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The 38th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show 2020
April 23, 2020 to April 26, 2020
National Building Museum, 401 F St., NW, Washington DC
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Application Dates:
Apr 9, 2019 - Sep 15, 2019
Application Fee:
Late App. Dates:
Sep 16 - Sep 21, 2019
Additional Late Fee:
Notification Date:
Oct 28, 2019

Preview Night Benefit: April 22, 2020  Show Open to the Public April 23 - 26, 2020

Photo credit – Ruth McCully


Each April, in Washington DC, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee (SWC) welcomes 120 outstanding American craft artists and designers to participate in a five-day exhibition and sale – the renowned Smithsonian Craft+Design Show. Three expert jurors select up to 120 exhibitors from the total group of applicants, based on originality, artistic conception and quality of execution. 


The Show does not charge sales commissions. All proceeds from the Preview Night party, daily show admissions, and other fundraising efforts benefit the education, outreach and research programs of the Smithsonian.

E L I G I B I L I T Y  C R I T E R I A
  • Artists must submit limited-edition objects that have been created and produced in the artists’ own studios.
  • All work submitted to the Show must be created and made in the United States.
  • Previous exhibitors must reapply each year. No one is grandfathered into the show.
  • Computer assisted design and production (CAD/CAM and other industrial techniques such as 3-D printing) may be used in the creative process.

 A P P R O V E D  M E D I A  C A T E G O R I E S

  • Basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, paper, wearable art, wood, and mixed media.
  • Artists should apply in the category that best describes their medium.  For instance, a jewelry artist using metal should apply in the jewelry category.   

N O N - A P P R O V E D  M E D I A  C A T E G O R I E S

  • Work not created and produced in the United States of America.
  • Paintings, prints, graphics, photography, soap, or objects made from commercial kits. 
  • Mass-produced work.
  • Work that incorporates materials and parts acquired from the killing of endangered species (e.g., feathers, tusks) or elephant or mammoth ivory.
  • Arrangements of dried or silk flowers, bonsai, or embellished commercially-made objects (e.g., t-shirts, note cards).


The Smithsonian Women’s Committee reserves the right to:

  • Examine any available documentation to ensure that an artist is in compliance with the terms of our application.
  • Rescind the participation of any artist found to be out of compliance with the application criteria, before or after acceptance.

A P P L I C A T I O N  D E A D L I N E S  A N D  F E E S

Electronic applications are due by September 15, 2019. The fee for applying is $50. The application fee is non-refundable and due with the application.

Late applications will be accepted only until September 21, 2019 (midnight Eastern Daylight time).  The $75 fee for late applications must be included with the online application and  includes a penalty of $25  

H O W  T O  E N T E R

Submit an application, the non-refundable fee, five (5) electronic images of your work and one electronic image of your display.  The images must be fully representative of the work you will sell at the Craft Show.

Images: Minimum image resolution should be 300 dpi and 1400-2000 pixels on the longer dimension.  Artists who have applied previously are encouraged to update their portfolio with new images and consider improving the quality of previously submitted images to meet these specifications.   High-resolution images from artists juried into the Show may be selected for use in promotion of the Show.

Media Category: If you enter in more than one medium, you must submit separate applications, fees, and slides for each category for which you wish to be considered.  If only one application is accepted, you may only exhibit work in that medium.  You may not enter the same piece of work in more than one category.

Statement: You are required to submit an artist statement, limited to 1000 characters.  Include information regarding the use or application of environmentally friendly materials and techniques in your work if applicable.  If applying in mixed media please explain why. If you use technology-facilitated design or production, please explain your method in your artist statement.

S H O W  L O C A T I O N  A N D  D A T E S

The show takes place in downtown Washington, DC at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW. The venue is easily accessible by bus, surface transportation and Metrorail.  Exhibitor entrance and loading dock are on 4th Street, NW.

  • Preview Night Benefit: April 22, 2020
  • Show Open to the Public: April 23 - 26, 2020

The Smithsonian Women's Committee recognizes outstanding work exhibited at the Craft Show by presenting Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of distinction as well as several Exhibitors' Choice Awards.  Cash awards range from $500 to $1,500.  Additionally, an "Honoring the Future Sustainability Award" of $1,000 will be offered.  The purpose of this award is to educate the public about climate change and to inspire and model sustainable responses to this problem.  

S U P P O R T I N G  T H E  S M I T H S O N I A N

The show exists to support valuable programs of the Smithsonian. Accepted artists are encouraged to donate an item for the Show’s on-line auction, raffle, or other fundraising initiatives. Such donations, however, are not a requirement for selection.

Photo credit – Ruth McCully

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