The National Museum of American History states that it is not an art museum. But works of art fill its collections.
Collections hold hundreds of examples of American and European art glass and pottery; Costume and Textiles include quilts and fashion sketches, illustrations, and prints; Folk art from many ethnicities and culturals include religious ornaments, paintings, and figures. The "America on Stone" collection comprises some 1,700 color prints of scenes from the 1800s. Sketches and drawings documenting exploratory expeditions describe the landscapes, scientific specimens, native peoples, and anthropological artifacts encountered. The tools of artists and artisans' tools include printing plates, woodblock tools, photographic equipment, and potters' kilns, and wheels.
The collection totals more than 3 million artifacts — everything from the original Star-Spangled Banner and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat to Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet and Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
Planned for 2021 is the Molina Family Latino Gallery, which will feature bilingual exhibits exploring the history and contributions of American Latinos, from Colonial North America to the present day.
Exploring the history of Executive Order 9066 which imprisoned 120,000 Japanese Americans
Examines the 1781 victory at Yorktown and the Franco-American partnership that made it possible
Examining the bold experiment to create a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”
Reflecting on the history of our nation and one's role in creating the nation of tomorrow
Highlights the lives of four accomplished athletes
16 posters explore how employers encouraged their workforce
Tells the story of recorded sound and 5 innovations that contributed to today's technology
8 installations display American history through culture, entertainment, and the arts
Features a special display of heroes who exhibit incredible strength, fighting prowess, and quick thinking