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Sarah J. Weatherwax

(b Geneva, Switzerland, Sept 18, 1737; d Philadelphia, PA, Oct 10, 1784).

American painter, draftsman, collector and museum proprietor of Swiss birth. Du Simitière, the son of Jean-Henri Ducimitière (or Dusimitière), an East Indies broker and Judith-Ulrique Cunegonde Delorme, studied art at the University of Geneva. In 1757 he left Amsterdam for the West Indies to document and sketch native flora and fauna and to collect historical materials, launching more than a decade of traveling and collecting in the New World including stops of varying lengths in New York City, Charleston, SC, Burlington, NJ, Boston, MA, Newport, RI, and Philadelphia, PA. In 1769 Du Simitière became a naturalized American citizen, living in Philadelphia (except for a two year sojourn in the West Indies) from 1770 until his death in 1784.

Du Simitière planned to write a natural and civil history of the West Indies and North America based on the large quantities of books, cartoons, manuscripts, coins, newspapers, natural history specimens, broadsides and art he amassed during his travels, but that project never came to fruition. In ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Tracy Fitzpatrick

( New York )

The Whitney Museum of American Art, located in New York City, is “dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art.” It was founded by Whitney family §(1) in 1930 and opened to the public in the fall of the following year. Whitney, a sculptor and collector, began exhibiting contemporary, avant-garde art in her art studio in Greenwich Village on West 4th Street in 1912. Six years later, she moved her studio to new quarters on West 8th Street and formally established the Whitney Studio Club. The Club served not only as an exhibition space, but also as a salon for its members. In 1929, Whitney revamped the Club, calling it the Whitney Studio Galleries and continuing to exhibit avant-garde art.

While running these spaces and with help from Juliana Force, who directed the Whitney Studio Galleries and became the first director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Whitney began collecting avant-garde art by American modernists. In particular, she amassed a large body of work by artists of “the Eight,” also known as the ...