We Hear America Singing | Smithsonian American Art Museum

We Hear America Singing | Smithsonian American Art Museum

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A photograph of a woman standing in front of artwork inside a museum.

SAAM’s director, Stephanie Stebich. Photo by Gene Young.

On Friday, May 31, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth. Whitman has a special connection to SAAM; during the Civil War he spent time in the Patent Office Building—now home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum—caring for the sick and wounded. He called it “that noblest of Washington buildings.” Whitman wrote poetry the celebrates and praises the everyday, emphasizing universal stories that link us together and redefine who we are as Americans.