American Art is published in March, July, and November. Editorial preference is given to articles that combine sound scholarship with thought-provoking new interpretations or new avenues of research. Articles should be written in a clear and engaging style. Submissions in a variety of formats are considered, including feature essays, personal selctions, commentaries, new perspectives, paired perspectives, and research notes. Articles are subject to peer review. The review process usually takes about 3-4 months.
Authors interested in submitting manuscripts should send their essays by e-mail to AmericanArtJournal@si.edu. The text, and a 250-word abstract, should be sent as Word documents and figures should be sent as a separate PDF file. Authors should place name and contact information on the cover page only and delete acknowledgments in the submission stage. Authors will receive a confirmation notice upon receipt of the manuscript.
Manuscripts are accepted throughout the year. Queries regarding possible topics are welcomed, but an expression of interest on the part of the museum will not be an assurance of publication.
Each issue of the journal generally includes several feature-length articles flanked by shorter pieces at the front and back. Recommended length for the text of feature articles is 6,000-10,000 words. They should include 15 to 20 pictures.
We invite authors to provide new avenues of appreciation for a single work of art in a public collection. Submissions may be between 650 and 4,000 words. They should include an image of the work of art being discussed, and possibly a few comparative or contextual pictures.
Other shorter pieces
The journal also regularly includes Commentaries, New perspectives, Paired perspectives, and Research notes, which typically run from 2,000-6,000 words in length and include no more than 10 images. Appreciations also occasionally appear at the back of the issue. Prospective authors should refer to past issues to review the kinds of articles the journal accepts and the formats in which they appear.
Text and notes should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. The text should be double-spaced. Notes should appear at the end of the article.
Example of endnote (citing a book and a journal):
For early schooling, see John Trent, Education in Colonial America (Manassas, Va.: Univ. of Virginia Press, 1978), 110-12, 214, 301-21. See also Noel Robertson, "The Dorian Migration and Corinthian Ritual," Classical Philology 75 (Summer 1980): 1-22.
Second references to a source should include the title of the book. For example:
Trent, Education in Colonial America, 3.
Features generally include about four color and ten to sixteen black-and-white illustrations. When submitting the manuscript, the author should submit photocopies or PDFs of all illustrations, as well as a caption list. Please refer to the online or print journal for caption format.
Example of caption:
Winslow Homer, High Cliff, Coast of Maine, 1894. Oil, 30 x 38 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Gift of William T. Evans
If the manuscript is accepted, the author is expected to provide images for the essay as well as copyright permissions to reproduce them in both the print and electronic editions of the journal. Pictures must be color transparencies, 300 dpi digital files at 9 inches wide, or 8 x 10 inch black-and-white prints. A sample photo permission request letter and other photo acquisition guidelines will be provided to authors.