Smithsonian American Art Museum
Housed alongside the National Portrait Gallery in the Old Patent Office Building, an impressive Greek Revival structure built in 1868, the Smithsonian American Art Museum was the first federal art collection established in the United States. Founded by John Varden in 1829, the collection now includes the work of more than 7,000 artists, including Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Roy Lichtenstein. The museum represents the American experience over three generations, with works ranging from colonial portraits to Jackson Pollock’s splatter paintings. In the Lunder Conservation Center, visitors can watch conservators at work restoring and preserving art pieces.