Past Exhibitions


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
This is a oil painting of a hand coming from the sky and pointing to a smaller figure on the land.
Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist
Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist is the first nationally touring retrospective that brings together more than eighty rarely seen works by the artist Aaron Douglas (1899–1979), one of the most influential visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance.
May 8, 2008August 2, 2008
This is a sterling silver and polyester resin neckpiece
Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection
Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection is a landmark exhibition that explores contemporary jewelry from a global perspective.
March 13, 2008July 5, 2008
This is a drawing of President Lincoln's inaugural ball
The Honor of Your Company Is Requested: President Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball
Travel back 143 years to the revelry of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural ball. This small, focused exhibition celebrates the president's second inaugural ball, held on March 6, 1865 in what is now the museum's historic home.
March 8, 2008January 18, 2010
This is a painting of a large black circle and a smaller red circle surrounded by a blue mass.
Color as Field: American Painting, 1950 – 1975
Color as Field: American Painting, 1950–1975 is the first ever full-scale examination of the sources, meaning and impact of the Color Field movement.
February 29, 2008May 25, 2008
Media - 2000.76.7 - SAAM-2000.76.7_2 - 134714
Obata’s Yosemite
Between 1928 and 1930, while Obata was in Tokyo, he transformed these California landscape watercolors and sketches into a limited-edition portfolio titled World Landscape Series.
February 22, 2008May 31, 2008


This is a oil painting of swamp scene with birds in sunset blues and yellows.
John Alexander: A Retrospective
John Alexander (b. 1945) is internationally renowned for his paintings and drawings, which convey humor, rage and a robust appreciation of the human and natural world.
December 21, 2007March 15, 2008
This is a US government bonds poster with a man carrying an American flag
Over the Top: American Posters from World War I
Over the Top: American Posters from World War I features 44 war bond posters, focusing on the four Liberty Loan campaigns, the War Savings Stamp program, the Victory Loan and support for the Red Cross.
October 25, 2007February 3, 2008
This is an embroidered wool quilt with red color tones and four circles.
Going West! Quilts and Community
Going West! Quilts and Community reveals the essential role that quilts and the making of quilts played in the lives of women on the frontier.
October 4, 2007January 21, 2008
Media - 2002.46 - SAAM-2002.46_1 - 61332
Celebrating the Lucelia Artist Award, 2001 – 2006
The Lucelia Artist Award, established in 2001, has been an important new initiative at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The award annually recognizes an exceptional American artist younger than 50.
September 20, 2007June 21, 2008
Kindred spirits
Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape
Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape brings together 57 of the most beautiful and famous American landscape paintings of the nineteenth century, including Durand’s iconic work Kindred Spirits (1849).
September 13, 2007January 6, 2008
Media - 1988.64 - SAAM-1988.64_1 - 10526
Earl Cunningham’s America
"Earl Cunningham's America" examines the paintings of Earl Cunningham (1893–1977), one of the premier folk artists of the 20th century.
August 9, 2007November 3, 2007
Media - 2001.79.28 - SAAM-2001.79.28_1 - 53686
The Prints of Sean Scully
"The Prints of Sean Scully" presents for the first time at the museum a selection of 57 works from a master set of prints that was acquired in 2001.
May 17, 2007October 7, 2007
Oil on canvas of a mirrored imaged with three semi circles and two red vertical lines in the middle.
Variations on America: Masterworks from American Art Forum Collections
"Variations on America: Masterworks from American Art Forum Collections" celebrates the vision and passion of private collectors who are formally affiliated with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
April 12, 2007July 28, 2007
A perspective drawing of a city and the landscape in the background.
Saul Steinberg: Illuminations
Saul Steinberg (1914–1999) was famous worldwide for giving graphic definition to the postwar age through a dozen books of drawings and hundreds of incisive illustrations for the New Yorker and other periodicals.
April 5, 2007June 23, 2007
hand sculpted and blown glass arranged on a table.
From the Ground Up: Renwick Craft Invitational 2007
The 2007 "Renwick Craft Invitational," a biennial exhibition series at the Renwick Gallery established in 2000 to honor the creativity and talent of craft artists working today, will feature glass artist Paula Bartron, paper artist Jocelyn Châteauvert, gl
March 9, 2007July 21, 2007
Media - 1999.97.21 - SAAM-1999.97.21_1 - 55836
Eadweard Muybridge: The Central American Journey
Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904), a preeminent landscape photographer who is best known for his stop-action photographs of humans and animals in motion, traveled to South America in 1875 for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.
February 2, 2007April 28, 2007


