The Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Renwick features the nation's premier collection of American craft objects in wood, clay, fiber, glass and metal
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the home of the largest collection of American art in the world. Its holdings - over 39,000 works - tell the story of America though the visual arts and represent the most inclusive collection of American art of any museum today. It is the nation's first federal art collection, predating the 1846 founding of the Smithsonian Institution. When the artworks were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in the 1850s, they formed the basis of the Smithsonian art collection.
The museum's collection encompasses three hundred years of American artistic achievement and parallels the nation's cultural development.
Almost 7,000 American artists are represented in the collection, including major masters such as John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Helen Frankenthaler, Martin Puryear and Robert Rauschenberg.
The museum has been a leader in identifying significant aspects of American visual culture and actively collecting and exhibiting these works before many other major public collections. Pioneering collections include: historic and contemporary folk art, work by African American and Latino artists, photography from its origins in the 19th century to contemporary works, images of western expansion and realist art from the first half of the 20th century. The museum has the largest collection of New Deal art, the finest collection of American impressionist paintings and works from the Gilded Age and a premier collection of contemporary craft art.
During the renovation, the museum's Renwick Gallery, located in the heart of historic federal Washington and steps from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W.,
offers increased programming activities. Built in 1859 and acquired in 1972 by the Smithsonian, the Renwick features the nation's premier collection of American craft objects in wood, clay, fiber, glass and metal. The Grand Salon installation features a re-creation of George Catlin's Indian Gallery as he displayed it in the 1840s.
8th & G Sts., NW
Washington DC 20013-7012