Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art houses one of the world’s foremost collections of modern and contemporary American art. The Whitney Museum of Modern Art is a museum at 945 Madison Avenue, New York City. It was founded by sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1930. This happened after the Metropolitan Museum of Art rejected her collection of artwork by living artists such as George Bellows and Edward Hooper.

The Whitney Museum of American Art, known as the “the Whitney”, is an art museum with a focus on 20th and 21st-century American art. Whitney’s avant-garde permanent collection contains more than 18,000 works in a wide variety of media. The Whitney has always placed a particular emphasis on exhibiting the work of living artists for its collection as well as maintaining an extensive permanent collection containing many important pieces from the first half of the century. The museum’s Annual and Biennial exhibitions have long been a showcase for younger and less well-known artists.

The Whitney has reopened its doors to the public, with new guidelines in place for the safety and well-being of our visitors and staff. All visitors and members must book timed tickets in advance.

A Top Collection of 20th Century American Art

The Whitney Museum was founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who opened her own museum in 1931 after the Metropolitan Museum of Art declined her donation of nearly 700 works of American art that she had collected.

The museum has acquired more works since then, making it one of the most comprehensive and impressive collections of 20th century American art.

Among many other artists, the Whitney exhibits artwork by Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollack, and Andy Warhol. The museum can be seen in just a few hours. It has a contemporary feel and features media installations in addition to paintings and other more traditional art forms.


Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the museum’s namesake, and founder was a well-regarded sculptor as well as a serious art collector. As a patron of the arts, she had already achieved some success as the creator of the “Whitney Studio Club,” a New York-based exhibition space she created in 1918 to promote the works of avant-garde and unrecognized American artists. With her assistant, Juliana Force, Whitney collected nearly 700 works of American art when she offered to donate it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1929 the Met declined. With the Met not interested and the apparent favoritism for European modernism at the Museum of Modern Art. Whitney opened her own museum, exclusively for American Art, in 1931.

The Whitney is housed Marcel Breuer’s unique structure on Madison Avenue and is considered probably the greatest collection of 20th Century American Art. The Museum hosts renowned works of Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keefe as well as works of Alexander Calder and George Seagal.

The Whitney Museum building with the High Line park in front of it
image via whitney.org

The Whitney Museum is home to the modern and contemporary art of the United States. Located in Manhattan’s vibrant Meatpacking District, the Museum presents the work of living artists alongside perennial favorites by Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, Alexander Calder, and many others. When you visit the Whitney, you’ll see a number of enhanced precautions in place for your health and well-being. Advance ticketing is required: book timed tickets today and prepare for your trip at whitney.org.

The Whitney Museum of Modern Art exhibits 20th and 21st century American art. Initially, it was housed behind Whitney’s studio in Greenwich Village. It moved to its presented site in 1966.

The museum is housed in a building shaped like a pyramid. It was designed by Marcel Breuer. There is also a midtown branch located within the Philip Morris Building.

Essential Tourist Information

The works by Calder, O’Keeffe and Hopper are some of the permanent collections exhibited at the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder galleries on the 5th floor of the museum. At lobby level are changing exhibits while the 2nd, 3rd and 4th levels exhibit artwork such as Edward Hooper’s Early Sunday Morning, Alexander Calder’s sculpture Circus and other works.


  • General Admission: $20
  • Ages 19-25: $16
  • Ages 18 and under: Free
  • Ages 65 and over: $16
  • Full-time students: $16
  • Members: Free
  • Pay-as-you-wish on Fridays from 6 pm to 9 pm

Museum Hours

  • Wednesday – Thursday: 11 am – 6 pm
  • Friday: 1 – 9 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 11 am – 6 pm
  • Monday and Tuesday: Closed
  • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

Location and Directions

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10021
phone (212) 570-3600

By subway, take the 6 train to 77th Street and walk 2 blocks south and 2 blocks east. By bus, take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 to 74th Street.

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