Greetings from the SmithsonianA Postcard History

See how Washington, DC and Smithsonian visitors have shared their trips with others by taking a historic look at the Smithsonian through the picture postcard.

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American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) are two different museums that had their origins in the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art. They have been housed in the old Patent Office Building since 1968. The American Art Museum was established in 1907 under the name “National Gallery of Art.” The National Portrait Gallery was officially established in 1962, although the collections began in 1921. The postcards in this gallery show the Patent Office Building, as well as several items from the museums’ collections.