As the country’s first museum dedicated to American art, the Smithsonian Art Museum is one of the leading collections of work from the Colonial period until today. The main collection is housed in the historic former Old Patent Building, and features work from 7,000 different artists like famed portraitist John Singer Sargent, painter Mary Cassatt and multi-media innovator Nam June Paik, as well as pieces by lesser known artists. The museum’s vast collection of classic pieces as well as unusual museum fare (like video games) are a reflection of modern day America. SAAM’s separate Renwick Gallery, which was built in 1859 and was known as “The American Louvre,” now showcases craft objects and decorative arts created in the past two centuries.
Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery
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