Jack Shainman Gallery was founded in 1984 in Washington, DC, by Jack Shainman and Claude Simard. Soon after opening, the gallery relocated to New York City occupying a space in the East Village before moving to 560 Broadway in Soho and then to its current location at 513 West 20th Street in Chelsea in 1997. In 2013 the gallery added two additional exhibition spaces, one in Chelsea at 524 West 24th Street, the other a 30,000 square foot schoolhouse in Kinderhook, New York.
The focus of the gallery since its inception has been to exhibit, represent and champion artists from around the world, in particular artists from Africa, East Asia, and North America, by mounting major exhibitions of their work in the gallery, presenting artworks at important fairs, securing museum exhibitions and publishing major catalogues and scholarly essays. The gallery is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America and presents approximately twelve exhibitions a year, as well as participating in major art fairs including Art Basel Miami Beach, The Armory Show, and Frieze New York.