National Museum of American Art (NMAA) renamed Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), October 27, 2000

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On October 27, 2000 President Clinton signed a bill into law renaming the National Museum of American Art (NMAA). The museums new name is Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). According to Secretary Lawrence M. Small, "As we send more and more traveling exhibits across the country and create affiliations with museums in all fifty states, it's important for people to be able to recognize instantly that the Smithsonian has come to their town. Almost all Americans know the Smithsonian name and what it stands for. So, changing the name of this museum makes a lot of sense." The museum began circulating collections to 70 cities in a tour titled "Treasures to Go." The name change symbolizes the reputability of the Smithsonian and gives more clout to the collections and the museum.


  • Small, Lawrence M
  • Clinton, Bill 1946-
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • National Portrait Gallery (U.S.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


The Torch-No. 00-12, 2000 Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession: 05-298

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Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


October 27, 2000


Art museums


Washington (D.C.)

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