Amy Whitaker

Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Administration

Amy Whitaker

Amy Whitaker is a devoted teacher, mentor, and researcher at the intersections of art and business. At NYU, Amy teaches economics, finance, and entrepreneurship in the arts, and advises gradate students on thesis projects and start-ups. She worked previously for the Guggenheim, MoMA, and Tate, and for the investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and the artist Jenny Holzer. She has also worked on the internet law team at Harvard Law School and as an expert witness in copyright litigation. Her current research models what would happen if artists retained fractional equity in their work using blockchain technology.

Holding both an MFA and an MBA, Amy developed the business curricula for the New Museum Incubator (NEW INC) and for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has taught business to artists since 2003, when she gave a series of lunchtime talks to fellow painters at the Slade School of Fine Art. She has taught previously at Sotheby's Institute, the School of Visual Arts, California College of the Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Williams College. She is past president of the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts (powarts.org) and a former mentor to fellows of the TED Conferences. She has spoken widely including at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Google, the Warhol Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Barnes Collection, the Yale Club, the Princeton Club, Merck & Co., General Assembly, and TEDx. Her keynotes include RISD first year orientation and the Ontario Public School Board Association.

Amy is author of two books -- Art Thinking (HarperCollins) and Museum Legs (Hol Art Books) -- and co-author of The Social Life of Artistic Property (Publication Studio). She is at work on a new book, Economics of Visual Art, for Cambridge University Press. She has written for Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and e-flux, and her work has been covered in the New York Times, the Financial Times, Art Forum, the Art Newspaper, Artsy, Harpers, Forbes, the Boston Globe, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere.