The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery collects, exhibits, studies, and preserves American crafts from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. Housed in a historic architectural landmark across the street from the White House, the Renwick features one-of-a-kind pieces created from clay, fiber, glass, metal, and wood. Selections from the Renwick's permanent collection of American craft are displayed on a rotating basis in the second-floor galleries. Popular works include Larry Fuente's Game Fish, Wendell Castle's Ghost Clock, and Albert Paley's Portal Gates. Temporary exhibitions of American crafts and decorative arts are shown on the Renwick's first floor. Special exhibitions highlighting contemporary artists as well as traditions in American craft open in the spring and fall.
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city was built from scratch, Washington's
regular town plan is easy to grasp. Centered
on Capitol Hill and its governmental
monoliths, the District is divided into four
quadrants - northeast, northwest, southeast
and southwest. Dozens of broad avenues , all
named after states, run diagonally across a
standard grid of streets , meeting up at
monumental traffic circles like Dupont
Circle. North-south streets are numbered,
east-west ones are lettered. There's no J
Street, an intentional slight to early
Supreme Court Justice John Jay, or X, Y or Z
Street. I Street is often written Eye
Street. Be sure to note the relevant
two-letter code in any address (NW, NE, SW,
SE), which shows its quadrant; 1600
Pennsylvania Ave NW is a long way from 1600
Pennsylvania Ave SE.
Once in the
city, stop at the
DC Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center ,
Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania
Ave NW (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm; tel
202/328-4748), which can help with maps,
tours, bookings and citywide information.
Look for visitor information desks at the
airports and Union Station.
The White House Visitor Information Center
, 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW (daily
7.30am-4pm; tel 202/208-1631), supplies free
maps and handy guides to museums and
attractions; the most useful is the free
Washington DC Visitors Guide .