What are you looking for in the Archives?

Collections on View

  • Join us on a road trip through the Archives of American Art. The photographs, sketches, diaries, correspondence, and video recordings on view reveal how artists have shaped and are shaped by their surroundings, from the 1830s to the 2000s. These materials lead us off the beaten track, offering unexpected insight into local and regional histories as well as personal stories of exploration, immigration, and migration. Together, documents from all 50 states and the District of Columbia represent the diversity and depth of art in the United States.
    Off the Beaten Track: A Road Trip through the Archives of American Art is now on view at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery in Washington, D.C.


Nov. 16, 2017

The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art is planning an issue of the Archives of American Art Journal devoted to art and the environment. This special issue invites scholars and artists to explore environmental and ecological questions through the rich primary sources at the Archives of American Art. 

The call for proposals is now closed. 

Oct. 17, 2017

The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (the Archives) announced today that it has received a generous bequest of $2.5 million from Gerald E. Buck (1940‒2013) through The Buck Family Trust, based in Orange County, CA to endow the Archives’ collecting program on the West Coast.

Terra Foundation Center for Digital Collections

A virtual repository of a substantial cross-section of the Archives' most significant collections.

Visit the Terra Foundation Center for Digital Collections

Visit a Research Center

Original material can be consulted by appointment in our Washington, D.C. Headquarters.

Select holdings are available on microfilm at the Archives' offices in Washington, D.C. and at our New York Office.

Copies of unrestricted microfilm materials can be obtained through one of our affiliated research centers.

Get Involved

Internship, fellowship, and volunteer opportunities provide students and lifelong learners with the ability to contribute to the study and preservation of visual arts records in America.