Electronic Superhighway
Welcome to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

Explore the sweep of the American imagination across four centuries at the nation's flagship museum for American art and craft. Inspiring artworks and special exhibitions online and in person at our two locations. National educational offerings. Innovative research. Video interviews with artists and virtual studio tours, lectures and more. Admission is always free.

Featured Exhibitions

Media - 2016.38.43R-V - SAAM-2016.38.43R-V_2 - 126225
We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection
July 1, 2022March 26, 2023
We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection traces the rise of self-taught artists in the twentieth century and examines how, despite wide-ranging societal, racial, and gender-based obstacles, their creativity and bold self-definition became major forces in American art. The exhibition features recent gifts to the museum from two generations of collectors, Margaret Z. Robson and Douglas O. Robson.
Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today. The exhibition highlights the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism—showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centers more expansive definitions and acknowledgments of often-overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.
Media - 1967.129 - SAAM-1967.129_1 - 65164
Artist to Artist
October 1, 2021September 3, 2023
Artist to Artist features paired artworks, each representing two figures whose trajectories intersected at a creatively crucial moment, whether as student and teacher, professional allies, or friends.

Upcoming Featured Events

  • Featured Event
    Event Image: (163178411) DgDSO4WQ8jGbC5iuHrnjxGuD.png
    In-Person Handi-hour
    Thursday, February 9, 2023, 5:30 – 8pm EST
    Come in from the cold and warm up with paper crafts at SAAM’s Renwick Gallery. Make a wall hanging with looped paper, glue, and a dowel rod, while enjoying beer from Aslin Beer Company.
    $25 | Registration required
    Must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets are available beginning January 23
  • Featured Event
    Event Image: (163125377) DgBDLVqRfGhc4G6HTVHLzCBO.jpeg
    Virtual Studio Tour with Artist David Harper Clemons
    Thursday, February 16, 2023, 7 – 8pm EST
    Join metalsmith David Harper Clemons for the final visit of SAAM’s Virtual Studio Tour series.
    Free | Registration required via Eventbrite

    Registration opens February 2.

Latest Stories

Detail of brown ceramic jar with writing and the signature "Dave" inscribed around the top.
Craftsman David “Dave” Drake enslaved for most of his life produced uncommonly large ceramic jars in 19th-century South Carolina adorned by his poetic verses
A woman in a black blazer smiles in front of a dusky landscape
Jill Vaum Rothschild
Luce Curatorial Fellow
A photograph of a woman standing in front of artwork.
Leslie Umberger
Curator (Folk and Self-Taught Art)
A photograph of a woman in front of artwork
Director Stephanie Stebich looks forward to the year ahead
 Stephanie Stebich, SAAM's Margaret and Terry Stent Direction in the museum's Lincoln Gallery. Photo by Gene Young. 
Stephanie Stebich
The Margaret and Terry Stent Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery
A detail of stained glass with a figure, in a fetal position, at the middle
Artist Judith Schaechter uses the labor-intensive medium of stained glass to capture a singular moment in time

New Acquisitions

Media - 2022.13 - SAAM-2022.13_1 - 146150
woven linen with madder dye and tea stain
On view
Media - 2022.25 - SAAM-2022.25_1 - 146159
Don’t Tread on Me, God Damn, Let’s Go! — The Harlem…
cottons, silk, wool, and velvet
On view
Media - 2021.22 - SAAM-2021.22_1 - 142998
On view
Media - 2021.76.2 - SAAM-2021.76.2_1 - 142518
Untitled (Jar)
Date19th century
stoneware with alkaline glaze
Not on view