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.
Invitational survey of contemporary art in the United States
Mixed-media installations, sculpture, and drawings
Explores five themes in art created during these six decades
Works look to the power of color to activate the viewer’s perception
Full-scale survey tracks the development of a 25-year career
Trio of complementary exhibitions addresses language, gender, race, social struggle, and community
Some 30 paintings and 32 works on paper, from 1996 to today
Retrospective of Johns’s seven-decade career