DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, THE NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM IS CLOSED, AND ALL PUBLIC PROGRAMMING HAS BEEN CANCELED THROUGH THE END OF MAY. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING GOOD NEWS ABOUT OUR REOPENING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

All Exhibitions

Exhibitions listed in reverse chronological order by opening date.

Click here for a listing of exhibitions currently on view at the Museum.


2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

  • Detour: Architecture and Design along 18 National Tourist Routes in Norway (January 28, 2009–May 25, 2009)
  • Architecture of Authority: Photographs by Richard Ross (April 18, 2009–August 16, 2009)
  • Storefront Churches: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara (June 20, 2009–November 29, 2009)
  • Form and Movement: Photographs by Philip Trager (July 11, 2009–January 3, 2010)
  • Investigating Where We Live (August 7, 2009–April 23, 2010)
  • The Places We Live (September 18, 2009–November 15, 2009)
  • House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage (October 17, 2009–July 11, 2010)

2008

  • Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future (May 3, 2008–August 24, 2008)
  • Investigating Where We Live (July 30, 2008–January 19, 2009)
  • The Art of Recycling: The Coolest Show in Town (August 25, 2008–September 2, 2008)
  • Life Without Leaves (September 17, 2008–November 2, 2008)
  • Green Community (October 23, 2008–November 29, 2009)
  • A Celebration of HRH The Prince of Wales’s Influence on the Built Environment (November 16, 2008–November 23, 2008)
  • Special Presentation: The World Trade Center Model (November 18, 2008–January 14, 2009)

2007

  • Reinventing the Globe: A Shakespearean Theater for the 21st Century (January 13, 2007– October 8, 2007)
  • David Macaulay: The Art of Drawing Architecture (June 23, 2007–May 4, 2008)
  • Lasting Foundations: The Art of Architecture in Africa (October 6, 2007–January 13, 2008)
  • Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture (November 3, 2007–February 17, 2008)

2006

  • Julius Shulman: Modernity and the Metropolis (April 1, 2006–July 30, 2006)
  • Newer Orleans: A Shared Space (April 29, 2006–July 30, 2006)
  • The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design (May 20, 2006–June 24, 2007)
  • Prairie Skyscraper: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower (June 17, 2006–September 17, 2006)
  • Investigating Where We Live (August 19, 2006–November 29, 2006)

2005

  • OPEN: New Designs for Public Space (January 5, 2005– May 15, 2005)
  • Tools of the Imagination (March 5, 2005–October 10, 2005)
  • Kids’ View of the City 2005: Eaton Elementary School Student Projects (June 7, 2005–July 31, 2005)
  • Jewish Washington: Scrapbook of an American Community (June 24, 2005–July 4, 2006)
  • Investigating Where We Live (August 13, 2005–February 19, 2006)
  • Civitas: Traditional Urbanism in Contemporary Practice (November 5, 2005–January 8, 2006)
  • A Building Tradition: The Work of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (November 5, 2005–January 8, 2006)
  • Cityscapes Revealed: Highlights from the Collection (December 3, 2005–January 7, 2013)

2004

  • Tools As Art: The Hechinger Collection–Instruments of Change (January 1, 2004–February 9, 2004)
  • DC Builds: The Anacostia Waterfront (January 17, 2004–June 6, 2004)
  • Symphony in Steel: Ironworkers and the Walt Disney Concert Hall (January 31, 2004–November 28, 2004)
  • Affordable Housing: Designing an American Asset (February 28, 2004–August 8, 2004)
  • Envisioning Architecture: Drawings from the Museum of Modern Art, New York (March 20, 2004–June 20, 2004)
  • Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio: Community Architecture (May 22, 2004–September 6, 2004)
  • Kid’s View of the City 2004: Eaton Elementary School Student Projects (May 23, 2004–August 1, 2004)
  • Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete (June 19, 2004–January 29, 2006)
  • Investigating Where We Live (August 13, 2004–October 10, 2004)
  • Washington: Symbol and City (October 9, 2004–January 1, 2013)
  • 5 Friends from Japan: Children in Japan Today (November 4, 2004–February 13, 2005)
  • Origami as Architecture (November 4, 2004–April 10, 2005)

2003

  • Big & Green: Toward Sustainable Architecture in the 21st Century (January 17, 2003 – June 22, 2003)
  • Saving Mount Vernon: The Birth of Preservation in America (February 15, 2003—September 21, 2003)
  • Of Our Time: 2002 GSA Design Awards (March 27, 2003—October 19, 2003)
  • Picture This: Windows on the American Home (March 29, 2003—August 11, 2003)
  • Kids’ View of the City (May 6, 2003—July 6, 2003)
  • Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing (April 30, 2003—July 27, 2003)
  • Up, Down, Across: Elevators, Escalators, and Moving Sidewalks (September 12, 2003–April 18, 2004)
  • Masonry Variations (October 18, 2003–April 4, 2004)
  • Rowhouse Redux: Washington Architects Renew City Living (November 14, 2003–January 18, 2004)
  • Stories of Home: Photographs by Bill Bamberger (December 3, 2003 – March 7, 2004)

