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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 

Thank you for your continued support as we gradually reopen. We are delighted to welcome visitors back into our galleries and hope you enjoy your visit!

Know Before You Go: What's New

Please review the recent changes below as you plan your visit. 

New Schedule

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SAAM is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Renwick Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Face Coverings

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Masks are not required when visiting Smithsonian museums or the National Zoo. Visitors may choose to wear a mask during their visit.

Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture Series with Roberto Lugo
Wednesday, September 14, 6:30 p.m. ET.

Join Roberto Lugo as he details his studio practice and the intersections of identity, representation, empowerment, and storytelling in his work, now on display in the exhibition This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World. Lugo adorns classical pottery forms with portraiture and surface design that incorporate his North Philadelphia roots and hip-hop culture to address themes of poverty, inequality, and racial injustice. Learn More.

From the Director

Stephanie Stebich, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director, discusses the 50th anniversary of the museum’s Renwick Gallery as the nation’s premier museum dedicated to American craft and the Renwick's new exhibition This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World. Read more.

 

We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection traces the rise of self-taught artists in the 20th 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. Discover the powerful personal journeys of forty-three game-changing artists including Howard Finster, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Nellie Mae Rowe, and Bill Traylor, among others. Now on view.

Latest Blog Post

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
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

Born in Berlin, Albers studied at the prestigious Bauhaus, the innovative school of art and design. There, she discovered weaving and began to incorporate her own ideas using unexpected materials such as yarn, cellophane, and metallic thread. Her life changed when she moved to America to flee Nazi persecution.

Read the Story
An old woman, wearing glasses, an orange sweater, and orange scarf around her neck, stands with a smile on her face. Her head is surrounded by long, loose threads from a weaving in progress. Long threads at the end of the fabric wind down across her heart.  At the bottom of the page is the title. Text reads, “Weaver’s Weaver: Kay Sekimachi.

Illustrated by Emily Ehlen

Comic book cover shows a colorful illustration of an old woman from the torso up. The elderly woman’s hair is short and white in a pixie cut and she is wearing glasses and a red scarf around her neck. She is wearing an orange sweater and a smile on her face. Her cheeks are rosy. On each side of her head are three woven rectangles in progress, alternating in orange and a sunshine yellow with threads of fabric crisscrossing each other. Across her chest, there is a singular strand of fabric that loops into a heart over the place where her human heart is. It glows in bright white on the otherwise orange sweater. On the left side of this strand, there are two red paper origami cranes, one below the strand and one above the strand. At the bottom of the page is the title. Text reads, “Weaver’s Weaver: Kay Sekimachi.”

The Weaver’s Weaver: A Comic About Kay Sekimachi

Kay Sekimachi and her family were forced into a Japanese incarceration camp during WWII. There, she spent her time making art. After the war, she discovered weaving and her mastery of techniques earned her the sobriquet “the Weaver’s Weaver.”

Read the Story

Explore the rise of untrained artists in the 20th century and discover their powerful personal journeys in We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection. Featuring 43 artists including Judith Scott, Howard Finster, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Bill Traylor, and Nellie Mae Rowe, among others, the exhibition examines how, despite wide-ranging societal, racial and gender-based obstacles, their creativity and bold self-definition became major forces in American art. 

Watch as Leslie Umberger, curator of the exhibition, discusses the importance of Margaret Z. Robson’s collecting vision and highlights game-changing artists presented in We Are Made of Stories. Hear from Douglas O. Robson on the importance of continuing his mother’s collecting tradition and his gift to SAAM.  

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
WONDER 360
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