The Whitney’s collection—comprising more than 19,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, videos, and new media by more than 2,900 artists—contains some of the most significant and exciting work created by artists in the United States during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Museum’s rich holdings of realist and modernist work, Precisionism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, and Minimalism are particular strengths of the collection. In addition, the Museum has collected work by individuals who have shaped recent artistic practice but defy easy categorization by movement or medium. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the founder of the Museum, focused her collecting efforts on living artists, and this emphasis has been a guiding principle of the collection for the past eight decades. An appreciation of the areas of inquiry, working methods, and material exploration of today’s living artists guides our current acquisitions.