Permanent Collection

In 1986, The Bronx Museum began collecting works on paper by artists of African, Asian and Latin American ancestry to "reflect the borough's dynamic communities," a policy that was adapted in 1992 to include works in all media.  Recognizing the Bronx’s cultural contributions—including the birth of artistic movements such as hip hop, graffiti art and Latin Jazz, that served as inspiration to many contemporary artists—in 1999 the Museum expanded its collecting practice to include works by artists for whom the Bronx has been critical to their artistic practice and development. Currently the Museum owns over 2,000 contemporary artworks in all media.


In 2012, on the occasion of the Bronx Museum’s 40th Anniversary, a generous grant from the Ford Foundation supported the acquisition of over 40 new artworks, including major pieces by artists of historical significance, including Vito Acconci, Alvin Baltrop, Elizabeth Catlett, Juan Downey, Öyvind Fahlström, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, and Martin Wong.


Among those represented in the Museum’s collection are artists from nationalities across the globe which reflect  the artistic as well as cultural traditions of those countries: Romare Bearden (US), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Seydou Keita (Mali), Dinh Q. Le (Vietnam), Nikki S. Lee (Korea), Whitfield Lovell (US), Ana Mendieta (Cuba), Helio Oiticica (Brazil), Pepon Osorio (Puerto Rico), Liliana Porter (Argentina), Juan Sanchez (US), Xu Bing (China), and Kara Walker (US). 


Please email exhibition-related inquiries to

Reynier Leyva Novo, Cuban, born 1983. RevoluciĆ³n: Una y Mil Veces, 2011. Printed book/AP. Edition of 3 + 2 AP. 9 7/16 x 6 7/8 x 2 9/16 inches. Purchased with funds from a gift by Enid McKenna Soifer, 2011.25.


A generous grant from the Ford Foundation supported the purchase of 60 works in celebration of the Bronx Museum’s 40th anniversary, exceeding the goal of 40 acquisitions that was initially set for this campaign. In total, the Bronx Museum integrated 77 artworks into its permanent collection as part of its 40 Years, 40 Gifts initiative, the majority of which was made possible through this grant. These acquisitions allowed the Bronx Museum to make significant strides in advancing its distinct permanent collection that reflects the diversity of the Bronx and represents the Borough’s history in a positive light.

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