The Whitney’s collection includes over 21,000 works by more than 3,000 American artists during the 20th- and 21st-centuries.
The Museum's founder, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, supported living American artists of her time, particularly younger or emerging ones, and this focus on the contemporary has guided the Museum’s collecting since.
The collection begins with Ashcan School painting and follows the major movements of the 20th-century in America, with strengths in Modernism and Social Realism, Precisionism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Postminimalism, identity- and political-art of the 1980s and 1990s, and contemporary work. Among many others, holdings include work by Peggy Bacon, George Bellows, Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Mabel Dwight, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and John Sloan as well as Alexander Calder, Jasper Johns, Agnes Martin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Claes Oldenburg, Ed Ruscha and Cindy Sherman.
The Museum’s signature exhibition is its biennial.
Whether you go or not, Whitney Museum of American Art: Handbook of the Collection was published to coincide with the Whitney’s 2015 move to a new facility and provides a fresh look at the Museum’s collection, highlighting the extraordinary holdings and its fascinating history. Featuring iconic pieces by artists such as Calder, Hopper, Johns, O’Keeffe, and Warhol—as well as numerous works by under-recognized individuals—this is not only a guide to the Whitney’s collection, but also a good primer on modern and contemporary American art. Illustrated with abundant new photography, the book pairs scholarly entries on 350 artists with images of some of their most significant works.
If you're interested in architecture, Renzo Piano's Whitney (multilingual) explores Renzo Piano's design of the new Whitney in Manhattan's downtown Meatpacking District. The design includes tiers of terraces and glazed walkways stepping to the High Line, embracing it into the project. In nice weather, any time of year, a stroll along the High Line is a real pleasure.
More than 120 works inspired by the founding history of the Museum
Works look to the power of color to activate the viewer’s perception
Expanding on Pope.L’s ongoing exploration and use of water
Some 30 paintings and 32 works on paper, from 1996 to today
Retrospective of Johns’s seven-decade career
300 works demonstrate Mexican art's impact on early 20th-century U.S. artists
Eighty+ works by sixty+ artists explore materials, methods, and strategies of craft
Some forty paintings (1917 to 1961) illuminate her contribution to American modernism
Works on paper related to his Entablatures series from the 1970s
Fresh fruits and vegetables to see and to eat
Chronicles the formative years of a collective of Black photographers established in New York City in 1963
A selection of works that explore downtown New York as site, history, and memory
A permanent public art project located in Hudson River Park across from the Museum
Intimate views into imagined lives of young, queer Brown men