Past Exhibitions

2011

Media - 2011.37.13 - SAAM-2011.37.13_3 - 92253
Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models from the Rothschild Collection
The exhibition Inventing a Better Mousetrap features thirty-two models illustrating the wide variety of nineteenth-century patented inventions submitted by inventors from across the United States.
November 11, 2011November 4, 2013
An image of a mahogany armchair with blue and gold upholstery
Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House
This 2011 exhibition allowed visitors to explore the history of the decorative arts in the nation's foremost home. It included 95 objects from the permanent collection of the White House.
September 30, 2011May 5, 2012
Media - 1979.53.34 - SAAM-1979.53.34_2 - 134744
Made in Chicago: The Koffler Collection
Made in Chicago: The Koffler Collection features twenty-five paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from 1960 to 1980, including works by Roger Brown, Leon Golub, Theodore Halkin, Vera Klement, Ellen Lanyon, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Barry Tinsley, and Ray
August 11, 2011January 2, 2012
An oil on canvas of a man lifting a curtain into his museum
The Great American Hall of Wonders
The exhibition The Great American Hall of Wonders examines the nineteenth-century American belief that the people of the United States shared a special genius for innovation.
July 14, 2011January 8, 2012
Media - 2011.22A-C - SAAM-2011.22A-C_1 - 76568
History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011
History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011 presents the work of silversmith Ubaldo Vitali, ceramic artist Cliff Lee, glass artist Judith Schaechter, and furnituremaker Matthias Pliessnig.
March 24, 2011July 30, 2011
Media - 1976.121 - SAAM-1976.121_2 - 123041
To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America
During the turbulent 1940s, artist George Ault (1891-1948) created precise yet eerie pictures—works of art that have come to be seen, following his death, as some of the most original paintings made in America in those years.
March 11, 2011September 4, 2011
Media - 2010.6.1 - SAAM-2010.6.1_1 - 73336
Close to Home: Photographers and Their Families
Close to Home presents photographs made during the past three decades by both established and emerging artists.
February 4, 2011July 23, 2011

2010

Media - 2010.5 - SAAM-2010.5_1 - 73850
Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image (1.0)
Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image is a series of rotating exhibitions drawn from SAAM’s permanent collection.
December 10, 2010March 2, 2012
oil on wood of an ocean scene with a bird in the foreground and a decaying cityscape in the background.
Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow
Alexis Rockman (b. 1962) has been depicting the natural world with virtuosity and wit for more than two decades.
November 19, 2010May 7, 2011
Media - 2003.60.2 - SAAM-2003.60.2_3 - 128176
A Revolution in Wood: The Bresler Collection
A Revolution in Wood: The Bresler Collection celebrates the magnificent gift of sixty-six pieces of turned and carved wood to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by the noted collectors, Fleur and Charles Bresler.
September 23, 2010January 30, 2011
Media - 2007.40.1 - SAAM-2007.40.1_1 - 67870
John Gossage: The Pond
The installation of John Gossage: The Pond celebrates the recent gift to the museum of this remarkable photographic series and the re-issue of one of the most influential photography books of the past three decades. John Gossage (b.
August 26, 2010January 17, 2011
An image of a man making shadow puppets on the wall in the background and three children watching in the foreground.
Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
Telling Stories is the first major exhibition to explore in-depth the connections between Norman Rockwell's iconic images of American life and the movies.
July 1, 2010January 2, 2011
Media - 2009.9.18 - SAAM-2009.9.18_1 - 70302
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Remembering the Running Fence
The exhibition presented the majority of individual items— more than 350 objects—from the collective archive of artworks and related materials.
April 2, 2010September 26, 2010
Media - 2008.32.2 - SAAM-2008.32.2_1 - 72158
The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942 – 1946
The Art of Gaman showcases arts and crafts made by Japanese Americans in U.S. internment camps during World War II.
March 5, 2010January 30, 2011
This is an albumen print of a water fall by O'Sullivan
Framing the West: The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O’Sullivan
Timothy H. O'Sullivan (1840–1882) was a photographer for two of the most ambitious geographical surveys of the nineteenth century. He traversed the mountain and desert regions of the western United States under the command of Clarence King and Lt.
February 12, 2010May 8, 2010
Media - 1999.80 - SAAM-1999.80_1 - 52092
Graphic Masters III: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Graphic Masters III: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the third in a series of special installations, celebrates the extraordinary variety and accomplishment of American artists' works on paper.
January 15, 2010August 7, 2010

