A painting of the word "LOVE" in red with green and blue background

Robert Indiana, Love, 1967, screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees.
-Robert Indiana

There have been plenty of songs written about it, people have held up boom boxes in the name of it, cue cards have been written because of it, and we have a holiday for it.

To spread a bit of joy and to entice you to make it to the museum more often we have a few things we thought we’d share, all in the name of L-O-V-E, of course.

Our beautiful Kogod Courtyard is transforming with the help of Smithsonian Gardens and the U.S. Botanic Garden. Orchids: Amazing Adaptations will showcase hundreds of orchids of stunning variety right in the middle of our museum. If you want to flood your Instagram feed with gorgeous flowers, need a beautiful place to have lunch, or just want to stop by after work, consider this our gift to you this Valentine’s Day. If you can’t make it to the museum this week, the Orchids will be on display until the end of April. Also, a special Valentine’s Pop-up Handi-hour will be available at SAAM from 12-5 p.m. today for those who want to craft under the canopy of the Kogod Courtyard.

Unconventional Valentine’s Day Idea:

For those of us who boycott all mention of lovey dovey Valentine’s Day, don’t worry. Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018 challenges the conventional definitions of craft by imbuing it with a renewed sense of emotional purpose, inclusiveness, and activism. Spend an afternoon among skulls, synthetic hair, shards of ceramic, and chromakey costumes.

Date Night Idea:

If you are planning a date night at the museum and just don’t know where to start, we have some beautiful artworks that can help inspire a fun evening out. The Luce Foundation Center has plenty of worthy candidates from John Rogers' Coming to the Parson, Edmonia Lewis’ Poor Cupid, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Yellow Calla, and Tim Tate’s Sacred Heart of Healing. There’s actually a whole scavenger hunt on artworks with flowers in them to share with your other half.

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Georgia O'Keeffe, Yellow Calla, 1926, oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Family Date Night:

The Luce Foundation Center not only has worthy grown up artwork to discuss, but also has a range of scavenger hunts for younger visitors, as well. Don’t forget to stop by the Lunder Conservation Center to see conservation work up close through translucent glass.


Go on a search for women artists in our collection. We have amazing artwork throughout our museum, but some works currently on view in the Lincoln Gallery are Mickalene Thomas’ Portrait of Mnonja, Deborah Butterfield’s Monekana, Louise Nevelson’s Sky Cathedral, and Jenny Holzer's For SAAM.

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Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Mnonja2010, rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Whether you are going out or staying in, we hope you feel loved this year. If you are in the neighborhood, we’d love to see you in our museums. Stop by when you can!