Human Interest

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide highlights selected works in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection, with commentary by students from PS 33 Chelsea Prep and Whitney Museum educator Melanie Adsit.

Narrator: What did you think when you first saw this sculpture? If you’re anything like me, you were wondering what some older woman in her house dress was doing in the middle of a museum. Is this really the kind of place you’d usually hang out with your dog and read a letter? For thousands of years, sculpture has pictured really important people—kings and queens, gods and goddesses. We’re so used to that, seeing a sculpture like this one kind of makes you say “wait, what??” It’s so ordinary, that it’s kind of weird! The artist, Duane Hanson, wanted us to have this experience—to make us see things in a whole new way. And no, that’s not a real stuffed dog. Its body is ceramic. But it does have real dog hair, from the artist’s cousin’s poodle! 

Duane Hanson, _Woman with Dog_, 1977. Synthetic polymer and oil on cast polyvinyl with clothing, hair, eyeglasses, watch, shoes, upholstered wood chair, ceramic dog with collar, woven rug, postcard, letters, and envelopes, 46 1/8 × 50 1/2 × 48 in. (117.2 × 128.3 × 121.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from Frances and Sydney Lewis 78.6a-f © Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY