The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington. It became the home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's craft and decorative arts program in 1972.
The Renwick's Second Empire-style building, a National Historic Landmark, was designed by architect James Renwick Jr. in 1859 and completed in 1874.
The Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, features one of the finest collections of American craft in the United States. Its collections, exhibition program and publications highlight the best craft objects and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present. One-of-a-kind pieces created from clay, fiber, glass, metal, and wood from American Art's permanent collection of contemporary craft are displayed on a rotating basis in the second-floor galleries. Popular works include Larry Fuente's Game Fish and Wendell Castle's Ghost Clock.
Temporary exhibitions of American craft and decorative arts are shown on the Renwick Gallery's first floor. These special exhibitions highlighting contemporary artists as well as traditions in American craft open in the spring and fall. Special installations of paintings from American Art's permanent collection are densely hung salon style—one-above-another and side-by-side—in the Grand Salon.