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Press Room


Smithsonian American Art Museum Completes .Souvenir Book Set for Extensive Art Tour

Contact: Smithsonian American Art Museum's Public Affairs Office AmericanArtinfo[at]
American Art's Web site:
Recorded information: (202) 633-8998

With the release of four new souvenir books, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has completed an eight-book set to complement its "Treasures to Go" tour. "Treasures to Go" is perhaps the most extensive art tour ever, with eight traveling exhibitions crisscrossing the nation through 2002.


" 'The Treasures to Go' tour allows the American people to access our finest treasures in their own communities," said Elizabeth Broun, the museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director. "With the completion of this souvenir book set they can also enjoy the world's most important collection of American art everyday in their own homes."

The most recent books published are:

  • "Scenes of American Life: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" explores the 20th century, from the excitement of New York and the Roaring '20s through the Depression and postwar period in works by Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence and Paul Cadmus.

  • "Modernism & Abstraction: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" presents radical transformations of American art in the 20th century by Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis and Franz Kline.

  • "Contemporary Folk Art: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" showcases self-taught artists of the past 40 years such as Thornton Dial Sr., Howard Finster and William Hawkins.

  • "Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" celebrates the vitality of Latino art traditions and innovations, from the 18th through the 20th centuries, represented by Carlos Alfonzo, Amalia Mesa-Bains and Jesús Bautista Moroles.

The first four books, "Young America," "Lure of the West," "American Impressionism" and "The Gilded Age," were released in September 2000.

Co-published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Watson-Guptill, a division of BPI Communications, the eight books cost $19.95 each and are available at bookstores and the various venues hosting the exhibitions, as well as on the museum's Web site at Watson-Guptill is a leading publisher of fine arts books.

"Scenes of American Life" was written by Georgetown University professor Elizabeth Prelinger and "Modernism & Abstraction" was written by freelance curator and writer Miranda McClintic. Tom Patterson, a freelance writer, authored "Contemporary Folk Art" and Jonathan Yorba of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco authored "Arte Latino."

"Treasures to Go" is comprised of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group® is a proud partner in bringing these treasures to the American people. Launched in January 2000, the goal for "Treasures to Go" is to stimulate interest in American art among new audiences as well as art lovers by touring the nation's foremost collection to communities across the country. For updated tour itineraries, visit

The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829 and has evolved into the world's most important American art holdings with approximately 39,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs, folk art and contemporary crafts.

While the three-year renovation of the museum's main building—the Old Patent Office—continues, American Art offers a full program of exhibitions at its Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W.). For information about Renwick Gallery activities, call (202) 357-2700. Please visit the museum's award-winning Web site at