Frequently Asked Questions
The museum's main building is open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except December 25 when the museum is closed. Its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery, currently is closed for renovation.
Admission is free.
The museum's main building is located in the heart of the Penn Quarter, one of Washington, D.C.'s vibrant downtown neighborhoods, and a few blocks from the National Mall. The main entrance is at 8th and F Streets, N.W. The Renwick Gallery, located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington, currently is closed for renovation.
The museum's main building is conveniently located above the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metrorail station (Red, Yellow and Green lines). The Renwick Gallery, currently closed for renovation, is near the Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West (Blue and Orange lines) Metrorail stations. Metro hours, fare information, and maps are available at www.wmata.com. The DC Circulator also serves the museum's neighborhoods. Hours, fare information and maps are available at www.dccirculator.com.
There are several paid parking lots and garages near the museum, and there is limited on-street parking at meters.
Barrier-free access for the museum’s main building is available at the 8th and G Street entrance. All areas of the building are served by elevators. Wheelchairs are available. Please ask the security officer stationed at the museum entrance about free wheelchair loans. The Renwick Gallery currently is closed for renovation.
Please help us protect our artworks by not smoking, eating, or drinking in the galleries. Suitcases, large umbrellas, and large bags and backpacks are not allowed in the galleries. Smaller backpacks and bags are permitted, at the discretion of the museum’s security officers, if they are hand-carried. These limitations help us protect the artworks from accidental damage. Bag check is not offered, but free lockers are available at the main building only for smaller items. Bags, boxes, and packages may be inspected for security reasons upon entrance or exit. Please limit the use of cellular phones when in the galleries. Additional information is online on our Gallery Guidelines page.
Yes, a self-check coat room located near the F Street Lobby at the museum’s main building, and free lockers are available for smaller items only (no suitcases).
Handheld photography and video for personal use are permitted in the permanent collection galleries, and in the Luce Foundation Center, but not in special exhibitions or in the Lunder Conservation Center. No tripods are allowed. Commercial use must be pre-arranged with the museum's Public Affairs Office.
The Courtyard Café is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Occasionally, the café will close early due to a special event.
You may bring your own food into the museum's Kogod Courtyard; food and beverages are not permitted in the galleries. If you choose to eat in the Courtyard, please note that the tables in the Courtyard Café are for café patrons only. You may sit on the planters, at the tables and chairs at the west end of the space, or on the floor. Alcoholic beverages may be consumed only if served by Restaurant Associates in the Courtyard Café. Please make sure that whatever food and/or beverages you bring in, including bottled water, are in sealed containers in a bag.
Visitors to the museum may not hold personal events in the Courtyard, such as birthday parties or group luncheons. Food platters, large coolers, and personal music are not permitted. Information about group sales in the Courtyard Café is available online.
A wide variety of collection-inspired gifts, graphics, books and more is available in the Museum Store.
To schedule a docent-led group tour, including school groups, contact the Tour Scheduler at AmericanArtMuseumTours[at]si.edu or (202) 633-8550. School groups also can download a School Program Reservation Form. Guided tours require one month advance notice. Self-guided visits do not need a reservation, but we do appreciate them for groups larger than 20.
Pick up a hunt at the Luce Center information desk (available 7 days a week) or print one of the hunts online. Follow the clues to find specific artworks among the more than 3,000 objects on display. Get all of the answers correct and win a prize! Please let the Luce Center staff know, AmericanArtLuce@si.edu, if you are visiting with a group larger than 10 people.
Check out the Highlights brochure published by the museum.
Free public wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) is available in the Museum's main building, located at 8th and F Streets, N.W., in the Kogod Courtyard and on the third floor in the Luce Foundation Center.
The four shallow pools, or water scrims, in the Kogod Courtyard may be turned off temporarily for maintenance, or to accommodate a special event or public program.
Learn more about visiting the American Art Museum, its Renwick Gallery, and other Smithsonian Institution museums on the main Smithsonian Web site.
Smithsonian Information: 202-633-1000
The Smithsonian American Art Museum shares its National Historic Landmark building with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Since October 2005, the two museums and their activities are known collectively as the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, named in honor of a generous gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The museums’ names remain the same, as does the building that houses the museums.
Contact information for various departments at the Museum is available online. To reach Lost and Found, call (202) 633-5630.
Guidelines for sending information to the Museum's Curatorial Office (by mail only please) is available at the bottom of the New Acquisitions page of the website.