Collection Features

Dig deeper with staff-curated collection highlights that focus on a variety of themes and subjects.

  • The Artful Presidency, an online exhibition, is presented by the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art to celebrate the connections between American artists and the American presidency from George Washington to the Carter administration. It complements the exhibition "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden," at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, which opened November 15, 2000.

  • Henry Mosler (1841–1920) kept a diary in October 1862. In it, he recorded observations about his service as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly and an aide-de-camp to General R. W. Johnson of the Ninth Indiana Volunteer Regiment. This was Mosler’s first professional position as an artist. During this period, he wrote about his time with the troops: their movements, encampments, and encounters.

  • The Archives of American Art holds rich resources documenting important Chicago artists, art institutions, and organizations, and we have selected some rare and unique materials from those resources to highlight here.

  • The musical and visual arts have always gone hand in hand, particularly in the way that each medium inspires the other. Chopin wrote nocturnes; Whistler painted them. Kandinsky created symphonies with color, and Debussy used notes to create two sets of tone pictures for the piano, appropriately titled Images. Both music and the visual arts have a dual nature: there are technical and theoretical aspects to both, but at the same time, they can be evocative and emotional.

  • The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art commemorates the centennial of the International Exhibition of Modern Art, known as the 1913 Armory Show--the first major exhibition of European modern art in the U.S.

  • This Guide to Provenance Research is the result of a project funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to enhance access to the Archives’ World War II era provenance research collections.