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 - Fall 2019

The cover of the American Art Fall 2019 Journal with a painting of a man holding his head sitting at a table..

William Christopher, Basin, 1963. Tempera or casein on panel. Collection of Laura Hyde Crapo. 

In the Fall 2019 issue of American Art:

  • A set of commentaries by John Ott, Diana Seave Greenwald, Anne Verplanck, Chris Dingwall, Maggie Cao, Sophie Cras, Alex J. Taylor, and Alan Wallach explores the relationship between economics, money, and the art market.
  • David McCarthy sheds light on J. C. Westermann's sometimes facetious sculptural responses to the prevailing modernist practices of the 1960s.
  • Diana L. Linden uncovers William Christopher's series of paintings dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Eliza Butler describes how John Henry Twachtman invoked the materiality of snow in his winter landscapes.
  • Michael D'Alessandro delves into the relationship between theatrical playbills and antebellum riot spectatorship

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. The Summer 2019 issue offered a set of commentaries on the 1933 Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists, held at the Smithsonian in 1933. Contributing authors are Charles Brock, Tobias Wofford, Michèle Gates Moresi, Seth Feman, and John A. Tyson.

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 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.