Traveling Exhibition Program

Bring the Smithsonian American Art Museum to your institution! Book one of our preeminent touring exhibitions today and share our collection with your community.  

For 70 years, SAAM has been dedicated to making its permanent collection and special exhibitions available across the United States through our traveling exhibition program. This program is designed to offer institutions ready access to showcase new scholarship and collaborate with SAAM’s expert team. In turn, these traveling exhibitions allow us to expand our audience and to ensure that more Americans enjoy the most significant and inclusive collection of American art in the world.  

Be the first to know what exhibitions SAAM is offering for tour by signing up for our touring exhibitions email list.

Sign Up Now!

Ready to bring a SAAM exhibition to your institution? For more information about booking traveling exhibitions, pricing, checklists, and spacing requirements please contact Jennifer Lee, senior assistant registrar at AmericanArtTravel@si.edu, or call (202) 633-8478.  

General Requirements for Exhibitors

  • The exhibitor must be a nonprofit institution, essentially educational and aesthetic in purpose, that collects works of art and exhibits them to the public.  
  • The exhibitor must have available professional staff trained in handling artwork. 
  • The exhibitor must meet climate and security requirements and must submit an American Association of Museums’ standard facilities report. 

Scheduling and Participation Fee

Exhibitions are usually scheduled for twelve-week periods, allowing four weeks between venues for packing and shipping. The participation fee varies from exhibition to exhibition and includes costs of preparing the works for travel, packing, crating, transportation (including couriers if necessary), and insurance under the museum's policy.

SCHEDULING AND PARTICIPATION FEES

  • Exhibitions are usually scheduled for twelve-week periods, allowing a few weeks between venues for packing and shipping.  
  • Participation fees vary from exhibition to exhibition and include costs of preparing the works for travel, packing, crating, transportation (including couriers if necessary), and insurance under the museum's policy. For information about current fees, please contact Jennifer Lee, Senior Assistant Registrar at AmericanArtTravel@si.edu or call (202) 633-8478.  

AVAILABLE EXHIBITION MATERIALS AND SERVICES

  • Published catalogues, brochures, and additional materials may be available.  
  • Three working copies of the catalogue will be provided free of charge, with additional copies available to be ordered at a discount. 
  • Posters, notecards, and other items may be available at a discount for resale in the exhibitor’s shop. Visit our online shop for examples of our products. 
  • A sample press release may be sent to each exhibitor, along with images that can be used for publicity.  
  • Exhibition labels and intro panel text are provided electronically in Microsoft Word format. 
  • Standards-based educational resources for grades K-12 may be available online and adaptable to traveling exhibitions and with support from the Education Department. Including artist interviews, lesson plans, and interactive online activities. Ask about real-time videoconference programs for schools and adults. Curators may be available to lecture on request. 

EXHIBITIONS AVAILABLE TO BOOK NOW

Media - 2018.3.190 - SAAM-2018.3.190_1 - 134538

American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs 

Populated with toy cowboys and cavalry, Barbie dolls and baseball players, David Levinthal’s photographs reference iconic images and events that shaped postwar American society. Despite their playful veneer, Levinthal’s images provide a lens through which to examine the myths and stereotypes lurking within our most beloved pastimes and enduring heroes. In doing so, Levinthal encourages us to consider the stories we tell about ourselves—what it means to be strong, beautiful, masculine, feminine, and ultimately, American. 

This exhibition features more than 60 color photographs, created between 1984 and 2018, drawn from SAAM’s collection of more than 400 photographs by the artist. 

Learn more about this exhibition and featured artist

Current Tour Schedule 

  • The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College: August 28, 2020 – December 13, 2020 
  • Available for one additional venue 

 

Contact Us for More Information

Media - 2012.53.1 - SAAM-2012.53.1_1 - 82036

¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now

In the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements and channeled the period’s social activism into assertive aesthetics. ¡Printing the Revolution! explores the rise of Chicano graphics within these early social movements and the ways in which Chicanx artists since have advanced innovative printmaking practices attuned to social justice.  

This exhibition features more than 100 works drawn from SAAM’s leading collection of Latinx art. 

Learn more about this exhibition and featured artists.

Current Tour Schedule 

  • Amon Carter Museum of American Art: February 19, 2022 – May 8, 2022 
  • On Hold: Spring 2023 
  • On Hold: Summer 2024 

A smaller checklist version of the tour will be available. Please contact us for details. 

 

Contact Us for More Information

 

Media - 1978.40.3 - SAAM-1978.40.3_2 - 137737

Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas 

Alma Thomas is a singular figure in the story of twentieth-century American art. Her vibrant, rhythmic art transcended established genres, incorporating elements of gestural abstraction and color field painting. This exhibition provides an intimate view of Alma Thomas’ evolving artistic practices during her most prolific period from 1959 to her death in 1978. Recent research reveals how she was continually innovative, adapting to personal health challenges later in her life.   

This exhibition features 20 paintings, most of which were gifts of the artist to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

Learn more about this exhibition and featured artists.

Current Tour Schedule 

  • Smithsonian American Art Museum: October 6, 2023 – April 4, 2024 
  • On Hold: Summer 2024 
  • On Hold: Fall 2024 
  • Available: Winter 2025 
  • Available: Spring 2025
  • Available: Summer 2025
  • Available: Fall 2025

 

Contact Us for More Information

This is an image of a flower coming out of a tree trunk

Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination 

Ginny Ruffner is an artist best known for her elegant sculptures and mastery of glass techniques. Some of her most recent work combines traditional glass sculpture with Augmented Reality (AR) technology to create an interactive viewer experience. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to use a downloadable app that superimposes digital information over seemingly barren sculptures, creating two distinct realities to explore. 

This installation consists of six island bases, each featuring colorless glass sculptures of tree stumps with painted rings that trigger AR renderings of flora and fauna. 

Learn more about this exhibition and featured artist

Current Tour Schedule 

  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts: September 18, 2021 – December 5, 2021 
  • On Hold: Spring 2023 
  • On Hold: Spring 2024
  • Available for several additional venues 

 

Contact Us for More Information

Sign Up for Our Traveling Exhibitions Newsletter

A woman stands in front of a red wall showing 7 graphic artworks

Museum professionals are encouraged to sign up for our regularly circulating email newsletter. Be the first to know about what exhibitions are available for booking and learn more about ways to bring SAAM artworks to your institution.

Credit

Support for Treasures to Go, the Museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C.F. Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia.