Galleries for Modern and Contemporary Art

Electronic Superhighway

Nam June Paik,Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, 1995, fifty-one channel video installation (including one closed-circuit television feed), custom electronics, neon lighting, steel and wood; color, sound, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 2002.23, © Nam June Paik Estate

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s reopened and reimagined modern and contemporary galleries feature a new installation that freshly examines the explosion of possibility in American art between the 1940s and today. Nearly 100 works by artists using new materials and techniques — and inspired by the social, cultural, and technological changes around them — are on view.


The selected works on view highlight established strengths of SAAM’s collection, such as its leading collections of work by Black and self-taught artists, while featuring new areas of collection growth, including post-World War II and contemporary art, time-based media, and Latinx art. The installation acknowledges the multifaceted narratives, identities, and artistic practices that exist in the United States by including the often-overlooked histories and contributions by Asian American, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, women, and LGBTQ+ artists, part of a museum-wide effort to provide a more expansive view of American art. 

The third-floor galleries have been redesigned in collaboration with Selldorf Architects under the leadership of Annabelle Selldorf to create a unified space that highlights the historical architectural elements of the building while offering improved conditions for displaying artworks. The new spaces double the available wall area for installing art and allow for dynamic circulation patterns that reinforce the fluidity between artistic disciplines and historical narratives.

This initial phase of American Voices and Visions, a comprehensive, multi-year reinstallation of SAAM's permanent collection, brings together nearly 100 artworks. The installation integrates a range of media and practices—including photography, video, craft, and work by self-taught artists—which together reflect a more nuanced and representative survey of American art since 1945. The reinstalled galleries feature 42 artworks recently added to the museum’s collection, including works by Firelei Báez, Tiffany Chung, Audrey Flack, Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee), Tseng Kwong Chi, Miguel Luciano, Martha Rosler, Alison Saar, Hank Willis Thomas, Carlos Villa, Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation), and Carrie Mae Weems among others—many of which are being shown for the first time—alongside iconic works from the collection by Alexander Calder, Jenny Holzer, Morris Louis, Kerry James Marshall, Nam June Paik, Martin Puryear, Sean Scully, Alma Thomas, and Mickalene Thomas.  





Visiting Information

Open Daily, 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Free Admission

Installation Images



American Voices and Visions is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Leadership support is provided by the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation. Generous support is provided by Joanne and Richard Brodie, Carolyn and Maurice Cunniffe, Faye and Robert C. Davidson Jr., Elizabeth and James Eisenstein, Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Jason Tilroe, and Kelly M. Williams. Additional support is provided by Janet and Wilber James, Nina Lesavoy, Marianna and Juan Sabater, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Online Gallery

Media - 2015.34 - SAAM-2015.34_1 - 116878
Amendment #8
mixed media
On view
Media - 2002.23 - SAAM-2002.23_1 - 81981
Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii
fifty-one channel video installation (including one closed-circuit television feed), custom electronics, neon lighting, steel and wood; color, sound
On view
Media - 1968.62.1 - SAAM-1968.62.1_1 - 72583
sheet steel
On view
Media - 1994.85A-AA - SAAM-1994.85A-AA_1 - 11941
Sky Cathedral
painted wood
On view
Media - 2017.40 - SAAM-2017.40_1 - 133467
Ground rules. Free throw
wooden flooring
On view
Media - 1973.151 - SAAM-1973.151_1 - 4471
Indian Image
acrylic on canvas
On view
Media - 2008.38 - SAAM-2008.38_1 - 70131
Sanctuary at Western Sunset
oil on canvas
On view
Media - 2011.16 - SAAM-2011.16_1 - 75736
Portrait of Mnonja
rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel
On view
Media - 2010.29 - SAAM-2010.29_1 - 73447
acrylic on fiberglass
On view
Media - 1968.52.16 - SAAM-1968.52.16_2 - 127722
oil on canvas
On view
Media - 1973.189 - SAAM-1973.189_5 - 134282
acrylic and aluminum on canvas
On view
Media - 1979.124 - SAAM-1979.124_1 - 87445
Man on Fire
fiberglass in acrylic urethane resin on painted wood fiberboard base
On view
Media - 1980.5.10 - SAAM-1980.5.10_2 - 128192
1946‑H (Indian Red and Black)
oil on canvas
On view
Media - 1980.6.1 - SAAM-1980.6.1_2 - 128193
The Wave
Dateca. 1942-1944
oil on fiberboard
On view
Media - 1976.41 - SAAM-1976.41_1 - 65295
Half Light
synthetic polymer on fabric: canvas
On view
Media - 1997.112A-B - SAAM-1997.112A-B_1 - 13044
wood and mixed media
On view
Media - 1998.162A-C - SAAM-1998.162A-C_3 - 133785
Las Tres Marías
colored pencil on paper mounted on panel with upholstery backing and mirror
On view
Media - 2008.3 - 2008.3_1a.jpg - 67601
electronic LED array with white diodes
On view
Media - 2011.27A-B - SAAM-2011.27A-B_2 - 90591
Blanco y Verde
acrylic on canvas
On view
Media - 2012.34A-B - SAAM-2012.34A-B_1 - 81721
mixed media
On view
Media - 2021.12 - SAAM-2021.12_1 - 146572
Untitled (Blue Painting)
oil on canvas
On view
Media - 2022.11.5 - SAAM-2022.11.5_1 - 147440
acrylic on canvas
On view
Media - 2022.32A-C - SAAM-2022.32A-C_1 - 148241
wood, bronze, paper, antler sheds, and stamped ceiling tin
On view
Media - 2023.12 - SAAM-2023.12_1 - 148135
screenprint on retroflective vinyl mounted on aluminum composite
On view


Kay WalkingStick
born Syracuse, NY 1935