Um, What? Delta Becomes Whitney Museum’s Official Airline

08/04/2011 2:39 PM |

Gerhard Richter, Flugzeug II (Airplane II) (1966).
  • Gerhard Richter, “Flugzeug II (Airplane II)” (1966).

Well, I suppose if the Guggenheim and MoMA both have official car partnerships (BMW and Volkswagen, respectively), it’s only fitting that the Whitney should attempt to one up them by 30,000 feet and take on an official airline. That, the Atlanta Business Journal reports, will be Atlanta-based Delta Airlines. What does it mean?

Well, not much, unless you’re a member of Delta’s benefits program. The ABJ explains:

Starting Aug. 5, Diamond Medallion members will receive complimentary admission to the Whitney for themselves and one guest any day of the week. Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members and their guest receive admission the first Friday of every month.

More interestingly, though, the financial terms of the deal have not been released, and the incredible range of possible benefits for both parties remains largely unexplored. Like, for instance:

- Flight discounts for Whitney members (this seems very obvious).
- Art loans from the Whitney for Delta terminals and offices.
- Six-month artist residency program in a vacant Delta hangar (like Dia:Beacon, but harder to get to).
- Free Delta flights to New York for the few non-local artists selected to participate in the Whitney Biennial.
- Annual commission to transform a Delta airplane—like the BMW Art Car program, but with a jet.
- Complimentary pilot training for one Whitney-selected artist every year (cause, you know, artists gotta eat).
- Free flights for Whitney staff between its current Madison Avenue home and the site of its future Meatpacking District building.

No reason Delta members should get all the benefits.

(ArtInfo; Image: MoMA)