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Posts Tagged ‘Archives of American Art’

George Clooney Caper Spawns Museum Exhibitions


The upcoming George Clooney-directed film “The Monuments Men,” which recounts the efforts of the same-named platoon of soldiers that, during World War II, sought to track down the many invaluable artworks seized by the Nazis, has inspired at least a couple of American museums to mount exhibitions related to the exploits of the unit chronicled in the star-studded movie. This exceptional chapter in recent art history will be the subject of a new permanent installation at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans,  a historical display at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City — whose first two directors were Monuments Men alumni — and a temporary exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (AAA). (more…)

Smithsonian Delivers Show of Artists’ Holiday Cards


How do famous artists celebrate the holidays? The Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art is taking an intimate look into the personal lives of artists and their holiday correspondence with an exhibition of handmade holiday cards from Josef Albers, Ad Reinhardt, Alexander Calder (above), Milton Avery, Claes Oldernburg, and more. (more…)

Happy Halloween! Here’s Marsden Hartley in an Ornate “Oriental” Costume


As we all make last-second purchases and preparations for our Halloween get-ups, we should mention that in addition to the contemporary artists killing the costume game, some canonical figures also knew their way around a sewing machine and makeup kit. For proof, here’s Marsden Hartley in all-out orientalist regalia. The picture, which comes from the Rockwell Kent papers at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, was not taken at a Halloween party, but seems very a propos nonetheless. (more…)

The Archives of American Art Are Posting Delightful Pics of Artists and Their Dogs


This may be the summer of cat art, but the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art have been doing their part to keep canines in the mix with their August-long series “Dog Days of Summer.” Every day since August 1 they have posted a vintage photograph of an artist with a puppy, often in an especially summery setting, from Pablo Picasso holding a puppy while rocking shorts to Jackson Pollock lying on the beach with his dog. Among the highlights is the above image of Claes Oldenburg, Leo Castelli, and his beloved Dalmatian Paddy Boy around 1973 in the Leo Castelli Gallery. (more…)

Artists’ Handwriting Highlighted in New Show at the Archives of American Art


In its new exhibition “The Art of Handwriting,” the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art is showcasing 42 letters, postcards, greeting cards, and other kinds of correspondence sent by artists and art world figures. The show invites viewers to draw connections between, say, Dan Flavin’s elegant, loopy script and his clean, glowing light sculptures, Ad Reinhardt’s all-caps scrawl and his sparse, abstract paintings, Georgia O’Keeffe’s spiral-filled writing and her floral abstractions, or Carl Andre’s “@” symbol sign-off (above) and his minimalist sculptures and installations. (more…)

Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art Appoint Kate Haw as New Director

kate-haw-american-archivesThe Smithsonian Institute’s Archives of American Art (AAA) has appointed Kate Haw, currently the National Building Museum’s (NBM) vice president for development, to be its new director, a post she’ll officially assume on May 27. She’ll be taking over from Liza Kirwin, who has been serving as the AAA’s director since the departure of John W. Smith in 2011 after five years on the job. (more…)

New Smithsonian Exhibition Examines the Art of Looking at Exhibitions

Just how much has the museum-going experience changed over the years? That’s what the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art — a collection of artists’ journals, sketchbooks, correspondence, and other printed and paper ephemera — set out to illustrate in its new exhibition, “A Day at the Museum,” which opened earlier this month at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery. (more…)