Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. is a museum of art and decorative arts of the United States from the 17th century to the present.
Building and site
The museum is located in the Chinatown neighborhood in downtown Washington, not far from the National Mall and other major museums of the Smithsonian Institution.
The American Art Museum museum, once named “National Institute”, is housed in the neoclassical Old Patent Office building, a National Historic Landmark, together with the National Portrait Gallery.
Over time, the museum building underwent major renovations, including the construction of Renwick Gallery expansion in 1972, and the realization of the famous Robert and Arlene Kogod covered courtyard, designed by Foster + Partners architects, in 2007.
What to see at the museum
The large collections of fine arts of the Smithsonian American Art Museum include paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, installations, videos, and new media, ranging from early colonial times to contemporary American authors such as Nam June Paik, Barbara Bosworth, Robert Longo, Sean Scully and Jim Campbell, among others.
The collections also include sections for Folk Art, African American Art, and Latino Art.
The collections of American craft are on view in the Renwick Gallery and in the Luce Foundation Center.
Additional programs and services
The Museum of American Art organizes temporary exhibitions, guided tours, talks, conferences, and learning programs for children and adults.
The museum includes a café, located in the covered courtyard, as well as two gift and book stores.
Photos: Banner and 4 by Bathlander/Smithsonian, cover and 2 by Pedro Szekely, 1 by Britt Reints; 3 by Elvert Barnes
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