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

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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
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
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.
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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: (165232581) DgAwP8wZ3Bgdc-rhevbG7%2AUU.jpg
    In-Person Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
    Saturday, March 25, 2023, 11:30am – 3pm EDT
    Join us for our annual celebration of spring and the blooming trees of DC.
    Free | Registration encouraged via Eventbrite
  • Featured Event
    Event Image: (165232944) DgCywiNBAeiZ1PvpDfwgpw4o.jpg
    In-Person Handi-hour
    Thursday, April 27, 2023, 5:30 – 8pm EDT
    Get your green thumb ready for spring planting by making your own terrarium! Glass containers, sand, rocks, and small real and faux plants will be provided along with instructions.
    $25 | Registration required
    Registration opens April 10. Must be 21 or older to attend and show valid ID at the door.

Featured Stories

Detail of a yellow tapestry. The word "Caution" is woven into the top and the bottom shows a silhouette of two adults and a child holding hands and running.
Fiber artist Consuelo Jimenez Underwood draws from her cultural heritage to create weavings that are a reflection of personal border experiences
An African American woman is stepping out of a front door. She is smiling and waving. A child mannequin stands to her side.
Celebrating the renowned artist with a comic about her life and work.
Artist Tanya Aguiñiga wearing a suit made of glass elements while standing next to the U.S./Mexico border wall
Curator Mary Savig details an artist’s journey to create the powerful performance work Metabolizing the Border that explores the physical and psychological experiences migrants face while crossing the borderlands.
A man wearing a beret stands in front of an artwork. He is speaking to an audience.
A tribute to the photorealist painter and Vietnam War veteran by SAAM Curator Melissa Ho, who recalls the story behind his extraordinary self-portrait Mi Vida
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

New Acquisitions

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woven linen with madder dye and tea stain
On view
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Don’t Tread on Me, God Damn, Let’s Go! — The Harlem…
cottons, silk, wool, and velvet
On view
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Metabolizing the Border
Performance. Unique objects worn by artist/performer (glass, neoprene, rusted metal fragments of U.S./Mexico border fence, leather, cotton twine, flashlight) and photodocumentation of the performance (digital files)
On view
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Untitled (Verse Jar)
stoneware with alkaline glaze
On view