An Introduction to the Renwick Gallery branch of the Smithsonian Museum

Updated on December 11th, 2018 at 10:00 pm

The Smithsonian American Art Museum located near the offices of Bruckheim and Patel in Washington DC is vast and includes the Renwick Gallery. Known as the “American Louvre” when constructed in the mid-1800’s, the gallery emphasizes crafts and decor through much of American history. Today, visitors can enjoy the rotating exhibitions and much more when in Washington.

The gallery offers several tours throughout the week so that you can find the perfect time for your itinerary. However, you don’t have to wait for a tour to stop by the free gallery and peruse the exhibits for yourself. The Renwick Gallery is open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, except for certain holidays.

The Collection Highlights tours will take you through the current exhibits and sometimes have special themes to them. The Luce Foundation Center offers scavenger hunts, unlike anything you have seen before. With extensive artwork throughout, it is an ideal location for participants of all ages to enjoy the downloadable scavenger hunts.

The exhibits that are featured in the Renwick gallery celebrate arts and crafts in a unique way. The mediums in use can range from abalone to ziricote. Natural and artificial materials are brought together in creative designs by contemporary artists whose works are displayed at the museum. While many incorporate traditional mediums into their works, the mixed media approach affords them a rich artistic take on the world.

In addition to the displays by modern artists, the gallery also features craft and art from the past. With American pieces reaching back into the 19th century and moving forward to modern times, the gallery presents a fascinating view of American history.

To have a good time while at the gallery, it is essential that you follow their rules and guidelines. Always behave in a way that respects the art and the people around you. Review their guidelines to ensure you understand the policies regarding security and photography. While snapping shots of some exhibits is fine, others have tighter parameters that must be followed.

While you are there, don’t forget to check out the store located on the first floor of the gallery. If you want to take a piece of modern art home with you to commemorate your visit, you can find handcrafted pieces from artisans around the country. These high-quality works of art are perfect gifts as well.

In addition to the ceramic and jewelry items for sale at the store, you can find a range of books that will further educate you about the history of American arts and crafts, including the artists behind the works. The contemporary artists take inspiration from the exhibitions to help you envision the displays you were able to see while there.

If you’re interested in the history of art and how it has helped to shape our society, then you should visit the Renwick Gallery while you are in Washington DC. As part of the Smithsonian, admission is free. Follow their rules, and you are sure to have an incredibly good time while exploring these works of art.

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