Thursday, August 28, 2008


This hallway led into offices of the U.S. Patent Office.
Today, those office spaces are galleries filled with the works of American artists.

Yesterday's entry featured the Renwick Gallery of Art, a part of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum. Today's entry features pictures from the SAAM itself. Last week, I posted a picture of the SAAM's exterior. It occupies what was once the U.S. Patent Office Building and is on the same block, connected by a shared atrium, as the National Portrait Gallery.

Just a taste of some of the pieces on display in the museum.
Click on the other links throughout this entry to see the range of art the SAAM offers in its collection.

The focus of SAAM is to house art and crafts by American artists. The collection includes everything from landscape paintings sculpture to woven baskets and glasswork, light displays and furniture to artists' prototypes and renderings for larger pieces, from classical to contemporary. The range and variety is as vast and diverse as our own country!

Tiffany skylight in the main hall of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Again, if you're in Washington and you want to see great American art, visit the American Art Museum. And while you're there, cross through the atrium and visit the National Portrait Gallery. Both are treasures beyond compare!

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential


Wayne said...

The top photo is absolutely, positively amazing to me for two reasons.
Firstly, no contemporary gov't office today would be anything but broadloom carpet or carpet tiles, cubicles and conference rooms. If there was any architectural significance it would likely be confined to the exterior or the lobby. This hallway is a work of art.
Secondly. someone who ought to have a statue erected in their honour, had the sensitivity to make sure the building wasn't demolished.

marley said...

What cool photos. I love the angles in the photos with the art pieces. That corridor must be a bugger to polish!

Maya said...

Ooh, these are all beautiful shots. Can you imagine walking down that hallway with your new idea for a patent in your hand? Awesome!

Everytime you mention SAAM, I think of our SAM (Seattle Art Museum).

Mo said...

Great photos. How did you manage to get them without people in them? I'd love to visit SAAM.

Dusty Lens said...

Now that is a beautiful coridoor! Glad they preserved the building. Is it allowable to photograph works of art in here?

mirage2g said...

Those are interesting details...I admire cities that keep tradition within the walls of their offices....buildings...

D.C. Confidential said...

Wayne: You make excellent points! There's so little that is inspiring about office space today and spaces like what is preserved in the Old Patent Office Building could be inspiring places to work. I agree: someone should erect a statue to whomever it was who had the foresight to preserve this building.

According to Wikipedia, the building was slated for demolition in 1953, but in 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower instead signed it over to the Smithsonian. I guess he's the one who deserves a statue?

Marley: I wouldn't want to polish that floor either! LOL!

Maya: Thanks! And yes, I think it would be really cool to walk down those halls with my new idea in hand. Today, most patent applications are submitted online. Boring.

Mo: It was pretty quiet the day we were there. I just lucked out, I guess.

Rob: It is allowable. I'm probably going back in a couple of weeks and will visit the galleries more closely. That particular day, I was with my brother on his lunch break and we were sort of breezing through.

Mirage: Washington is getting better about preserving historic spaces, which is one of the few things I like about this city!