The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) is located here at the nation’s capital in the National Mall, near our Washington DC bed and breakfast. The American Art Museum is one of the first collections of American art, as it was established in 1829. Abraham Lincoln, in fact, held his inaugural ball at the museum in what is now known as the Lincoln Gallery. This Museum is also home to one of the most expansive and inclusive collections in the world with artwork that spans over three centuries. The more than 7,000 artists on display showcase artwork from the colonial period to the present.
For art and history lovers, the SAAM is a must-see museum here in DC as it showcases some exquisite artwork that reflects cultures spanning over centuries. The art collections comprise of a wide variety of art styles such as, Contemporary Art, African American Art, Folk and Self-Taught Art, Latino Art, Photography, Sculpture, and much more. Additionally, the museum has the largest collection of New Deal art as well as American impressionist paintings and masterpieces from the Gilded Age.
The Renwick Gallery exhibits an exceptional collection of contemporary craft and decorative art from the 19th to the 21st century. This branch was added to the Smithsonian in 1972 and is housed in a National Historic Landmark building on 17th Street. Some of the notable artists on display at the SAAM include, Nam Juin Paik, Jenny Holzer, Gregory Gillespie, John William Dey, Edward Hopper, and Steven Young Lee.
SAAM is located between 8th and F Streets in the National Mall, and the Renwick Gallery is at Pennsylvania and 17th Street. SAAM is open everyday from 11:30am to 7pm and the Renwick Gallery is open everyday from 10am to 5:30pm. Admission is free for both.
For a glimpse into the Smithsonian American Art Museum, check out the video below.
Shannon Stiles, Innkeeper at American Guest House