The Art Institute of Chicago
The Department of American Art features an outstanding collection—with over 1,000 paintings and sculptures from the 18th century to 1950 and nearly 2,500 decorative art objects from the 17th century to present.
Butler Institute of American Art
The country's first museum devoted entirely to American art. The museum's collection totals over 20,000 pieces in all media, and spans four centuries of work.
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art has acquired nearly 300 American paintings and approximately 90 sculptures, constituting an excellent survey from around 1750 to 1960.
The collection of the Clark Art Institute features European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. the collection contains work of American artists Winslow Homer, George Inness, and John Singer Sargent.
Detroit Institute of Arts
This collection includes roughly 5,000 paintings, sculptures and decorative art objects made by North, Central, and South American artists between 1660 and 1950.
DeYoung Museum, San Francisco
The de Young’s American art collection, spanning from the 17th century to the present day, is the most comprehensive survey collection of American art in the American West.
Lowe Art Museum University of Miami
Art of North America Collections contain landscape, narrative, and portrait paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and photographs from the United States and Canada dating from the 18th century to the present.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
The Met collections online search engine returns over 117,391 results for "american". Search can be further limited by artist, material, period and curatorial department.
Milwakee Art Museum / American Art to 1900
This collection has excellent examples of American painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and especially decorative arts (furniture, utilitarian objects, and furniture).
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA Boston)
Collection encompasses paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts created throughout North, Central, and South America over 3,000 years.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFA Houston)
The Museum’s collection of American art presents an overview of the story of art in the United States from the 18th century to 1940. The evolving American galleries showcase celebrated works from many periods.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
The American collection includes painting, sculpture and works on paper made in the United States from the 18th century through World War II.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
Collection ranges from 18th- and 19th-century masters Benjamin West, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and Mary Cassatt, to modern and contemporary artists including Charles Demuth, Jacob Lawrence, Alice Neel, Mickalene Thomas, Andy Warhol, and Kehinde Wiley.
Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)
An unparalleled record of the American experience capturing the aspirations, character, and imagination of the American people throughout three centuries. The museum is the home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world.
St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM)
The Saint Louis Art Museum holds a world-renowned collection of approximately 34,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of history and cultures.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)
The VMFA's historical American art collection represents cultural exchange and development from the late 17th through the mid-20th century. The holdings include painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts—with particular strengths in works by women and artists of color.
Westmoreland Museum of American Art (WMAA)
American paintings, sculpture and early 19th century furniture. The colletion contains portraits, landscapes and still lifes from American artists like Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and more.
Winterthur Museum Garden & Library
The Digital Museum Collection comprises approximately 90,000 objects, from ceramics, furniture, glass, and prints to paintings, metalwork, textiles and other works. Most objects date from about 1600 to 1860.
About this Guide
Note: Many of the databases and/or article links referenced in this guide require CaneID authentication through the the UM Library system unless denoted by the "open access" symbol.
"If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint."
Fur Traders Descending the Missouri.
George Caleb Bingham. 1845.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
“Wyeth.” Films On Demand, Films Media Group, 2018.
Research Portals & Archives
American Watercolors Research Portal Philadelphia Museum of Art’s research portal for the study of American watercolors provides resources on watercolor societies from the 19th and 20th centuries in New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston.
JSTOR provides digital versions of the backfiles of major scholarly journals. Primarily an archival collection, JSTOR does not provide access to the most recent 3-5 years of content for most titles.
Oxford Art Online
Oxford Art Online offers access to the most authoritative, inclusive, and easily searchable online art resources available today.