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Collections on View

  • A beautiful bloom proclaims the perfection of nature. This exhibition explores how artists have drawn inspiration from flowers. The sketches and drawings on view are works in progress—seeds for future works of art—reflecting an artist’s unique process. Many artists observed and recorded the smallest of details, diagramming a flower’s anatomy and life cycle. Some attempted to replicate the exuberance of a blossom, focusing on glorious colors and sensual surfaces. Others abstracted petals, stems, and pistils into fantastical designs.

    Bloom: Flowers in the Archives of American Art is now on view at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery in Washington, D.C.


Jan. 15, 2019

The Dedalus Foundation Graduate Research Essay Prize at the Archives of American Art recognizes original research by a graduate student that engages in a substantial, meaningful way with the holdings of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and focuses on studies related to painting, sculpture, and the allied arts from 1940 to the present day.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the Essay Prize page.

Oct. 24, 2018

The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, today announced it has received a $5 million gift from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to create an endowment to process and digitize material on art and artists from historically underrepresented groups in the Archives’ collections and the American canon, making them broadly available online. African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and women are typically underrepresented in U.S. museum collections.

On the Blog

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.