For over thirty-five years, the Washburn Gallery has organized carefully selected exhibitions of works by major 19th and 20th century American artists. The gallery opened in 1971 and immediately was recognized by museums and collectors for the quality of its shows. During the inaugural season, the gallery presented the first New York exhibition of paintings by Joshua Johnson (active c. 1797 - c. 1820); paintings by Martin Johnson Heade; and in contrast, 1930s and 1940s paintings by Jean Xceron.
The Washburn Gallery has continued an active, innovative schedule of exhibitions including the Stieglitz Group; American Abstract Artists of the 1930s and 1940s; the Abstract Expressionists and contemporary artists. Exhibitions have been devoted to unusual facets of the careers of artists such as Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Burgoyne Diller, Arshile Gorky, Ammi Phillips and
Albert Pinkham Ryder.
The Washburn Gallery represents a number of Estates and Foundations including Ilya Bolotowsky, Nicolas Carone, Ray Parker, Jackson Pollock, David Smith (1930s and 1940s paintings), and Leon Polk Smith. The gallery also represents contemporary artists including Tom Levine, Gwynn Murrill and Jack Youngerman.