Smithsonian American Art Museum

Saxophonist Dexter Gordon at Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen in 1964

Why the Nordic Countries Emerged as a Haven for 20th-Century African American Expatriates

An exhibition in Seattle spotlights the Black artists and performers who called Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden home between the 1930s and the 1980s

The London National Gallery will celebrate its 200th birthday on May 10, 2024.

At 200 Years Old, the London National Gallery Is Redefining What It Means to Be a 'National' Museum

Despite its decidedly traditional art collection, the British cultural institution is adopting a contemporary approach to public outreach and accessibility

Ringgold was best known for her colorful "story quilts," an art form anchored in narrative storytelling and influenced by Black American artistic traditions.

Pioneering Artist Faith Ringgold Stitched Together Stories of Black Life

The Harlem-born painter, who died this week at age 93, elevated the everyday lives of Black Americans and fought for representation in major museums

The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly, James Hampton's strange and transporting magnum opus. 
 


 

 

In His Garage, an Untrained Artist Created a Work of Sublime Divinity

How deep faith created one of the loveliest—and most curious—sacred objects in the Smithsonian collections

William H. Johnson, Harriet Tubman, ca. 1945, oil on paperboard.

How Painting Portraits of Freedom Fighters Became William H. Johnson’s Life’s Work

A new exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum brings together the Black Modernist painter’s most famous series for the first time in more than 75 years

Hazel Fellows sews pieces of an Apollo A7L spacesuit on the production line at International Latex Corporation (ILC) in 1968.

From the Inventor of Mass-Market Paper Bags to a Scientist Who Unraveled the Mysteries of Polio, Meet Five American Women Whose Remarkable Achievements Have Long Been Overlooked

The inaugural exhibition at the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum seeks to shine light on lesser-known historical figures

Cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. on March 22, 2023

This Is When Washington, D.C.'s Cherry Trees Are Predicted to Bloom This Year

"Peak bloom," which typically falls in late March or early April, refers to the day when at least 70 percent of the trees have blossomed

To construct her sculptures, artist Phaan Howng used 3-D prints of plants in the Smithsonian Gardens collection, then mounted them onto a steel armature and base. They were then modified and finished with resin, resin foam, foam air dry clay, EVA foam and acrylic paint.

Fantastical Art Joins Hundreds of Blooming Orchids to Shed Light on Conservation Efforts

Smithsonian Gardens’ 28th annual orchid exhibition is underway at the Kogod Courtyard

For the year 2024, here are 24 things to look forward to at the Smithsonian.

Twenty-Four Smithsonian Shows to See in 2024

Election-year items, truth serum, Nigerian art and a pioneering self-driving car are on display this year

This year's titles include Daughter of the Dragon, Whalefall and Witness.

Smithsonian Scholars Recommend Their Favorite Books of 2023

Curators and staffers satisfied their endless curiosity with novels, short stories, biographies, art collections and journalistic reporting

Nam June Paik’s 1995 Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii—a pulsing map of the 50 states lined with 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing, with each state defined by flickering video from 336 televisions and 50 DVD players—is one of the museum’s most popular pieces.

With Renovated Galleries, the Smithsonian Expands Its Approach to Contemporary American Art

The historic hall in the American Art Museum where President Abraham Lincoln held his second inaugural ball welcomes more diverse voices and visions

Alma Thomas, Autumn Leaves Fluttering in the Breeze, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of the artist, 1980.36.9

Alma Thomas' Signature Style Is Full of Color and Tiled Brushstrokes

After a career as a schoolteacher, the Washington, D.C.-based painter flourished, creating vibrant patterns inspired by nature, the cosmos and music

Installation photography of Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2023.

Video Artists Set the American Experience to Music

The Smithsonian American Art Museum brings its latest time-based media art to the widest possible audience, including the deaf and hearing impaired

Boston artist Peter Stephenson completed The Wounded Indian in 1850.

'Wounded Indian' Sculpture Will Return to Boston—Decades After It Was Supposedly Destroyed

The piece was rediscovered in 1999 at a Virginia museum, which has finally agreed to hand it over

Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow), Four Seasons series: Summer, 2006, archival pigment print, edition 27, 23 x 26 inches

These Artists Are Redefining the American West

A new Smithsonian American Art Museum show surveys the work of Black, Asian American, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and Latinx artists who have lived in the region

Pepón Osorio, El Chandelier, 1988

Pepón Osorio Pushes the Bounds of Public Art

The Puerto Rican artist emphasizes community in installations crafted from everyday objects

Tony Bennett painting in June 1971

Tony Bennett's Passion for Art Lives On in His Paintings

Smithsonian curators reflect on the beloved crooner's legacy as a musician and visual artist

The 10th installment of the Renwick Invitational, "Sharing Honors and Burdens," is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. (Above: Memorial Beats by Lily Hope, 2021, thigh-spun merino and cedar bark with copper, headphones, and audio files, 16 × 4 × 10 in.)

Six Native Artists Share Their Honors and Burdens in This Year's Renwick Invitational

The emerging and established Native American and Alaska Native creators bring innovation to traditional art practices

Rhoda Goodridge in a 2 ¾-by-3 ¼-inch ambrotype made by her husband, the pioneering photographer Glenalvin Goodridge.

A Massive Archive Tells the Story of Early African American Photographers

Arresting portraits, now a part of the Smithsonian collections, illuminate the little-known role these artists played in chronicling 19th-century life

A brown-green vessel bearing the inscription, "A noble Jar for pork or beef / then carry it a round to the indian chief" made by the enslaved craftsman David "Dave" Drake, is now on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

For the Enslaved Potter David Drake, His Literary Practice Was His Resistance

This 19th-century vessel, made to store meat, carries a powerful backstory of Drake's defiance of the laws of enslavement

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