American Art Journal

A peer-reviewed journal of the nation’s visual heritage

Since its founding in 1987, American Art has been an indispensable resource for scholars, collectors, and museum-goers who want to enrich their understanding of the nation’s art and culture. American Art encompasses all aspects of the country’s visual heritage from colonial to contemporary times. Elegant color plates give the journal a distinctive appearance, and the articles are written in an engaging style.

Current Issue - Summer 2019

A cover of a magazine with a pipe in it.

William Michael Harnett, Materials for a Leisure Hour (detail), 1879. Oil on canvas, 15 × 20 1/4 in. Museo National Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Image courtesy of Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza/Scala/Art Resource, New York

In the Summer 2019 issue of American Art:

  • A set of commentaries by Charles Brock, Tobias Wofford, Michèle Gates Moresi, Seth Feman, and John A. Tyson delves into Modernism in Washington, D.C., with a focus on the 1933 Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists.
  • Marin R. Sullivan uncovers Richard Lippold’s efforts to synergize sculpture and architecture.
  • Ross Barrett explores Gilded Age smoking culture through the lens of William Michael Harnett’s still-life paintings.
  • Christof Decker examines Ben Shahn’s World War II poster art to reveal how the artist struggled to create a wartime visual rhetoric.

The Summer 2017 issue of American Art celebrated the journal’s thirtieth anniversary with thirty invited authors commenting on three themes: Archive, Landscape, and Shifting Terrain.

Access the Journal

Browse all issues of American Art, 1987 to present

Subscribe to American Art

A one-year subscription for individuals costs $50, and provides full online access to all back issues of American Art. Members of Friends of the Smithsonian, Smithsonian National Associates, American Studies Association, and the College Art Association receive subscriptions at the discounted price of $40. The rate for students is $35. Higher rates apply for institutions.

For information on subscribing, purchasing single issues, or submitting articles to the journal, which is published for the museum by the University of Chicago Press, please visit This link also acts as a portal to the electronic edition of the journal.

Write for American Art

American Art is published in March, July, and November. The journal considers submissions in a variety of formats, including feature-length essays, commentaries, new perspectives, and paired perspectives. For more information, see Journal Author Submission Guidelines.