The American art collection comprises more than 12,000 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and multimedia artworks from the 18th century to today.

The historical collection includes Colonial and Federal portraits, outstanding examples of Hudson River landscape paintings, and one of the earliest folk art collections in the country. Modern and contemporary holdings reflect the institution’s early and sustained commitment to collecting broadly and inclusively. The African American art collection, which encompasses some 400 historical, modern, and contemporary works, was launched in 1929 with the acquisition of Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting The Good Shepherd.

Joseph Stella’s monumental Voice of the City of New York Interpreted, acquired in 1937, is considered a landmark of American modernism. Other collection highlights include paintings by Joaquín Torres Garcia, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Carmen Herrera, and Norman Lewis. Today’s contemporary collection features artworks by an exceptional group of local, national, and globally recognized artists from throughout the Americas.

Mickalene Thomas, Landscape with Camouflage, 2012 Rhinestones, acrylic, oil and enamel on wood panel, 108 x 144 x 2 in. Purchase 2012 Helen McMahon Brady Cutting Fund | 2012.22A © Mickalene Thomas and the Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York ⁣ ⁣

Joaquín Torres‑García, Formas entrelazadas en Fondo Rojo, 1938. Tempera on artist board, 33 x 42 3/8 in. (83.8 x 107.6 cm). Purchase 2018 Helen McMahon Brady Cutting Fund | 2018.9 Courtesy of the Estate of Joaquín Torres‑García

Kay WalkingStick, Me and My Neon Box, 1971. Acrylic on Canvas, 60 x 54 in. (152.4 x 137.2 cm). Purchase Helen McMahon Brady Cutting Fund, 2018 | 2018.17 © Kay WalkingStick '72

Georgia O'Keeffe, White Flower on Red Earth, No.1, 1943​. Oil on canvas, 26 3/8 x 30 1/8 in. (67 x 76.5 cm)​. Purchase 1946 John J. O'Neil Bequest Fund | 46.157

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