Research FAQ

Who can use the Whitney Museum Library?
Library resources are available, by appointment only, for research on Whitney Museum history, Whitney exhibitions and American art history. Our researchers include collectors, art historians, graduate students, museum staff, art galleries and independent scholars. Before making an appointment, researchers are encouraged to search the Library’s online catalogue, WhitneyCat. To request an appointment with the Library, send an email to

Does the library take part in interlibrary loan?
The Whitney Museum does not participate in interlibrary loan at this time.

How can I learn about an artist in the Whitney collections?

The Whitney’s collection online is a good starting place for research about artists in our permanent collection. The Whitney’s collection includes over 22,000 works created by more than 3,000 artists in the United States during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 

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. You may also find information in periodical articles and such publications as dissertations and anthologies. 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.

The New York Public Library 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 online catalogues of the Whitney, MoMA, The Met, and the New York Public Library.

Finally, there are numerous web resources that one can search to find information about contemporary artists. Sites such as artnet, askART, Artforum, and ARTnews provide information about artists, exhibitions, and current events in the art world.

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
t (800) 645-6002

American Society of Appraisers
P.O. Box 17625
Washington, DC 20041
t (703) 742-8471; (800) ASA-VALU

Appraisers Association of America
386 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
t (212) 889-5405

Art Dealers Association of America
575 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 940-8590
f (212) 940-6484

The Whitney does not provide authentications or appraisals to third parties concerning works of art.  As part of the Museum’s educational mission, curators and conservators may discuss general matters of connoisseurship, such as relative importance, quality, and condition ("Connoisseurship Information"). To the extent any third parties obtain Connoisseurship Information, they acknowledge and understand that it may not be relied upon, and neither the Whitney nor its staff have any liability arising from its use.

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

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. By searching museum websites, you will often find some images of artworks from their collections or those on exhibition, and others for sale in their museum shops.

Can I make copies of Library materials?
Researchers may make photocopies of Stacks books at a fee of $0.25/page for black and white and $2/page for color. Researchers may request copies at the Reference Desk for Special Collections and Archives materials at a fee of $0.50/page for black and white and $2.25/page for color. Special Collections and Archives copying is done at the discretion of Library staff; copyright or preservation may prevent the photocopying of some items. Cash and check are accepted as payment for photocopies; receipts are issued upon request.

May I take photographs of portions of your library materials?
Yes, you may photograph portions of most materials. However, flash photography is prohibited. Researchers must observe copyright laws when making reproductions.

How can I conduct research at the Whitney?
The Frances Mulhall Achilles Library at the Whitney Museum of American Art contains a comprehensive research collection in the field of twentieth-century and contemporary American art. Our research collections include books, periodicals, archival material, artist files, and special collections that are accessible to the public by appointment.

Please visit the library section of our website for a comprehensive overview of our holdings and instructions for scheduling an appointment.

Who can use the Museum Library?
It is available, by appointment only, for research on the Museum’s history and exhibitions and study of American art history by collectors, art historians, graduate students, staff of other museums, art galleries, and scholars. Before making an appointment, researchers are encouraged to search the Library online catalogue, WhitneyCat. Please email your request to to schedule an appointment.

Is it possible to contact artists through the Whitney?
The Whitney does not release artists’ personal information. Artists should be contacted through their galleries.

How do I contact the owner of a specific Edward Hopper work of art?
We suggest you read Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné (1995) by Gail Levin published by the Whitney in association with W.W. Norton & Company. Owners are listed beneath each entry for oil paintings, watercolors, and illustrations. The Museum does not provide addresses of private collectors.

How can I order a book published by the Whitney?
Visit the online Museum Shop or call (212) 570-3614.

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.