The Art of Difficult Times

Man Ray, Long Distance, from the portfolio Revolving Doors, 1926, pochoir on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1987.59.2

Even in the toughest times, we continue to look to art to bring us stories that elevate our shared humanity through the extraordinary creativity of artists whose works reflect the American experience and global connections.

Although our galleries and gathering spaces are temporarily closed to the public, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery we continue to think about our communities and you who help to make the museum a special and vibrant place, and how we can best share information and offer support during these challenging times.

We continue to update our website, our YouTube channel, and @AmericanArt social media accounts with stories and artworks that we hope spark your intellectual curiosity and imagination while the museum’s doors are closed temporarily. To make our digital exhibitions and educational resources easier to find, we updated our home page, putting digital offerings up front. We are tailoring our email newsletter to bring you closer to our online collections and offer opportunities for craft making at home. The blog is our storytelling platform, and during this unprecedented time, we are using it to present ideas to educate and inform as well as to amuse and entertain.

We also would like to hear from you.

What can SAAM share that would be welcome in your inbox or on your social media feeds? Please keep in touch by sending us an email, or reaching out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

We have heard from many supporters with questions about whether we will be able to extend special exhibitions or reschedule canceled public programs. The health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff is our first priority in all that we do. Smithsonian leadership continues to monitor the rapidly changing coronavirus situation closely. When we have greater certainty about our reopening dates, we will share updated information about the schedule for exhibitions and events with our email newsletter subscribers and social media followers.

I leave you with words from the incomparable poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay:

From the apprehensive present, from a future packed  
with unknown dangers, monstrous, terrible and new– 
Let us turn to comfort this simple fact:  
We have been in trouble before...
And we came through.