The Whitney Museum of American Art is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art. We exist to serve a wide variety of audiences and to celebrate the complexity, heterogeneity, and diversity of American art and culture. The Whitney collects and presents all forms of contemporary American art and establishes linkages between the new and the historical, the art of other countries and our own.
The Whitney has been a leading advocate of living American artists, regularly exhibiting their work and the work of the country’s leading arts figures since its opening in 1930. Today, permanent collection totals more than 18,000 works by over 2,500 artists. Spanning the gamut of genres, media, themes, and trends, the Museum’s exhibition history is long and significant. The Whitney mounts 10 to 12 large-scale exhibitions every year, and exhibits the work of emerging and established artists. Its signature exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's only continuous series of exhibitions surveying the most recent developments in American art. The Museum offers a broad range of educational opportunities to visitors, and New York City residents. Its Library boasts a unique and extensive reference collection of books and primary source materials on American art, and its Conservation Studio is dynamically engaged in activities at the forefront of arts conservation.
The Musuem has over 400,000 annual visitors from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds who attend Whitney exhibit and educational programs.
Understanding that not all members of our community have access to the arts, the Whitney’s education programs seek to reach out to underserved populations, in addition to the museum-going public, in order to foster an ongoing dialogue on American art and culture. With programs tailored to all age groups, from preschool children to senior citizens, the Museum introduces more than 50,000 people each year to the myriad values of the arts through tours, on- and offsite lectures and slide presentations, arts activities, electronic media, and innovative classroom curricular tools. The education staff has longstanding relationships with homeless and elderly care facilities, and many other vital community networks. The Whitney offers multiple guided exhibition tour opportunities free of charge each day, and audio guides to help visitors better understand works on view. Access for visitors with disabilities is provided through sign language-interpreted tours, large-print transcripts of audio guides; large-print versions of wall texts; large-print brochures; and infrared assistive-listening devices.