2002

  • On Track: Transit and the American City (January 26, 2002–October 29, 2002)
  • Modeled Space/Space Modeled (January 31, 2002–March 31, 2002)
  • A New World Trade Center: Design Proposals (April 6, 2002–June 10, 2002)
  • Windows on Work: Building America from the Collections of the Washington Print Club (April 17, 2002–August 11, 2002)
  • The Turner City Collection: Rendering a Century of Building (May 4, 2002–November 3, 2002)
  • Windshield: Richard Neutra’s House for the John Nicholas Brown Family (May 25, 2002–August 18, 2002)
  • Creative Works in the City (June 6, 2002–July 7, 2002)
  • Building America (online exhibition) (June 14, 2002–April 30, 2008)
  • Zaha Hadid Laboratory (August 17, 2002–November 17, 2002)
  • Me, Myself and Infrastructure: Private Lives and Public Works in America (October 4, 2002–February 16, 2003)
  • Do It Yourself: Home Improvement in 20th-Century America (October 17, 2002–August 10, 2003)
  • Pentagon Memorial Competition – Stage One Entry Display (October 30, 2002–November 9, 2002)

2001

  • The Architecture of Reassurance: Designing Disney Theme Parks (March 17, 2001–August 5, 2001)
  • Federal Design Now! The 2000 GSA Design Awards (March 29, 2001–July 8, 2001)
  • Restore, Renew, Rediscover Your Historic Neighborhood Schools: The National Preservation Week Poster Competition Winners (May 15, 2001—June 13, 2001)
  • Creative Works in the City (June 7, 2001–July 4, 2001)
  • The Architecture of R.M. Schindler (June 29, 2001–October 14, 2001)
  • From Arts and Crafts to Modern Design: The Architecture of William L. Price (August 18, 2001–March 24, 2002)
  • Cesar Pelli: Connections (September 12, 2001–April 28, 2002)
  • Monuments and Memory: Washington D.C. Architects Explore the Language of Monuments (September 29, 2001–February 3, 2002)
  • A Genius for Place: American Landscapes of the Country Place Era (October 6, 2001–February 18, 2002)
  • Twin Towers Remembered: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara (November 10, 2001–March 10, 2002)

2000

  • Scale: The Architectural League’s Young Architects Forum 1999 (January 14, 2000–April 16, 2000)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright: Windows of the Darwin D. Martin House (February 17, 2000–August 20, 2000)
  • The White House in Miniature (March 29, 2000–September 17, 2000)
  • Reinvigorating Cities: Smart Growth and Choices for Change (April 19, 2000–September 6, 2000)
  • Nature Constructed/Nature Revealed: Eco-Revelatory Design (April 27, 2000–October 22, 2000)
  • Main Street Five-and-Dimes: The Architectural Legacy of the S. H. Kress & Co. Stores
  • Investigating Where We Live (August 1, 2000–September 1, 2000)
  • WOOD: An American Tradition (September 9, 2000–April 22, 2001)
  • Tools as Art VI: Instruments of Change (September 16, 2000–February 9, 2004)
  • Metropolitan Perspectives: Smart Growth and Choices for Change (October 11, 2000–March 4, 2001)
  • Drawing for the Future: Design Drawings for the 1939 New York World’s Fair (October 13, 2000–January 14, 2001)
  • Monuments, Mills, and Missile Sites: Thirty Years of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) (October 26, 2000–May 20, 2001)
  • On the Job: Design and the American Office (November 18, 2000–August 19, 2001)
  • Ten Shades of Green (December 2, 2000–February 14, 2001)

1999

  • Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect: A Retrospective (January 30, 1999–August 15, 1999)
  • Personal Edens: The Gardens and Film Sets of Florence Yoch (February 12, 1999–April 4, 1999)
  • An Urban Experiment in Central Berlin: Planning Potsdamer Platz (March 24, 1999–September 19, 1999)
  • Continuing the Legacy: The 1998 GSA Design Awards (March 25, 1999–September 5, 1999)
  • Where Do We Go From Here: Smart Growth and Choices for Change (April 20, 1999–September 7, 1999)
  • Stay Cool! Air Conditioning America (May 1, 1999–January 2, 2000)
  • Titanium! (May 20, 1999–July 18, 1999)
  • Visions for a New Century: Washington Architects Share Their Visions for the First Century of the New Millennium (June 11, 1999–October 3, 1999)
  • Tools as Art V: Fantasy at Work (June 30, 1999–January 9, 2000)
  • Investigating Where We Live (August 1, 1999–September 1, 1999)
  • The Corner Store (September 23, 1999–August 6, 2000)
  • Reimagining the Suburbs: Smart Growth and Choices for Change (October 22, 1999–March 26, 2000)
  • See the U.S.A.: Automobile Travel and the American Landscape (November 19, 1999–July 9, 2000)

