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The Renwick Gallery

Renwick Gallery

Renovation of the Renwick Gallery Building

Reopening to the Public
November 13, 2015

Opening exhibition: Wonder

A major, two-year renovation of the Renwick Gallery currently is underway and the building is closed to the public. Funding for the renovation is a 50-50 public-private partnership. Westlake Reed Leskosky is the lead architectural design and engineering firm; Consigli Construction Co., Inc. is the general construction contractor. The renovation includes completely renewed infrastructure, enhanced historic features, and other upgrades that will make the National Historic Landmark building a 21st-century destination. Construction began in early 2014 and is expected to take 18 months.

The building will be outfitted with an all-LED lighting system, a landmark advance in energy efficiency that will reduce energy needs by as much as 70 percent. Since 2012, museum staff has worked with the lighting industry to develop brighter and more precise LED lamps specifically for the Renwick. These new lamps will allow the museum to achieve the goal of an all LED system that equals or exceeds the aesthetic benchmark set by halogen and incandescent lighting currently used in the galleries.

An international design competition in 2013 invited selected interior designers, artists, and architects to envision the Grand Salon anew as a must-see attraction for contemporary audiences. The museum selected Applied Minds, an interdisciplinary company based in Los Angeles, as the winner for its technology solution that uses state-of-the-art high-definition projectors and audio speakers to create an immersive and interactive environment.

Handi-hour, DC’s premier crafty hour with craft making, craft beer, and live music, has temporarily moved to the museum’s main building in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. Sign up to receive email updates about the renovation, and upcoming programs.

About the Renwick Gallery

The Renwick Gallery opened in 1972 as the home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s craft and decorative art program. The collection, exhibition program and publications presented by the Renwick Gallery highlight the best craft objects and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present.

The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington. Its Second Empire-style building, a National Historic Landmark, was designed by architect James Renwick Jr. in 1859 and completed in 1874. For the past 40 years, the building has served as the nation’s premier site honoring the country’s best artists in their fields.