Faqs - Whitney Museum of American Art


What are the levels of membership, and how would I become a member of the Whitney Museum of American Art?
Membership information can be found here, or by calling the Membership office at (212) 570-3641.

Are strollers allowed in the Museum?
Strollers are permitted in the galleries; however, certain exhibitions may have restrictions. For information on specific exhibitions, please call 1 (800)-WHITNEY.

How can I find out about employment opportunities at the Whitney?
We have a listing of employment opportunities and application procedures here.
What are the hours of Sarabeth’s Restaurant?
The hours for Sarabeth's Restaurant can be found here, or call 1 (800) WHITNEY. Sarabeth's does not take reservations. For more information, please call (212) 570-3670.

Do I have to make reservations for programs?
Advance tickets or registration are required for all of our public programs, including lectures, courses, and symposia, as well as educator, family, and youth programs. For general information about particular programs, i.e., family, teen, school, and adult public programs, go directly to the “Programs and Events” section, or listen to a recording of current programming at 800-WHITNEY.

Are there any tickets available for tonight’s lecture/performance?
To find out whether a lecture, event, or performance has sold out the day of, please call 1 (877) WHITNEY.

Do you provide docent tours for exhibitions and if so when are they?
We provide docent tours for most of our exhibitions when the Museum is open to the public. Please call 1 (800) WHITNEY to hear a complete listing of tours. During de-installation and installation periods there may not be any tours scheduled.

Is it possible to contact artists at the Whitney?
Whitney staff members are not permitted to give out artists’ addresses or phone numbers. Artists should be contacted through their galleries. Art in America, Summer Edition, lists all contemporary artists who have exhibited in museums and galleries during the year.

Is the Museum wheelchair accessible? Are wheelchairs available in the Museum?
Yes, the Whitney Museum is wheelchair accessible to all galleries, restrooms, and the restaurant. Wheelchairs are available free of charge at the coat check in the Museum Lobby.
How do I donate or see if the Museum is interested in purchasing works of art from my collection?

Please send a photograph of your artwork to the curator of the permanent collection for consideration. Address the envelope:
Curator of the Permanent Collection
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021
In order for the Museum to consider the work, enclose a letter indicating your intention to offer the work as a gift or for sale, along with a reproduction of the piece and detailed object information (artist, artist's dates, title, work date, process, dimensions, edition #, insurance value, and preferred credit line for the gift). The Museum will be in contact with you if interested in the work.
How would I order a book published by the Whitney?
Please contact the Whitney Store at (212) 570-3614, fax (212) 472-1963 or email store@whitney.org.

How do I find out more information about Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and her family members?
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875 – 1942) was an artist and the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: A Biography (1978), written by B.H. Friedman, presents an accurate account of her life. Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1990), by Avis Berman, and The Whitney Women and the Museum They Made: A Family Memoir (1999), by Flora Miller Biddle, are two other important books that document the life of the founder of the Whitney Museum and her family.
For more titles, search the Whitney Library’s online catalog, “WhitneyCat”, or you can visit your local public library. Gertrude’s personal papers are held by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC.

Where was the original Whitney Museum of American Art located?
The original Museum, established in 1931, was located at 10 West 8th Street, New York. In 1954, the Museum relocated to 22 West 54th Street. The present location of the Whitney, 945 Madison Avenue, was designed by architect Marcel Breuer and completed in 1966.

How can I find out more about the present Museum building and its architect, Marcel Breuer?
Breuer’s personal papers are held by two institutions: Syracuse University Library, Special Collections, and the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. You can look at their respective holdings through their online library catalogs and websites. A comprehensive book about Breuer’s work was written recently by Isabelle Hyman, Marcel Breuer, Architect: the Career and the Buildings. For other book titles, search the Whitney Library’s online catalog, “WhitneyCat,” or visit your local public library.

Where can I find information regarding rights to the works of Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967)?
Please send your request via fax to Rights and Reproductions, (212) 535-5606.

How do I contact the owner of a specific Edward Hopper work of art?
Read Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné (1995) by Gail Levin published by the Whitney Museum of American Art in association with W.W. Norton & Company. Owners are listed beneath each entry for oil paintings, watercolors, and illustrations. The Museum will not provide addresses of private collectors.
How do I obtain a copy of the Museum’s current Annual Report?
Copies of print editions of the annual report can be found in the New York Public Library or the Whitney’s Frances Mulhall Achilles Library.

Can I submit materials for consideration for the 2006 Biennial?
Please note that the Whitney Biennial is not a juried exhibition and, therefore, there is no formal submission process. If you choose to send materials, they must arrive at the address below by August 1, 2005. Submission packages should be limited to one resume/CV and six to eight images. Acceptable image formats include slides, computer printouts, digital files on CD_ROM (PC Compatible), audio CDs, or VHS videotapes. Additional materials, including original artwork, portfolios, and catalogues, will not be accepted. Please provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your images returned. We are unable to answer individual inquiries regarding the status of a submission.
Biennial Coordinator
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021

What kind of artworks will I find at the Whitney Museum of American Art?
The Whitney collects and exhibits American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The Museum's collections start at 1900 and continue to the present. The fifth- floor galleries contain art from the permanent collection, 1900 to 1949; the second floor exhibits art from l950 to the present day. Other floors are devoted to changing exhibitions.

