Artwork Loans

Please Note

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is extending our current loan moratorium through December 2024. Due to a major project to update the lighting system and collection galleries in our main building, we cannot accommodate requests to borrow works from our collection (including our branch museum the Renwick Gallery) during this period.

Loan commitments already agreed upon will be honored. We continue to consider requests for exhibitions opening in January 2025 and beyond, though it may take longer than usual for us to respond at this time.

Artwork Loan Policy

Eligibility to Receive Loans

Loans from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery collections will be considered for non-profit museums, institutions, and galleries for temporary exhibitions and longer-term installations of educational significance.


Apply in writing via U.S. mail to:

Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum
MRC 970, P.O. Box 37012
Washington DC, 20013-7012

For domestic loans, loan requests must be received at least nine months in advance of opening.

For international loans, loan requests must be received at least one year in advance of opening. International loan requests will be subject to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Conditions for Lending to Foreign Institutions agreement, which will be sent to the requesting institution on receipt of the loan request.

Number of Objects Reviewed and Lent

A maximum of three objects may be requested for each separate exhibition or installation. If more objects are requested, the museum will review only the first three listed.

No more than three objects can be lent to any single exhibition or installation.

Facilities Report

All potential borrowers must submit a current AAM facilities report before the request is considered, unless a current report is on file here. If a loan is requested for an exhibition tour, facilities reports must be sent for all venues. Borrowing institutions must have a professional staff trained in handling artworks.

Facilities reports and any requested supplementary materials (hygrothermograph reports, insurance provisions, final dates and venues) must be received at least three months before the opening date.


Borrowing institutions will be charged a loan processing fee of $250 per object. The loan processing fee will be increased to $500 per object for any loans requested less than 9 months (domestic) or 12 months (international) prior to the opening date of the exhibition. Borrowing institutions are also responsible for all costs of the loan, including but not limited to packing, fine arts shipping and insurance, and courier expenses when applicable,

Any necessary work for conservation, framing, and mount-making will be billed at an hourly rate of $100. Estimates of object preparation expenses will be provided following the loan review, and borrowers must confirm that they accept the payment obligation before object preparation will begin.


Tel: (202) 633-8480
Fax: (202) 633-8493

Jennifer Schneider