Smithsonian American Art Museum

About the Museum


Contemporary Gallery

Interior, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Contemporary Gallery
This image and/or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws., Ken Rahaim

Contemporary Gallery

Reynolds Center Lincoln Gallery, Contemporary Art
Exterior View, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Photo: Tim Hursley

Exterior View, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Modern Gallery

Modern Gallery

Kogod Courtyard

Kogod Courtyard

One of the most sizeable collections of American art in the world, the Smithsonian American Art Museum tells the story of the country’s artistic heritage from the colonial period to the present day. Diversity is a key feature, as the collection tracks major fine art movements alongside wider shifts in visual culture, reaching from Gilded age treasures to video games; photography and folk art to Latino art and contemporary craft. Recently the museum has been dedicated to expanding its contemporary collection and commissioning new work, and now holds pieces by artists including Jenny Holzer, Sean Scully, Kerry James Marshall and Nam June Paik.

Collection Highlights


Nam June Paik

Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii

Franz Kline

Merce C

Alexander Calder

Model for Nenuphar

John Biggers

Shotgun, Third Ward #1

Albert Bierstadt

Among the Sierra Nevada, California
Smithsonian American Art Museum: Collection Highlights

Nam June Paik

Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, 1995
Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of the artist. © Nam June Paik Estate

Franz Kline

Merce C, 1961
Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Alexander Calder

Model for Nenuphar, 1968
Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of Alexander Calder

John Biggers

Shotgun, Third Ward #1, 1966
Smithsonian American Art Museum, museum purchase made possible by Anacostia Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Albert Bierstadt

Among the Sierra Nevada, California, 1868
Smithsonian American Art Museum, bequest of Helen Huntington Hull, granddaughter of William Brown Dinsmore, who acquired the painting in 1873 for “The Locusts,” the family estate in Dutchess County, New York
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