1998

  • Breaking Through: The Creative Engineer (February 26, 1998–November 8, 1998)
  • Completing the Federal Triangle: The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (April 19, 1998–September 27, 1998)
  • Building Culture Downtown: New Ways of Revitalizing the American City (May 2, 1998–January 3, 1999)
  • The Business of Innovation: Bechtel’s First Century (June 5, 1998–January 4, 1999)
  • Tools as Art IV: Material Illusions (June 26, 1998–May 16, 1999)
  • City Satire: The Cartoons of Roger K. Lewis (October 15, 1998–February 28, 1999)
  • Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island (November 12, 1998–May 2, 1999)
  • El Nuevo Mundo: The Landscape of Latino Los Angeles (December 3, 1998–March 28, 1999)

1997

  • The Man Who Built Washington: John McShain and the American Construction Industry (February 14, 1997–April 20, 1997)
  • Views of Washington: Perspective Drawings by Mori Shizume (February 14, 1997–May 1997)
  • CityVision: Student Projects from the National Building Museum (February 28, 1997–March 20, 1997)
  • Building for the People of the United States of America: The GSA 1996 Design Awards (March 20, 1997–May 4, 1997)
  • Tools as Art II: Exploring Metaphor (April 11, 1997–September 28, 1997)
  • Capital Visions: Architects Revisit L’Enfant, New Plans for the Millennium (May 1, 1997–October 26, 1997)
  • Main Street Five-and-Dimes: The Architectural Heritage of the S. H. Kress & Co. Stores (May 9, 1997–March 15, 1998)
  • Lying Lightly on the Land: Building America’s National Park Roads and Parkways (June 6, 1997–January 11, 1998)
  • Sheltered by Design (June 20, 1997–January 1998)
  • Tools as Art III: All Saws (October 31, 1997–April 19, 1998)
  • Planning Washington’s Monumental Core: L’Enfant to Legacy (November 24, 1997–June 30, 1998)
  • Civics Lessons: Recent New York Public Architecture (December 5, 1997–May 11, 1998)

1996

  • The New American Ghetto: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara (January 26, 1996–May 5, 1996)
  • A Recent View of Architecture: Photographs by Paul Warchol (February 16, 1996–April 14, 1996)
  • Building the Ballyhoo: Architectural Photography by the Wurts Brothers Company (February 16, 1996–August 18, 1996)
  • Between Fences (May 31, 1996–January 5, 1997)
  • Three Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright: American Spirit Alive in Japan (June 21, 1996–February 18, 1997)
  • The Pull of Beauty (June 27, 1996–August 11, 1996)
  • Architectural Watercolors by Lauretta Vinciarelli (September 13, 1996–November 10, 1996)
  • An American Embassy in Berlin (November 1996–March 1997)
  • “Go Out Into the Street”: Views of the City from the Washington Print Club (November 21, 1996–March 9, 1997)

1995

  • Building a Federal Legacy: The 1994 General Services Administration Design Awards (March 10, 1995–April 9, 1995)
  • Ticket to Paradise (May 4, 1995–October 15, 1995)
  • Fragile Dwelling: Photographs of Homeless Communities by Margaret Morton (June 15, 1995–November 8, 1995)
  • The Dome: Symbol of American Democracy (October 20, 1995–April 14, 1996)
  • “We Will Be Back”: Oklahoma City Rebuilds (November 17, 1995–May 5, 1996)
  • Chairmania (November 20, 1995–January 14, 1996)

1994

  • Barn Again! (March 12, 1994–September 11, 1994)
  • The Art of Building in North Carolina (May 10, 1994–November 13, 1994)
  • Saudi Arabian Art and Sport Architecture (June 18, 1994–July 4, 1994)
  • Visions of Home: Architects’ Explorations of Dwelling and Community (October 6, 1994–March 26, 1995)
  • World War II and the American Dream: How Wartime Building Changed a Nation (November 11, 1994–December 31, 1995)
  • Making It in the Birmingham District (December 15, 1994–June 4, 1995)

1993

  • Women of Design (January 1993–May 1993)
  • The Art of Architecture: The Pritzker Architecture Prize (March 1993–April 1993)
  • Architects in the Making: Perspectives From Four Schools (May 1993–June 1993)
  • La Casa de Todos Nosotros (A House For Us All) (July 1993–January 1994)

