Smithsonian American Art & Portrait Gallery Library Transformation: 2020-2021

WHAT: Smithsonian Libraries plans a much-needed renovation of the American Art & Portrait Gallery Library to improve scholarly research and collaboration for Smithsonian staff, researchers and the public. A redesigned, open reading room will offer additional space for staff and researchers to work, incorporating both quiet and collaborative areas. A redesigned circulation and reference desk will provide a welcoming entry point and enable library staff to monitor public use of books and materials.  A newly constructed conference and training room will provide a tech-friendly, comfortable space for public programs and trainings. See more about this exciting project here.

WHERE: The American Art & Portrait Gallery Library is located on the second floor of the Victor Building, adjacent to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

WHEN: The renovation will take place in summer 2021.

WHY: The American Art & Portrait Gallery Library celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020. It is the largest library in the world dedicated to American art and portraiture and is an active research site for Smithsonian staff, students and scholars. The library is one of the busiest branches of the Smithsonian Libraries, with tens of thousands of books checked out annually. Librarians answer thousands of inquiries each year via email, by phone and in person.

The library has not had a physical upgrade in decades, though its collections have grown significantly and the needs of researchers have expanded. A full renovation will enhance scholarly collaboration, cross-disciplinary learning and public understanding of American art and portraiture. This historic and frequently visited library deserves a state-of-the-art 21st century home.

SPONSORSHIP: We are seeking $100,000 at various sponsorship levels with attendant benefits and visibility.

For more information, contact:

Eliza White
Director of Advancement
Smithsonian Libraries