY". 2005. Warholstars. http://www.warholstars.org/news/june2005b.html. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 

External links

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