Smithsonian American Art Museum

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Modern and Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.jpg
Lincoln Gallery
Smithsonian American Art Museum is located in Central Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Location in Washington, D.C.
Established 1829 [1]
Location 8th & F Streets NW, Washington, D.C. [2]
Coordinates 38°53′49″N 77°01′22″W / 38°53′49″N 77°01′22″W / 38.897; -77.022689
Type Art museum, Design/ Textile Museum, Heritage Museum [3]
Visitors 1.2 million (2013) [4]
Director Stephanie Stebich [5]

Virginia M. Mecklenburg [6]
Abraham Thomas
Nora Atkinson
Melissa Ho
Eleanor Jones Harvey
John P. Jacob
Karen Lemmey
Joanna Marsh
Sarah Newman
E. Carmen Ramos
William Truettner

Leslie Umberger
Public transit access WMATA Metro Logo.svg                Gallery Place-Chinatown

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (commonly known as SAAM, and formerly the National Museum of American Art) is a museum in Washington, D.C. Together with its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery, it holds one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of art, from the colonial period to the present, made in the United States. The museum has more than 7,000 artists represented in the collection, which contains the largest collection of New Deal art; a collection of contemporary craft, American impressionist paintings, and masterpieces from the Gilded Age; photography, modern folk art, works by African American and Latino artists, images of western expansion, and realist art from the first half of the twentieth century. Most exhibitions take place in the museum's main building, the old Patent Office Building (shared with the National Portrait Gallery), while craft-focused exhibitions are shown in the Renwick Gallery.

The museum provides electronic resources to schools and the public through its national education program, including Artful Connections, real-time video conference tours. It maintains seven online research databases with more than 500,000 records, including the Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture that document more than 400,000 artworks in public and private collections worldwide. Since 1951, the museum has maintained a traveling exhibition program; as of 2013, more than 2.5 million visitors have seen the exhibitions.

Architectural significance

American Art's main building, the Old Patent Office Building, is a National Historic Landmark and is considered an example of Greek Revival architecture [7] in the United States. [8] It was designed by architects Robert Mills, [9] and Thomas U. Walter. During the 1990s, the Smithsonian Institution worked on restoring the building. [10] The 2000-2006 renovation included restoring the porticos modeled after the Parthenon in Athens, a curving double staircase, colonnades, vaulted galleries, large windows, and skylights as long as a city block. [10] [11] According to the Smithsonian Institution, "Extraordinary effort was made to use new preservation technologies to restore the historic fabric of the building and re-use historic materials." [10] During the renovation, the Lunder Conservation Center, the Luce Foundation Center for American Art, Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard were added to the building. [10]

The Smithsonian American Art Museum's main building is shared with the National Portrait Gallery, as seen from G Street NW
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