March 28, 1958

Congress authorizes the use of the old Patent Office Building to house the National Collection of Fine Arts. After extensive renovations, the Museum opens in 1968.

The National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is located on this side of the Old Patent Office Building at 8th and G Streets, N.W. The National Portrait Gallery is located on the opposite side (not shown in photograph). The Old Patent Office building is a Greek Revival structure, built (1836-66) by Robert Mills. In 1980, the National Collection of Fine Arts was renamed the National Museum of American Art , and then in 2000 it became known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Patent Office Building later underwent extensive renovations, including the creation of an interior vaulted courtyard, and reopened in 2007 as the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives

Posted: 28 March 2012
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