1992

  • Architects in the Making: Perspectives From Four Schools (April 1992–May 1992)
  • Making it Work: Pittsburgh Defines a City (April 1992–September 1992)
  • Interface Berlin: Images of a City (May 1992–July 1992)
  • Choosing Futures: Planning America’s Communities (May 1992–August 1992)
  • Visions/Revisions: The Second DC/AIA Biennial Exhibition (October 1992–January 1993)
  • From Mars to Main Street: America Designs, 1965-1990 (November 1992–February 1994)

1991

  • Architects in the Making: Visions and Reality (January 1991–February 1991)
  • Ideal Places: Rockefeller Visions for America (March 1991–September 1991)
  • Mondo Materialis (April 1991–September 1991)
  • Washington: Symbol and City (v.1) (June 1991–September 3, 2001)
  • Building a Landmark: The National Building Museum’s Historic Home (Fall 1991–September 3, 2001)
  • Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence (November 1991–March 1992)
  • Held in Common: Historic Architecture in America’s National Parks (December 1991–February 1992)

1990

  • Engineering Excellence Awards Competition (March 1990–April 1990)
  • Competitions x 3 (traveling version of the memorial design exhibition) (March 1990–February 1991)
  • Building by Design: Architecture at IBM (March 1990–October 1990)
  • The Making of a Monument: The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Part II (May 1990–September 1990)
  • Four Washington Banks (May 1990–September 1990)
  • Money Matters: A Critical Look at Bank Architecture (May 1990–September 1990)
  • To Build a Bridge (Reinstallation of “Anatomy of a Bridge”) (September 1990–December 1993)
  • Give Us Your Best: An Exhibition of Washington Architects’ Work (October 1990–December 1990)
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway (October 1990–August 1991)
  • Windows Through Time: American Windows From the 1630s to the 1930s (November 1990–July 1991)
  • Heritage to Build/Heritage to Keep: 1990 General Services Administration Design Awards (November 1990–August 1991)
  • Yale University School of Architecture Design Studios (December 1990–January 1991)

1989

  • Samuel Yellin (March 1989–July 1989)
  • In Pursuit of Excellence:  The Federal Judiciary Office Building Competition (March 1989–August 1989)
  • The Experimental Tradition: Twenty-Five Years of American Architectural Competitions, 1960-1985 (April 1989–July 1989)
  • Displays of Three Design Competitions for Memorials to be Built in Washington, D.C.: Korean War Veterans Memorial, National Peace Garden, and Women in Military Service for America Memorial (May 1989–January 1990)
  • Tools as Art: The Hechinger Collection (September 1989–March 1990)
  • The Making of a Monument: The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Part I (October 1989–February 1990)
  • Architecture in Academia: An Exhibition of Student Work (November 1989–March 1990)
  • For the Record: How the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record Documents America’s Heritage (December 1989–February 1990)

1988

  • Sheet Metal Craftsmanship: Progress in Building (January 1988–October 1988)
  • James Wilson Rouse: Urban Visionary (March 1988–November 1988)
  • The Old Pension Building (June 1988–February 1990)
  • Thomas Tefft: American Architecture in Transition, 1845-1860 (August 1988–October 1988)
  • Best Addresses: A Century of Washington’s Distinguished Apartment Houses (September 1988–April 1989)
  • Viollet-le-Duc: Architect, Artist, Master of Historic Preservation (October 1988–December 1988)
  • Documenting Our Heritage: The Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1988 Projects (December 1988–February 1989)

1987

  • Hugh Ferriss: Metropolis (February 1987–May 1987)
  • Twenty Years of Restoration in Venice, 1966-1986 (October 1987–January 1988)
  • Liberty: The French-American Statue in Art and History (November 1987–February 1988)

1986

  • Built for the People of the United States of America: Fifty Years of TVA Architecture (March 1986–September 1986)
  • Ornamental Architecture Reborn: A New Terra Cotta Vocabulary (June 1986–November 1986)
  • Good Design in the Community: Columbus, Indiana (October 1986–January 1987)
  • American Decorative Window Glass, 1860-1890: The Home as a Heaven Below (December 1986–July 1987)

1985

  • Anatomy of a Bridge: Seven Steps in Constructing the Brooklyn Bridge (October 1985–May 1986).
  • Building a National Image: Architectural Drawings for the American Democracy, 1789-1912 (October 1985–February 1986)
  • America’s Master Metalworker: Samuel B. Yellin, 1885-1940 (October 1985–July 1987)
  • An Architectural Wonder: The U.S. Pension Building (October 1985–July 1987)