Introducing the National Museum of American Art

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Thoroughly describes the history of the Smithsonian Institution and its collection of art. Discusses the gifts of Harriet Lane Johnston, William T. Evans, and John Gellatly to the Smithsonian's collection, explains the architectural competition for a building to house the collection and its eventual settlement in the historic Old Patent Office Building, and notes important directors in the history of the National Collection.


  • Holmes, William Henry 1846-1933
  • Johnston, Harriet Lane 1830-1903
  • Varden, John c. 1790-1865
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.)
  • National Collection of Fine Arts
  • National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian
  • National Portrait Gallery (U.S.)
  • Renwick Gallery
  • Smithsonian Gallery of Art
  • Patent Office Building (POB)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

Treasures from the National Museum of American Art (Book)

Contact information

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




  • Art
  • Benefactors
  • Art, American
  • Architecture
  • History
  • National Collections
  • Art--History
  • Art objects
  • Buildings

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