Smithsonian American Art Museum

Washington, D.C., United States

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of art, from the colonial period to the present, made in the United States. The museum has more than 7,000 artists represented in the collection, which contains the largest collection of New Deal art; a collection of contemporary craft, American impressionist paintings, and masterpieces from the Gilded Age; photography, modern folk art, works by African American and Latino artists, images of western expansion, and realist art from the first half of the twentieth century. Most exhibitions take place in the museum's main building, the old Patent Office Building (shared with the National Portrait Gallery), while craft-focused exhibitions are shown in the museum's Renwick Gallery.

The main building, the Old Patent Office Building, is a National Historic Landmark and is considered an example of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. It was designed by architects Robert Mills and Thomas U. Walter.

Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum has a broad variety of American art, with more than 7,000 artists represented, that covers all regions and art movements found in the United States. Among the significant artists represented in its collection are Nam June Paik, Jenny Holzer, David Hockney, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Albert Bierstadt, Edmonia Lewis, Thomas Moran, James Gill, Edward Hopper, John William 'Uncle Jack' Dey, Karen LaMonte and Winslow Homer.



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Founded: 1829
Category: Museums in United States


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jose Ortega (6 months ago)
This shares the same space as the National Portrait Gallery. And together they make for one great place to visit and spend time with. It's free which is great. I would go on a Sunday and go super early and park on the street since parking is free in DC on Sundays. It can get pretty busy so just keep that in mind. But it is cant miss kind of place.
JD Fast (6 months ago)
The Venetian glass exhibit was very interesting. It's amazing what the artists were able to accomplish without the advantage of modern technology. I never realized that almost every glass bead that was used as trade goods, during the early days of exploration, originated there. A visit to the miniature museum on the third floor (?) is a must-see!
John St. Pierre (8 months ago)
You can get lost in this place and spend an entire day in the midst of beautiful artwork, including paintings and sculptures. The museum is also attached to the National Portrait Gallery, and you can walk seamlessly between them. Nearly all of the art can be walked right up to and viewed up close and there is plenty of seating everywhere for sitting and appreciating the artwork around you. Probably not the best for small children, but highly recommended for anyone who appreciates fine art.
Chi Wai Cheung (13 months ago)
An awesome collection of art, of all different kinds and eras. Plenty of jaw droppers too. Parking is easy with lots of street parking nearby. Would highly recommend!
Tim Devening (14 months ago)
DC is a total joke and the Smithsonian is the perfect example of why you don't use tax payer funds for this kind of thing. They should be a private company that needs customers to survive. The passes are being sold online for profit. Must be nice to never have to please a single customer. They were closed for a year and made no upgrades or updates. Do you self a favor and stay as far from DC as you can until the next republican is in the Whitehouse.
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