Collection Features

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

  • The Artful Presidency: Selections from the Archives of American Art

    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 compleme
  • Robert Alexander: Temple of Man

    The Temple of Man is not an edifice but a community of Beat poets, artists, and musicians founded in San Francisco in 1960 by assemblage artist Robert “Baza” Alexander (1923–1987).
  • Henry Mosler's Civil War Diary

    This digital exhibition presents and interprets Mosler's Civil War diary. Visitors can read his writing, examine published illustrations, mark events of his life on the timeline, and explore selected diary entries in greater depth in highlights.
  • Chicago Art and Artists in the Archives of American Art

    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.
  • A Guide to Provenance Research at the Archives of American Art

    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.The study of provenance—the history of ownership of a work of ar
  • 1913 Armory Show: The Story in Primary Sources

    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.
  • Jervis McEntee Diaries

    Jervis McEntee's five volumes of diaries span the years 1872 to 1890 and are rich in details of the art world in America at the time. McEntee, a Hudson River School painter, was a member of the National Academy of Design's old guard and fiercely opposed the influences of modern and avant-garde painting in Europe. Primarily a landscape painter, McEntee studied with Frederic Edwin Church and was among the leading artists in New York in the late 19th century.

Photograph of an artist's easel side table with paints and other materials
Donating Papers

The Archives of American Art collects primary source materials—original letters, writings, preliminary sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, financial records and the like—that have significant research value for the study of art in America.


Find out how to give your papers, records, recordings, or other primary source material to the Archives of American Art.