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Renwick Gallery - Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC


Renwick Gallery - Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC
© Smithsonian Institution
The Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, highlights American crafts and contemporary arts from the 19th to 21st centuries. The Renwick Gallery features unique works of art including clay, fiber, glass, metal, and wood. Several hundred paintings—hung salon style: one-atop-another and side-by-side—are displayed in the impressive Grand Salon, a 4,300-square-foot gallery with a 40-foot ceiling and state-of-the art lighting.

Renovation Plans for the Renwick Gallery

The Renwick Gallery will be closed to the public beginning December 9, 2013 for renovations with plans to reopen in early 2016. The design will include a replacement of all heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and fire-suppression systems as well as upgrades to security, phone and data communication systems. Wireless access will be installed throughout the building. The original window configuration will be re-created, two vaulted ceilings in the second floor galleries will be restored and the basement will be reconfigured for improved staff offices and workshops. A key goal is to make the Renwick the first all-LED illuminated museum in the United States, which will dramatically enhance energy efficiency. Funding for the renovation is a 50-50 public-private partnership.

About the Renwick Gallery’s Historic Building

The Renwick Gallery is one of the most elegant examples of Second Empire architecture in the U.S. The building was designed in 1859 by James Renwick Jr., the architect who also designed the Smithsonian’s Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The Renwick Gallery is the third-oldest Smithsonian building. Renwick was inspired by the Louvre’s Tuileries addition in Paris and modeled the gallery in the French Second Empire style that was popular at the time.

The Renwick Gallery is located just steps from the White House in the heart of Washington, DC. The Second Empire-style building, a National Historic Landmark, was initially built to house the private art collection of Washington banker and philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran. By 1897, Corcoran's collection had outgrown the building and the gallery was moved to its current location across the street. The U.S. Court of Claims took over the Renwick Building in 1899. In 1972, the Smithsonian restored the building and established it as a gallery of American art, crafts, and design.

Pennsylvania Ave. and 17th St. NW
Washington, DC.
The closest Metro stations are Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West

Hours: Regular hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Official Website: www.americanart.si.edu

Attractions Near the Renwick Gallery

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