Visit the Museums
Know Before You Go: Guidelines for Visiting
We are delighted to welcome visitors back into our galleries! To keep us all safe, and to support efforts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we have limited capacity and safety measures in place. Please review the important information below as you plan your visit. Visitors who do not adhere to safety policies and guidelines may be asked to leave.
If Sick, Stay Home
Visitors ages two and older are required to wear a face covering during their visit regardless of vaccination status. Face shields or any kind of face covering or mask with an exhalation valve are not permitted. Face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth. Face coverings may be removed while drinking in designated spaces.
Please maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between households or groups at all times. There will be social-distancing signage and directions throughout the museum.
Please wash and sanitize hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout the museum.
We encourage you to limit the number of personal belongings and bags you bring to SAAM and the Renwick Gallery. Suitcases, large umbrellas, and backpacks are not allowed in the galleries. Security officers may ask you to hand-carry smaller backpacks, or wear them on your front, to protect the artworks. Please note that we do not offer coat check or bag storage at this time. Strollers are permitted in the galleries.
Free, Timed-Entry Passes
Visitors can reserve timed-entry passes online or by phone at 1-800-514-3849, ext. 1. Passes are available up to 30 days in advance.
Visitors will be able to secure up to six passes maximum for personal use only.
For the safety of our visitors and staff, groups larger than six are strictly prohibited.
All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. At least one adult chaperone is required to accompany up to five children.
The last timed-entry admittance is at 6 p.m. for SAAM's main building and at 4:30 p.m. for the Renwick Gallery to ensure visitors have ample time in the galleries.
Passes may not be sold or transferred. Passes are valid only for the issued date and time and void if altered.
Visitors can choose to print timed-entry passes at home or show their timed-entry passes on their phone or other mobile device. Printed and digital passes for SAAM will be scanned at the museum’s entrance at 8th and G Streets NW. Printed and digital passes will be scanned at the Renwick Gallery's entrance at 17th Street NW and at the accessible lower entrance on 17th Street NW.
Each pass allows for one (1) re-entry opportunity on the date specified on the pass.
Visiting Tips: What’s New
The entrance to SAAM's main building, at 8th and G Streets NW, is the only open entrance at this time; the museum’s F Street entrance is closed temporarily.
As a health and safety precaution, we are not offering printed floor plans at this time. To find your way around you may use the museum’s free Wi-Fi to access a digital Smithsonian American Art Museum Map [PDF] and a digital Renwick Gallery Map [PDF].
Bringing in outside food is not permitted at either location. Closed water bottles are allowed in designated areas. The Courtyard Café in SAAM's main building is temporarily closed.
The museum stores are closed currently. Please check back for store updates or shop online.
Tables and seating have been removed from the Kogod Courtyard and the Luce Foundation Center to promote safe social distancing.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum shares its collections, programs, and exhibitions in two locations in Washington, DC. SAAM’s main building is located at the heart of a vibrant downtown cultural district, while its branch museum for contemporary craft and decorative art, the Renwick Gallery, is located nine blocks west, near the White House.
Exhibitions at SAAM
May 14, 2021 — July 11, 2021Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and G Streets, NW)
This exhibition reveals how the influential naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) shaped American perceptions of nature and the way American cultural identity became grounded in our relationship with the environment.
May 14, 2021 — August 8, 2021Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and G Streets, NW)In the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements and channeled the period’s social activism into assertive aesthetic statements that announced a new political and cultural consciousness among people of Mexican descent in the United States. ¡Printing the Revolution! explores the rise of Chicano graphics within these early social movements and the ways in which Chicanx artists since then have advanced innovative printmaking practices attuned to social justice.
May 14, 2021 — August 8, 2021Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and G Streets, NW)This focused installation features recently acquired photographs by Dawoud Bey in conversation with a painting by William H. Johnson that refer to the Underground Railroad.
Exhibitions at Renwick
May 14, 2021 — August 15, 2021Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)
Forces of Nature: Renwick Invitational 2020 features artists Lauren Fensterstock, Timothy Horn, Debora Moore, and Rowland Ricketts. Representing craft media from fiber to mosaic to glass and metals, these artists approach the long history of art’s engagement with the natural world through unconventional and highly personal perspectives.
OngoingRenwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)Janet Echelman's colorful fiber and lighting installation, suspended from the ceiling of the Renwick Gallery's Grand Salon, examines the complex interconnections between human beings and our physical world, and reveals the artist's fascination with the measurement of time.
OngoingRenwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)
Connections is the Renwick Gallery’s dynamic ongoing permanent collection presentation, featuring more than 80 objects celebrating craft as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world. The installation includes iconic favorites alongside new acquisitions.