Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum began as an art gallery in the Smithsonian Institution Building, the Castle. A National Gallery of Art was formally created in 1906 in the US National Museum. In 1968, the collection moved to the American Art and Portrait Galleries, and its Renwick Gallery opened in 1972.

Patent Office Building Exterior, Home of Smithsonian American Art Museum, by Unknown, Unknown, perhaps c. 1970s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 94-4416. Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1994
The National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA), now known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is located on this side of the Old Patent Office Building at 8th and G Streets, N.W. The National Portrait Gallery is located on the opposite side (not shown in photograph). The Old Patent Office building is a Greek Revival structure, built (1836-66) by Robert Mills and became home to the National Collection of Fine Arts (NCFA) in 1968. In 1980, NCFA was renamed the National Museum of American Art (NMAA), and then in 2000 it became known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM).
Exhibit in West Wing of Smithsonian Institution Building, c. 1880, by Unknown, 1880, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 71-988. Art Gallery in Castle, 1880
Set of two photographs showing two views of "America" on exhibition in the West Wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building. The full size terra-cotta reproduction of one of the marble corner pieces from the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London was on loan from Henry Doulton and Co. of England. The sculpture went on display with other objects from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition.
Picture Gallery, U.S. National Museum, by Unknown, 1906, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 20026 or MAH-20026. Picture Gallery in National Gallery of Art, 1906
"A corner of the Picture Gallery in the Old United States National Museum Building [now the Arts and Industries Building], November, 1906, before it had been entirely remodeled, showing a part of the Harriet Lane Johnston Collection, William Henry Holmes, September 28, 1920." Image shows paintings on the wall and sculpture on pedestals. At this time, the Smithsonian's art collection was designated the National Gallery of Art, now the National Museum of American Art.
Reception for Exhibit of 29 Paintings by deQuiros, by Unknown, 1933, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 94-9280. Gaucho Life Exhibit Opening in National Gallery of Art, 1933
Visitors attend an opening reception at the National Gallery of Art, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in the United States National Museum building, now the National Museum of Natural History for an exhibit of 29 paintings of Gaucho Life in Argentina by Cesareo Bernaldo de Quiros.
Entrance to " George Catlin's Indian Gallery" in the National Collection of Fine Arts, by Unknown, 1965, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2011-2402 or 50063. Catlin Indian Gallery in National Collection of Fine Arts, 1965
In the Natural History Building, entrance is to "George Catlin's Indian Gallery" in the Art Hall, National Collection of Fine Arts, now known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The gallery displayed four hundred George Catlin Indian paintings. The original paintings were acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1879 and first exhibited in 1883 in the Smithsonian Institution Building, the "Castle." In the 1900s the majority were placed in the Anthropological Collection from which the paintings for this exhibit were loaned. The paintings were cleaned and renovated to be displayed in this new exhibit, "George Catlin's Indian Gallery," which was shown from July 19 to September 19, 1965, and were mounted "in a setting and manner approximating Catlin's own gallery of the mid-19th century."
Exhibit Space for "Drawings by Jasper Johns", by Unknown, 1966, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2011-2208 and 95-20292. Jasper Johns Exhibit in National Collection of Fine Arts, 1966
In 1966 in the Natural History Building, the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, presented an exhibition of drawings by Jasper Johns.
Lincoln Gallery of the NCFA, by Curry, Martin, 1968, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 92-1776. Lincoln Gallery at Fine Arts and Portrait Galleries, 1968
In the old Patent Office Building, home to the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, exhibits of modern art are displayed in the Lincoln Gallery.
Courtyard Entrance of the NCFA, by Curry, Martin, 1968, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 92-1777. Courtyard of Fine Arts and Portrait Galleries,1968
With the courtyard entrance doors on the left and looking toward the Grantie Gallery, the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, occupies the old Patent Office Building.
Exhibition of "Indian and Rhinoceros", by Unknown, 1972, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 94-9278. Indian and Rhinoceros Exhibit at National Collection of Fine Arts, 1972,
Fritz Scholder (right), leader of the New Indian Painter Group, standing in front of "Indian and Rhinoceros" during a reception at an exhibit of work by Scholder and fellow Indian painter T.C. Cannon at the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the National Museum of American Art. Subsequent to its showing at National Collection of Fine Arts, April 7-May 31, 1972, the exhibit toured Europe in cooperation with the U.S. Information Agency.
President Reagan and William Truettner, by Nielsen, Kim, 1981, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 81-8750-17 or 81-8750.1. President Reagan at National Museum of American Art, 1981
William Truettner, Curator of 18th and 19th Century Painting and Sculpture at the National Museum of American Art (NMAA), now known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), and President Ronald Reagan viewing the exhibition, "George Catlin: The Artist and the American Indian."
Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, by Hansen, Carl C, December 7, 2005, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2005-35147. Renovation of Building, 2005
Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, renovation of courtyard.
Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, by Rahaim, Ken, August 2, 2006, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2006-20992. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, 2006
Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture
Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, by Rahaim, Ken, August 2, 2006, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2006-20995. Reinstalled gallery, 2006
Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture interior hallway.
Exterior of Renwick Gallery (19th c.), by Jarvis, J. F, c. 1880's, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2011-1138 or SIA2008-2350 or 95-1169. Corcoran Gallery in 19th Century, 1880s
Stereo view of the exterior of the original Corcoran Gallery of Art, today it is the Renwick Gallery, with statues by Moses Ezekiel visible in niches along the south facade. Awnings cover the first story windows.
Hall of Bronzes, Interior of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 19th Century, by Unknown, c. 1875, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2011-1139 or 2004-10367 or 77124. Corcoran Gallery Interior, c. 1875
Hall of Bronzes (looking north), Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. A stereoview showing the original interior of the building designed by James Renwick, Jr. to house the first Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Opening of Renwick Gallery, by Unknown, 1972, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 72-1961-6 and 72-1961.6. Opening of Renwick Gallery, 1972
Renwick Administrator Lloyd E. Herman (1972-1986), wearing a cummerbund made of leftover drapery material from the Grand Salon, examining woodworks of craftsman Wendell Castle at the opening of the Renwick Gallery, January 27, 1972.
Grand Salon, Renwick Gallery, by Unknown, 1972, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 72-4230. Grand Salon of Renwick,1972
View is the Grand Salon in the Renwick Gallery, under the auspices of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The salon was restored to evoke the time when the Corcoran Gallery of Art and its school occupied this building located at 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Many paintings have been hung on the walls.
Stairway of the Renwick Gallery, by Unknown, c. 1971, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 72-3478. Hall and Staircase, Renwick, c. 1971
The interior of the Renwick Gallery, part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, shows the hallway and staircase and looks towards the doorway of the Grand Salon. The building, originally the home of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, was designed by architect James Renwick, Jr., and is located on Pennsylvania Avenue across the street from the White House.
Placing statue of Murillo at RGA, by Neufeld, Harry B, 1974, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 74-945-44 or 74-945.44. Murillo Statue, Renwick Exterior, 1974
Placement of statue of Esteban Murillo on exterior second-floor niches of Renwick Gallery; Professor Renato Lucchetti did the casting, 4 February 1974.
Santana Martinez Polishing a Pot, by Curry, Martin, 1978, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 94-8324. Martinez Polishing Pot, 1978
Santana Martinez, whose work was on exhibit at the Renwick Gallery in "Maria Martinez: Five Generations of Potters" (March 31- August 13,1978), polishing a pot.