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Office of the Museum Director

Painting by Robert Gwathmey

The Director’s Office is responsible for the overall direction and management of the museum. This includes determining long-term goals and objectives, annual budgets and programs, and internal and external policies. The museum’s deputy director works closely with the director and office chiefs to ensure that resources are used efficiently and effectively.

The director represents the museum with governing boards, sponsors, membership organizations, major donors, and a variety of visitors. The director reports to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and performs various Smithsonian-related duties.

The director has scholarly responsibilities as well, reviewing art acquisitions and collection strategy, curatorial research, educational interpretation, and all published matter. The director often participates as a practicing scholar, lecturing and publishing the results of personal research.

Contact the Director’s Office

Director (vacant)
Rachel M. Allen, Acting Director: RAllen[at]

Pictured: Robert Gwathmey, Woman Sowing, n.d., watercolor and ink, 13 7/8 x 15 3/8 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines