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Where Will American Art Take You?

We are pleased to welcome you to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery with safety measures in place

Thank you for your continued support while we were closed, and as we gradually reopen. We look forward to seeing you in the galleries. Stay safe and enjoy your visit.

Know Before You Go: Guidelines for Visiting

We are delighted to welcome visitors back into our galleries. To keep us all safe, we ask that visitors, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, follow these safety measures to protect everyone’s health. Please review the important information below as you plan your visit. 

Face Coverings

A graphic of a face mask

All visitors ages two (2) and older are required to wear a mask while visiting Smithsonian museums and indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

Ring in the Year of the Tiger! Let’s celebrate Lunar New Year online. Enjoy streamed video performances of dances, acrobatics, and yo-yo tricks by the Madison Chinese Dance Academy. Then watch demonstrations of traditional Chinese crafting and Lunar New Year traditions, including the classic lion dance. Register now for Saturday, February 5, at 10 a.m. ET.

From the Director

Stephanie Stebich, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director, talks about how a variety of voices are represented in SAAM’s collections, galleries, and programming to reflect the complexity of American stories. Read more! 


Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano brings to life the Venetian glass revival of the late nineteenth century and the artistic experimentation the city inspired for visiting artists. Exhibition now open!

Latest Blog Post

Teaching a More Complete Picture of MLK

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was a pivotal moment in U.S. history, there’s more to his life and legacy than that single story. Smithsonian educators share approaches to expand classroom lessons and student understanding of this great civil rights leader.

Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists

Drawn to Art is a comic series that illuminates the stories of ten women artists whose artwork is represented in the SAAM's collection, some of whom may not have received the attention they deserved in their lifetimes. 

  Discover Drawn to Art

A girl with curly brown hair and brown skin holds a mallet in both hands and looks directly out of the page. Text reads: “Edmonia Lewis: Breaking the Marble Ceiling.”

Illustrated by Rachel Bivens

An illustration of a girl with curly brown hair, brown eyes, brown skin, and rosy cheeks standing in 3/4 profile facing out of the page. She is wearing a blue jacket with fringe along the shoulders, a cream-colored shirt with a pointed collar, a pink tie around her neck, a small red sculptor’s cap--a close-fitting brimless hat--on her head, and a cream-colored skirt that flows out of the frame of the image. In her hand she holds a mallet, her other hand cradles the head of the hammer. She stares straight out of the page with an expression of fierce determination on her face. Behind her, is a purple background in a washed, watercolor effect. Text reads, “Edmonia Lewis: Breaking the Marble Ceiling.”

Breaking the Marble Ceiling: A Comic About Edmonia Lewis

The daughter of a Haitian father and an Ojibwe mother Lewis overcame many obstacles before finding success as a sculptor in Rome, where her fame brought countless visitors to her studio.

Read the Story
Black woman sitting on a chair in the center of the cover with her hand resting on her forehead set against a patchwork background of colorful geometric and floral patterns. Text at the top of the page reads “Mickalene Thomas: Portrait”

Illustrated by Shayna Cohen

A vividly colored cover with a patchwork of purple, yellow, pink, tan, and blue geometric and floral designs. Artist Mickalene Thomas, a black woman wearing glasses with her hair in dreads tied up in a bun, is seated in a chair with wheels in the center. The artist has her left arm resting on her forehead as she leans backward in a relaxed position. The background is full of many different patch work patterns in a variety of colors with various floral patterns and textures represented. Text at the top of the page reads “Mickalene Thomas: Portrait”

Portrait: A Comic About Mickalene Thomas

When contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas was in art school, she couldn’t afford traditional materials and gravitated towards craft stores and the glitter and rhinestones within. Her paintings speak to female empowerment and of women of color owning and defining their own spaces.

Read the Story
A woman stands in profile, only her head and shoulders in the frame. The background is a maze of red and white lines. Text reads, Anni Albers: Threads of History.

Illustrated by Emily Fromhage

A woman with short, chin-length hair stands in profile. She is drawn with short, sketchy strokes as if drawn with a graphite pencil. Only her head and shoulders are within the frame. Behind her is a maze of thick red lines. Text reads, “Anni Albers: Threads of History.” 

Threads of History: A Comic About Anni Albers

Anni Albers studied art at the innovative Bauhaus, where she discovered weaving. She fled Nazi Germany and became an influential teacher at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

Read the Story

James Hampton's The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly is one of the most important and beloved artworks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), and it is full of mysteries. Discover more as Leslie Umberger, SAAM's curator of folk and self-taught art, shares insights into Hampton's life as a self-taught artist of color creating in Washington, DC, during the Civil Rights movement, and the lasting importance of his efforts. The Throne, a monumental artwork with more than 180 components wrapped in gold and silver foil, came fully to light only after the artist's death. While Hampton’s views on his life’s work went undocumented, the splendor and magnitude of his project is evident to all who experience this powerful yet enigmatic artwork.

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New Acquisitions

Discover artworks recently added to the collection in New Acquisitions.

View New Acquisitions

Learn more about recently acquired artworks on SAAM's blog 

Host an Event

Looking for an elegant and dazzling location to host an event in 2021, and beyond? Contact us, and let us help you make your event unforgettable.

Reserve Your Space Now

Exhibitions Online

Browse exhibitions online, including artwork galleries, and artist and curator interviews.

View Upcoming Exhibitions

View Current and Past Exhibitions

Explore the Collection

Celebrate the extraordinary creativity of artists whose works reflect the American experience and global connections.

Explore all Art + Artists in the Collection 

Browse Artwork by Category or Artist Names A-Z

For Educators

Local and national programs for teachers, students, and adult learners offer year-long professional opportunities for growth, learning, and professional development.

Explore online education resources and virtual programs 

Visit Us From Home

Immerse yourself in Google Street View’s 360° museum images from anywhere.

Tour the Museum Virtually 

Immersive Experiences

SAAM’s virtual reality museum apps present a selection of unique and immersive experiences.

For mobile
Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

For VR headsets
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
SAAM Beyond the Walls

Museum from Home: Crafting Edition

Enjoy the latest step-by-step guide to at-home crafting with SAAM’s craft master, and check out our video library of crafting projects from past Handi-hour events.

Start Crafting

Browse Art