2009

An image of 16 different yellow moons with different reactions on their faces.
What’s It All Mean: William T. Wiley in Retrospect
Enter the world of artist William T. Wiley, who has created a distinctive body of work during a 50-year career that addresses critical issues of our time.
October 1, 2009January 24, 2010
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Staged Stories: Renwick Craft Invitational 2009
Staged Stories: Renwick Craft Invitational 2009 presents the work of ceramic artist Christyl Boger, fiber artist Mark Newport, glass artist Mary Van Cline, and ceramic artist SunKoo Yuh.
August 6, 2009January 3, 2010
Media - 1995.27 - SAAM-1995.27_1 - 52089
Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the second in a series of special installations, celebrates the extraordinary variety and accomplishment of American artists' works on paper.
June 18, 2009January 10, 2010
Media - 1912.5.1 - SAAM-1912.5.1_1 - 45177
Grand Salon Installation-Paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
This installation in the Renwick Gallery's Grand Salon displays seventy paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection, including landscapes, portraits, and allegorical works by fifty-one American artists from the 1840s to the 1930s.
June 5, 2009November 11, 2013
An installation of scratch & win lottery tickets stacked on top of one another forming structures.
Jean Shin: Common Threads
Shin's most recent project, Everyday Monuments, debuts in the exhibition. The sprawling installation consists of nearly 2000 trophies donated by Washington, D.C.-area residents and projected images of the altered trophies.
April 30, 2009July 25, 2009
A stained glass entry hall panel
The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene
The architecture and decorative arts designed by Charles Greene (1868-1957) and his brother Henry Greene (1870-1954) a century ago in California are recognized internationally as among the finest of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
March 12, 2009June 6, 2009
Media - 1964.1.40 - SAAM-1964.1.40_1 - 89419
1934: A New Deal for Artists
In 1934, Americans grappled with an economic situation that feels all too familiar today.
February 27, 2009January 3, 2010

2008

A photograph of a grain elevator in a lightning storm.
Accommodating Nature: The Photographs of Frank Gohlke
For more than 30 years, Frank Gohlke (b. 1942), a leading figure in American landscape photography, has explored the ways Americans build their lives in a natural world that rarely fits within a traditional pastoral ideal.
November 27, 2008March 3, 2009
Media - 1929.6.70 - SAAM-1929.6.70_1 - 52029
Graphic Masters I: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Graphic Masters I: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum is the first in a series of special installations that celebrate the extraordinary variety and accomplishment of American artists' works on paper.
November 21, 2008May 24, 2009
Media - 1999.17 - SAAM-1999.17_1 - 67483
Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum features forty-three key paintings and sculptures by thirty-one of the most celebrated artists who came to maturity in the 1950s.
November 1, 2008December 15, 2011
This is a blown glass structure with multiple incalmi crisscrossed canes.
Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Glass
Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Glass is the first exhibition to thoroughly examine the art of Lino Tagliapietra (b.
October 2, 2008January 11, 2009
This is a landscape panting of mountains in New Mexico.
Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities
Sunlight deserts, Taos churches, and Western skies are captured in the remarkable work of two iconic American artists.
September 25, 2008January 4, 2009
Media - 1977.48.5 - SAAM-1977.48.5_1 - 59312
Local Color: Washington Painting at Midcentury
Explore the expressive possibilities of color in this special installation of twenty-seven large-scale paintings from the museum's permanent collection.
July 3, 2008October 12, 2008
Media - 2008.2.8 - SAAM-2008.2.8_1 - 67821
Earth and Sky: Photographs by Barbara Bosworth
Nature's strength, endurance, and fragility are captured in the dynamic work of Barbara Bosworth (b. 1953).
June 19, 2008November 11, 2008