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, we ask that all visitors, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, follow these safety measures to protect everyone’s health. Visitors who do not adhere to safety policies and guidelines may be asked to leave.
We encourage visitors to maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between households or groups.
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.
If Sick, Stay Home
Face coverings worn over the nose and mouth are required for visitors two and older who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings during their visit. Face shields or any kind of face covering or mask with an exhalation valve are not permitted.
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].
All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. At least one (1) adult chaperone is required to accompany up to five (5) children.
The Courtyard Café in SAAM's main building is temporarily closed. Tables and limited seating have been restored in the Kogod Courtyard and the Luce Foundation Center. Visitors are permitted to bring in food and beverages to be consumed in designated spaces in the Kogod Courtyard only; alcoholic beverages and food for groups is not permitted. Outside food is not permitted at the Renwick Gallery, except for bottled water that may be consumed in designated areas.
The museum stores are open for in-person shopping for visitors with timed-entry passes, and our stores are always open online!
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
July 16, 2021 — January 17, 2022Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and G Streets, NW)Welcome Home: A Portrait of East Baltimore, 1975-1980 captures a cross-section of East Baltimore residents and businesses in the 1970s, documenting the community’s history and diversity. These photographs by Elinor Cahn, Joan Clark Netherwood, and Linda Rich were taken as part of a program of photography surveys sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts to celebrate the bicentennial of founding of the United States.
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.