How can I find out about what artworks are in the Whitney’s collections?
Although there is no one source for information about the Whitney’s collections, there have been numerous publications that picture and describe its collections. Search your local public library for the following Whitney Museum publications. They are also currently available in the Museum Store:
An American Legacy, A Gift to New York (2002)
American Visionaries: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art (2001)
Frames of Reference: Looking at American Art, 1900-1950 (1999)
The New York School and Beyond: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art (2002)
Visions from America: Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1940–2001 (2002)

How do I find out about a specific artwork in the Whitney collection?
All questions regarding the collection should be forwarded to the Registrar’s Department. Fax: (212) 570-7784.

Can you provide me with a list of artworks presently on view in your permanent galleries?
Approximately 1% of all the works of art owned by the Whitney are on view at any given time. Visit the Museum website for an overview of what you can expect to see at any given time.

How do I arrange to see a work of art in your collection, not on view?
Fax your request, on institutional stationery, and send it to the Registrar’s Department. Fax: (212) 570-7784.

Where can I find the itinerary of the Whitney’s traveling exhibitions?
For current traveling exhibition schedules, call (212) 606-0390.
Where can I find out about past exhibitions?
There is a good deal of information about past exhibitions on the Whitney website.

What is the procedure for submitting my portfolio for review by the Whitney’s curatorial staff?
Thank you for your interest in the Whitney Museum. If you would like to submit work, please send us a cover letter, no more than one sheet of slides, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. We cannot accept original works of art, nor do we assume responsibility for any original artworks that are submitted. Please send it to:
Curator of Contemporary Art
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10021
The Museum is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. Due to the large number of submissions, it may take up to one year to review your materials.

How can I find out the value of an artwork, its provenance, or its attribution?
Museum staff cannot answer questions referring to the value, provenance, or attribution of any work of art. Below is a list of reputable organizations that help people with those questions:
316 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10009
tel: 1 (800) 645-6002
American Society of Appraisers
P.O. Box 17625
Washington, DC 20041
tel: (703) 742-8471; 1 (800) ASA-VALU
Appraisers Association of America
386 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
tel: (212) 889-5405
Art Dealers Association of America
575 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 940-8590
fax: (212) 940-6484
email: adaa@artdealers.org

Where would I go to have a work of art restored?
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works at (202) 452-9545, guides collectors on how to find and choose qualified conservators in their particular area of the country.

How can I learn about an artist in the Whitney collections?
For general information about a contemporary artist, we recommend you begin research in your local public library, where you will find indexes to artists, current periodical publications, encyclopedias, and other general sources of art history. For example:
Art in America, Summer Edition, contains a list of contemporary artists and current galleries that represent them
Who's Who in American Art
Who Was Who in American Art
Contemporary Artists, Fourth Edition, 1996
Contemporary Photographers, Third Edition, 1995
You may also find information in periodical articles and such publications as dissertations and anthologies. Search for contemporary artists in:
Art Bibliographies Modern: abstracts from journal articles, books, essays, etc.
Art Index: citations on periodical articles
Libraries collect ephemeral materials and place them in folders called pamphlet, vertical, or artist files. These files contain small brochures, press releases, magazines, and newspaper clippings.
In New York City, the NYPL offers a free research service, “Ask Librarians Online” or call (212) 340-0871
Many public and museum library collections contain books about contemporary art and artists. Search “WhitneyCat,” “Dadabase,” “Watsonline,” at the Met, “Fresco,” Frick Art Reference Library, NYPL “Catnyp”, or “Leo” NYPL Branches, “GeoWeb” (BPL libraries).
Finally, there are numerous web resources that one can search to find information about contemporary artists. Sites such as Art Net, Ask Art, ArtForum, and Art News provide information about artists, exhibitions, and current events in the art world.
How can I find a reproduction of a work of art?
Museums contain thousands of artworks. They usually reproduce images of many, but not all, of the works in their collections. You can search museum websites at the Art Museum Network or the Art Museum Image Consortium, or search on the web for “posters, reproductions, slides.”

Who can use the Museum Library?
The FRANCES MULHALL ACHILLES LIBRARY grew out of the collection of books owned by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the Museum’s founder. The Whitney Museum Library is not a general reference library. The Library is used primarily by Museum staff, interns, docents, and volunteers. It had been available, by appointment only, for research on the Whitney Museum history and exhibitions and study of American art history by collectors, art historians, graduate students, staff of other museums, art galleries, and scholars. Unfortunately, the Library is currently closed to the public for an indefinite period. We recommend researchers contact other museums or local public libraries to begin their research. Researchers may continue to search the Library online catalog, “WhitneyCat.”

Does the library take part in Interlibrary Loan?
The Whitney Museum does not participate in Interlibrary Loan.
Does the Museum allow photography or videotaping?
Photography and videotaping are not permitted in the galleries.

I would like to buy a reproduction of a painting I like. Where can I find it?
Not every painting, sculpture, or graphic that you see in a museum has been reproduced in a poster, print, or slide. If the work is in a private collection, it is less likely to have been published as a reproduction that is available for sale. The Whitney Museum Store has a limited number of reproductions available from the Museum's collection. You can purchase reproductions of works of art at most museum websites.

Does the Museum have a slide library that I can borrow or use?
No; however, slides and photographs of works in the Museum's collection can be purchased through the office of Rights and Reproductions; or email directly to rights_reproductions@whitney.org.

How do I obtain your current fee schedule for obtaining photographs and transparencies for reproduction?
Contact the Whitney Museum’s Rights and Reproductions office.

How do I get permission to reprint text from Whitney Museum publications?
We require a written or faxed request on institutional or scholarly stationery indicating the name of the publication, page number, and actual text. The Museum can only grant permission for text not accompanying illustrations unless they are in the Whitney’s collection. Please indicate in detail the nature of your request and deadline.

< back to Museum's profile