Media - 2002.58.35 - SAAM-2002.58.35_1 - 55027
Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination
Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination is a landmark exhibition that expands the critical and public appreciation of Cornell as a modern American master.
November 17, 2006February 19, 2007
Media - 1929.6.56 - SAAM-1929.6.56_1 - 52026
An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection
The exhibition is the first time this remarkable collection has been on display in Washington, D.C. Marie and Hugh Halff, who live in San Antonio, acquired these masterpieces during the past 20 years.
November 3, 2006February 4, 2007
Media - 2003.55 - SAAM-2003.55_3 - 62431
Ruth Duckworth, Modernist Sculptor
Ruth Duckworth, Modernist Sculptor is a comprehensive retrospective that positions Duckworth within the modernist movement and provides an overdue assessment of her contributions to the contemporary art world.
August 31, 2006January 15, 2007
American ABC: Childhood in 19th-Century America
"American ABC" demonstrates how portrayals of the nation's youngest citizens took on an important symbolic role in the United States’ long journey toward maturity and provides a window into the everyday life of the period—the world of families, children's
June 30, 2006September 16, 2006
Media - 1991.94.1 - SAAM-1991.94.1_1 - 11231
William Wegman-Funney/Strange
William Wegman (b. 1943) is beloved by the public and held in critical esteem by the international art world for his smart, gently subversive humor that parodies all things familiar.
June 30, 2006September 23, 2006
Media - 1971.126 - SAAM-1971.126_1 - 55624
William H. Johnson’s World on Paper
The Smithsonian American Art Museum holds the largest and most complete collection of work by the African American modernist William H. Johnson (1901–1970) and has done much in the past 30 years to preserve his art and establish his reputation.
June 30, 2006January 7, 2007
A painting of a white church in the woods
Passing Time: The Art of William Christenberry
William Christenberry (b. 1936) looks for the spirit of Southern culture in the landscape and architecture of rural Alabama.
June 30, 2006July 7, 2007
An image of the Patent Office Building from 1846
Temple of Invention: History of a National Landmark
This exhibition honors the completion of the building's glorious renovation and marks the 170th anniversary of President Andrew Jackson signing legislation that authorized the building's construction.
June 30, 2006January 21, 2008
An image of a woman and a man with a house behind them. The man is holding a rake.
Grant Wood’s Studio: Birthplace of American Gothic”
"Grant Wood's Studio: Birthplace of 'American Gothic'" presents his decorative art and design work within the larger context of his paintings, drawings and prints for the first time.
March 10, 2006July 15, 2006


Media - 1985.66.12 - SAAM-1985.66.12_2 - 136319
George Catlin’s Indian Gallery
George Catlin's Indian Gallery is hung in the Grand Salon on the second floor of the Renwick Gallery in a way that recalls the Indian Gallery as Catlin displayed it during his tours in Europe.
November 24, 2005April 25, 2009
This is an image of a silver cocktail shaker
Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design
"Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design" highlights more than 200 outstanding works, from art moderne to contemporary, by the foremost designers of production silver.
September 15, 2005January 22, 2006
High Fiber
High Fiber illustrates the diversity of contemporary art created with fiber and presents many of the important milestones of the American fiber art movement, from the mid 20th century when artists began to explore fibers fully as an expressive medium to t
March 11, 2005July 9, 2005


Media - 1992.115 - SAAM-1992.115_1 - 11618
Right at Home: American Studio Furniture
From elegant and streamlined to bright and bold, the designs in "Right at Home: American Studio Furniture" highlight the originality, craftsmanship and personalities of studio furniture artists.
April 2, 2004January 23, 2005