American Art Journal

The leading peer-reviewed journal of American art history and related visual culture

Since its founding in 1987, American Art has been an indispensable source for scholars, educators, curators, museum-goers, collectors, and professors and students at colleges and universities worldwide. The journal critically engages material and conceptual conditions of art and provides a forum for the expanding field of American art history. It considers the role played by art in the ongoing transnational and transcultural formation of America as a contested geography, identity, and idea. Full-color plates and concise prose offer broad appeal.

Learn more about American Art's new professional development program, Toward Equity in Publishing.

Current Issue - Fall 2021

The cover of American Art Journal shows an image of Adam holding an apple and an image of a lion standing on it's hind legs.

Metamorphosis (detail), ca. 1800. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, GEN MSS 566, box 1, folder 10–13. Watch the animation video in the online edition.

In the Fall 2021 issue of American Art 

  • A trio of perspectives by Mia L. Bagneris, Jennifer Van Horn, and Jennifer Germann spotlights the Black attendant figure in Edward Savage’s The Washington Family.
  • Short essays by Linda S. Ferber, Sophie Lynford, and Kenneth John Myers dig into the ethics, aims, and self-styling of the American Pre-Raphaelites.
  • Robb Hernández argues that Humberto Dionisio turned to an all-white palette to express the “brown feeling” of being a queer émigré in the United States.
  • Juliet Sperling shows that early-national ways of learning through touch extended far beyond the classroom.

American Art is committed to the principles of justice and equality expressed in the Statement from the Secretary of the Smithsonian from May 31, 2020.

Sascha Scott is the recipient of the 17th Annual Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award for her article "Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawai'i? Decolonizing the History of American Modernism." Read it in the Summer 2020 issue of American Art.

The Summer 2019 issue of American Art is our current open-access issue: read it for free!

Also available for free is the 2019 Terra-prize winning essay from Paisid Aramphongpham, "An Artist in the Secular World: Paul Thek's Relics."

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.

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Write for American Art

American Art invites submissions of original scholarly manuscripts. Acceptance is determined by editorial needs and double-blind peer-review. For more information, see Journal Author Submission Guidelines. Prospective authors are invited to contact executive editor Robin Veder for a consultation.