Exhibitions

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Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women
May 31, 2024January 5, 2025
The artists in Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women mastered and subverted the everyday materials of cotton, felt, and wool to create deeply personal artworks.
Quilt with a colorful, abstract pattern. At the center is a dark blue square with a black star as its border.
Pattern and Paradox: The Quilts of Amish Women
March 28, 2024August 26, 2024
Explore the creative practice of Amish quilters in the United States.
Media - 1967.59.1146 - SAAM-1967.59.1146_2 - 141130
Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice
March 8, 2024September 10, 2024
William H. Johnson's Fighters for Freedom series from the mid-1940s is a tribute to African American activists, scientists, teachers, and performers as well as international leaders working to bring peace to the world.
Tour Dates
  • 1
    Smithsonian American Art Museum
    Washington, DC
    March 8, 2024September 8, 2024
  • 2
    Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
    Miami, FL
    September 28, 2024January 5, 2025
Five images suspended in a gallery space.
Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass
December 8, 2023 — December 62026
A presentation of Isaac Julien’s tour de force moving image installation that interweaves period reenactments across five screens to create a vivid picture of nineteenth-century activist, writer, orator, and philosopher Frederick Douglass.
Electronic Superhighway
Galleries for Modern and Contemporary Art
Ongoing
The Smithsonian American Art Museum's galleries for modern and contemporary art display selections from the permanent collection from the 1940s to the present.
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Carrie Mae Weems: Looking Forward, Looking Back
September 22, 2023 — July 72024 
This focused exhibition pairs two projects by Carrie Mae Weems—a major multimedia installation and a series of photographs—that revisit moments from history.
Alma Thomas, The Eclipse, 1970, acrylic on canvas
Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas
September 15, 2023August 4, 2024
The exhibition Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas provides an intimate view of Alma Thomas’ evolving artistic practices during her most prolific period from 1959 to her death in 1978.
Tour Dates
  • 1
    Denver Art Museum
    Denver, CO
    September 8, 2024January 12, 2025
Colorful multi-media vase
Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery
Ongoing
SAAM’s branch location for contemporary craft, the Renwick Gallery, showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today. Currently on view are more than 100 works in a range of mediums from fiber and ceramics to glass, metal, wood, and mixed media.
Media - 1967.129 - SAAM-1967.129_1 - 65164
Artist to Artist
October 1, 2021May 18, 2025
Artist to Artist features paired artworks, each representing two figures whose trajectories intersected at a creatively crucial moment, whether as student and teacher, professional allies, or friends.
A close up of Echelman's installation for WONDER at the Renwick Gallery.
Janet Echelman: 1.8 Renwick 
Ongoing
Janet Echelman's colorful fiber and lighting installation, suspended from the ceiling of the Renwick Gallery's Grand Salon, examines the complex interconnections between human beings and our physical world.
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Galleries for Folk and Self-Taught Art
Ongoing
SAAM’s collection of folk and self-taught art represents the powerful vision of America’s untrained and vernacular artists.
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Experience America
Ongoing
Look into America in the 1930s, a heady time when the country’s artists captured the beauty of the landscape, the industry of America’s working people, and a sense of community shared in towns large and small despite the Great Depression.