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.

Current Issue - Spring 2021

Cover of American Art Journal represents a Bowl created by artist Tonita Peña with black and white designs.

Cover: Tonita Peña (Quah Ah), Bowl, 1934. Clay and paint, 7 1/16 x 11 7/16 in. School for Advanced Research, Sante Fe, N.M., SAR.1993-1-1. Donated by Ida M. Shaw; Gift of the artist to the Shaw family. This image has been approved for publication by Joe Herrera Jr. on behalf of the Peña family; Governor Joseph L. Herrera, Cochiti Pueblo; the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research; and Clarence Cruz and Mary Evangeline Suina, cultural representatives for the Indigenous knowledge of Pueblo pottery. Photo: Addison Doty

In the Spring 2021 issue of American Art

  • Commentaries on design—from andirons to automobiles—by David Brody, Jennifer Van Horn, Kristina Wilson, Rhoda Eitel-Porter, and Jennifer Quick.
  • Paisid Aramphongphan, winner of the 2019 Terra Foundation International Essay Prize, explores Paul Thek’s religious modernism.
  • Elizabeth S. Hawley considers the gendered knowledge in Tonita Peña’s paintings on and about Pueblo pottery.
  • Jenny Anger reconfigures modernism’s troubled relationship to mental health by looking at the career of painter Sonja Sekula.

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.

The Summer 2017 issue of American Art is our current open-access issue: read it for free!

For insight on the evolution and future of the field of American art history, see short essays by Kirsten Pai Buick, Charles C. Eldredge, Amelia Goerlitz, and Dimitrios Latsis in the Fall 2020 issue of American Art.

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.