Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney by Robert Henri, 1916.
The vibrant colors in this painting act as an homage to the kind of woman Gertrude Vanderbilt was.
She started the Whitney Museum as a way to preserve American contemporary artists of her time. During the early 20th century, it was almost impossible for artists with new ideas to get noticed. Gertrude felt it was her responsibility to make sure the art of her time wasn’t lost.
There are rumors that her husband at the time, would not allow her to hang this painting because she was wearing pants.
*Image courtesy of Whitney.org