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.
July 1, 2022–March 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.
May 13, 2022–April 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.
October 1, 2021–September 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
Fiber artist Consuelo Jimenez Underwood draws from her cultural heritage to create weavings that are a reflection of personal border experiences
Celebrating the renowned artist with a comic about her life and work.
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 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
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
Director Stephanie Stebich looks forward to the year ahead
woven linen with madder dye and tea stain
cottons, silk, wool, and velvet
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)
stoneware with alkaline glaze
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of SAAM's Renwick Gallery
How do you mark the 50th anniversary of the nation's premier museum dedicated to American craft?
"We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection" Introduction
Explore the rise of untrained artists in the 20th century and discover their powerful personal journeys.
Bisa Butler’s "The Harlem Hellfighters" - American Art Moments
Get to know the historic figures behind Bisa Butler’s monumental quilt.