The Smithsonian American Art Museum is a museum in Washington, D.C., part of the Smithsonian Institution. Together with its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery, SAAM holds one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of art, from the colonial period to the present, made in the United States. The museum has more than 7,000 artists represented in the collection. Most exhibitions take place in the museum's main building, the old Patent Office Building , while craft-focused exhibitions are shown in the Renwick Gallery. The museum provides electronic resources to schools and the public through its national education program. It maintains seven online research databases with more than 500,000 records, including the Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture that document more than 400,000 artworks in public and private collections worldwide. Since 1951, the museum has maintained a traveling exhibition program; as of 2013, more than 2.5 million visitors have seen the exhibitions.
The National Portrait Gallery is a historic art museum between 7th, 9th, F, and G Streets NW in Washington, D.C., in the United States. Founded in 1962 and opened to the public in 1968, it is part of the Smithsonian Institution. Its collections focus on images of famous Americans. The museum is housed in the historic Old Patent Office Building, as is the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum beside the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., the United States. The museum was initially endowed during the 1960s with the permanent art collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. It was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It was conceived as the United States' museum of contemporary and modern art and currently focuses its collection-building and exhibition-planning mainly on the post–World War II period, with particular emphasis on art made during the last 50 years.The Hirshhorn is sited halfway between the Washington Monument and the US Capitol, anchoring the southernmost end of the so-called L'Enfant axis . The National Archives/National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden across the Mall, and the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian American Art building several blocks to the north, also mark this pivotal axis, a key element of both the 1791 city plan by Pierre L'Enfant and the 1901 MacMillan Plan.The building itself is an attraction, an open cylinder elevated on four massive "legs," with a large fountain occupying the central courtyard. Before architect Gordon Bunshaft designed the building, the Smithsonian staff reportedly told him that, if it did not provide a striking contrast to everything else in the city, then it would be unfit for housing a modern art collection.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the United States. With 6,479,548 visitors to its three locations in 2019, it was the fourth most visited art museum in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building at 1000 Fifth Avenue, along the Museum Mile on the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan's Upper East Side, is by area one of the world's largest art galleries. A much smaller second location, The Cloisters at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, contains an extensive collection of art, architecture, and artifacts from medieval Europe. On March 18, 2016, the museum opened the Met Breuer museum along Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side; it extends the museum's modern and contemporary art program. The permanent collection consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings, and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes, and accessories, as well as antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st-century Rome through modern American design, are installed in its galleries. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 for the purposes of opening a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. The Fifth Avenue building opened on February 20, 1872, at 681 Fifth Avenue.
The National Gallery of Art, and its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, D.C., located on the National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, at Constitution Avenue NW. Open to the public and free of charge, the museum was privately established in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. Andrew W. Mellon donated a substantial art collection and funds for construction. The core collection includes major works of art donated by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, Rush Harrison Kress, Peter Arrell Browne Widener, Joseph E. Widener, and Chester Dale. The Gallery's collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder. The Gallery's campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, which is linked underground to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, and the 6.1-acre Sculpture Garden. The Gallery often presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art. It is one of the largest museums in North America. For the breadth, scope, and magnitude of its collections, the National Gallery is widely considered to be one of the greatest museums in the United States of America, often ranking alongside the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in Boston, Massachusetts. Of the top three art museums in the United States by annual visitors, it is the only one that has no admission fee. It ranks 2nd in American museums behind the Met for number of annual visitors and 10th in the world.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is the 17th largest art museum in the world, measured by public gallery area. It contains more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas. It is home to 8,161 paintings, surpassed among American museums only by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. With more than 1.2 million visitors a year, it is the 52nd most visited art museum in the world as of 2019. Founded in 1870 in Copley Square, the museum moved to its current Fenway location in 1909. The museum is affiliated with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.
The Detroit Institute of Arts , located in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. With over 100 galleries, it covers 658,000 square feet with a major renovation and expansion project completed in 2007 that added 58,000 square feet . The DIA collection is regarded as among the top six museums in the United States with an encyclopedic collection which spans the globe from ancient Egyptian and European works to contemporary art. Its art collection is valued in billions of dollars, up to $8.1 billion according to a 2014 appraisal. The DIA campus is located in Detroit's Cultural Center Historic District, about two miles north of the downtown area, across from the Detroit Public Library near Wayne State University. The museum building is highly regarded by architects. The original building, designed by Paul Philippe Cret, is flanked by north and south wings with the white marble as the main exterior material for the entire structure. The campus is part of the city's Cultural Center Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum's first painting was donated in 1883 and its collection consists of over 65,000 works. With about 677,500 visitors annually for 2015, the DIA is among the most visited art museums in the world. The Detroit Institute of Arts hosts major art exhibitions; it contains a 1,150-seat theatre designed by architect C. Howard Crane, a 380-seat hall for recitals and lectures, an art reference library, and a conservation services laboratory.
The Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago's Grant Park, founded in 1879, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Recognized for its curatorial efforts and popularity among visitors, the museum hosts approximately 1.5 million people annually. Its collection, stewarded by 11 curatorial departments, is encyclopedic, and includes iconic works such as Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, and Grant Wood's American Gothic. Its permanent collection of nearly 300,000 works of art is augmented by more than 30 special exhibitions mounted yearly that illuminate aspects of the collection and present cutting-edge curatorial and scientific research. As a research institution, the Art Institute also has a conservation and conservation science department, five conservation laboratories, and one of the largest art history and architecture libraries in the country—the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. The growth of the collection has warranted several additions to the museum's 1893 building, which was constructed for the World's Columbian Exposition. The most recent expansion, the Modern Wing designed by Renzo Piano, opened in 2009 and increased the museum's footprint to nearly one million square feet, making it the second-largest art museum in the United States, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Art Institute is associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a leading art school, making it one of the few remaining unified arts institutions in the United States.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art museum originally chartered in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The main museum building was completed in 1928 on Fairmount, a hill located at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval. The museum administers collections containing over 240,000 objects including major holdings of European, American and Asian origin. The various classes of artwork include sculpture, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, armor, and decorative arts.The Philadelphia Museum of Art administers several annexes including the Rodin Museum, also located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, which is located across the street just north of the main building. The Perelman Building, which opened in 2007, houses more than 150,000 prints, drawings and photographs, along with 30,000 costume and textile pieces, and over 1,000 modern and contemporary design objects including furniture, ceramics and glasswork. The museum also administers the historic colonial-era houses of Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove, both located in Fairmount Park. The main museum building and its annexes are owned by the City of Philadelphia and administered by a registered nonprofit corporation.Several special exhibitions are held in the museum every year, including touring exhibitions arranged with other museums in the United States and abroad. The attendance figure for the museum was 793,000 in 2017, which ranks it among the top one hundred most-visited art museums in the world. The museum is also one of the largest art museums in the world based on gallery space.