Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index

The Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index (AECI) contains 136,494 records describing art works exhibited in the United States and Canada up through 1876 (the Centennial year). The AECI includes artists of all nationalities who exhibited works from 1773 to 1877—including Old Masters.

The database indexes 1,057 exhibition catalogues, broadsides, newspaper articles, and gallery notices. A separate entry appears for each time an art work was exhibited. Transcribers made every attempt to remain faithful to the source materials, thus misspellings and inconsistencies reflect the original documents.

Users can search the database by artist, title, subject, medium, type of object (painting, drawing, photograph, graphics, sculpture, silhouette, etc.), provenance (owner at time of exhibition), catalogue titles, or exhibition venue. You can also search by keyword or browse records alphabetically.

If you have questions or need assistance with database searches, let us know. Contact us by email at or call (202) 633-8380.

Written queries can be addressed to:

Research and Scholars Center
Art Exhibition Catalogue Index
Smithsonian American Art Museum
MRC 970, PO Box 37012
Washington DC 20013-7012