Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900). "Our Banner in the Sky" (detail), 1861.

Americana art isn’t just about patriotic flags and prints of Uncle Sam. It is a unique slice of the American experience. The term is used to categorize many different images that reflect the charm and nostalgia of America’s past. It evokes a sense of patriotism and reflects the history, traditions, folklore, artifacts and culture of the United States.

Well known are the paintings and illustrations of rural life and street life, farms and factories, workers and families by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper and Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma”  Moses.

Though many artworks can be labeled Americana, its most original form is traditional folk art. Many paintings were executed by self-taught artists who would paint family portraits, scenes of the rural landscape, or still-life paintings of everyday utilitarian ware.

This collection includes an array of current exhibitions, sculptures and paintings that span back to the 19th century. Subjects range from U.S. presidents and the Civil War to Hudson River landscapes and birds of America—a mix as diverse as America itself.

Watch the special NYC-ARTS Presidents Day episode for more.


American Identities: A New Look

This major installation of more than 350 objects from the Brooklyn Museum's premier collection of American art integrates a vast ...

American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe

"American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe" showcases the Whitney’s deep holdings of artwork from the first half of the 20th ...

Artist and Visionary: William Matthew Prior Revealed

Organized by the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, this exhibition includes more than 40 oil paintings spanning William Matthew ...

…As Apple Pie

Images, like words, can trigger a cultural or emotional response to a shared national ethos. Artists have employed images—sometimes straightforwardly, ...

Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns some 50 sculptures by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907), the American Beaux-Arts sculptor who worked in ...

Audubon: National Treasures—Birds of Winter for The Birds of America (1827–38)

Looking at these four watercolors you are enjoying an experience similar to that of John James Audubon’s (1785–1851) original subscribers ...

The Civil War and American Art

This major loan exhibition considers how American artists responded to the Civil War and its aftermath. Landscapes and genre scenes—more ...

Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions

The exhibition “Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions,” organized by the American Folk Art Museum, encompasses the rich history of ...

Currier & Ives and Other Winter Tales

New York printmakers Currier & Ives’ iconic winter scenes of skaters in Central Park, along with bucolic scenes of snow-covered ...

George Bellows

George Bellows (1882–1925) was regarded as one of America’s greatest artists when he died, at the age of 42, from ...

Great Hall of Van Rensselaer Manor House

This entrance hall from the Van Rensselaer manor house outside of Albany, New York, was one of the grandest domestic ...

John Rogers: American Stories

John Rogers (1829-1904) was unquestionably the most popular sculptor of the 19th century. In his lifetime he sold more than ...

Keeping the Revolution Alive: The John Ward Dunsmore Collection

Painter John Ward Dunsmore, known for his faithful and realistic depictions of the battles of the Revolutionary War, is the ...

The Return of The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision

After a national tour, 45 iconic works will once again be on display at New-York Historical, including Thomas Cole’s five-part ...

Sailor Twain’s New York: Secrets and Mysteries of the River Hudson

For Mark Siegel's latest novel, "Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid in the Hudson," he uncovered evocative images, printed ephemera, and ...

Storylines: Tracing the Narrative of “Outsider” Art

Humans are a story-telling species. From carefully selected fragments of information, we construct narratives that give coherence and meaning to ...

Tiffany: The Glass

Taking a close look at the patterns, textures and colors of glass used by the Tiffany Studios overseen by Louis ...

Washington Crossing the Delaware

Emanuel Leutze's depiction of Washington's attack on the Hessians at Trenton on December 25, 1776, was a great success in ...

Women’s Studies

This exhibition presents drawings and photographs of women by four self-taught artists from the 1940s through the late 20th century, ...

WWII & NYC

This exhibition explores the impact of the war on the metropolis, which was a center of both isolationist and interventionist ...