Posts by: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eye Level

Our website asks the question: Where Will American Art Take You? In response, we’ve put together an occasional series of artful road trips based on staff experiences and artworks in SAAM’s collection.

There are always official set dates on the calendar that tell you a new season has begun, but for me, […]

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It’s Independence Day!

Here’s hoping you’re at the beach, on your way to a parade, or gathered around a grill.

Here are a few images to take you through the day that fuel our festive feelings or—we admit it—a little misty thinking about the American dream.

A. Brockie Stevenson, Fourth of July, 1971

Nothing celebrates […]

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No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, opens on Friday, March 30, and features large-scale installations–the artistic hallmark of Burning Man–at the core of the exhibition. These include a temple designed for the Renwick’s Grand Salon by David Best, well known for his large-scale temples at Burning Man’s annual gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock […]

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This post is part of an ongoing series on Eye Level: Q and Art, where American Art’s Research department brings you interesting questions and answers about art and artists from our archive. If you enjoy this post, take a look at others in our series.

SAAM’s Photograph Archives hold more than a quarter […]

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Eye Level spoke with Nora Atkinson, the Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, to learn more about her upcoming exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, opening at the Renwick on March 30, 2018. Cutting-edge artwork created at Burning Man, the annual desert gathering that has become one […]

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The Pantone Color Institute recently announced their 2018 Color of the Year, a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade,” PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet. Smithsonian American Art Museum staff promptly cranked up “Purple Rain” radio and searched the museum’s collection for purple tones, discovering a variety of artworks, some of which we didn’t remember having seen before. Here […]

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Turkeys is a classic Grandma Moses painting depicting the annual Thanksgiving ritual of catching the holiday bird. Moses captures the cold November sky and an early snow, contrasted by the bright colors worn by both the poultry and the people. Moses gives an unusual amount of detail to the turkeys themselves, paying tribute to […]

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If you have ever visited a centuries-old Roman church or an Islamic mosque, you may have glimpsed the role visual arts play in the beliefs, practices and narratives concerning the sacred. In the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center, three pieces of art provide a snapshot of the different ways art has connected individuals […]

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Beginning in the 1920s and into the next few decades, Thomas Wilfred was something of an art-world star, having fused modern art and pre-digital technology to create his luminous works.

Name doesn’t ring a bell? That’s all about to change.

Born in Denmark in 1889, Wilfred pioneered […]

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Gene Kloss felt that immersion in nature was essential to the production of art. Her paintings and etchings were directly informed by nature and she couldn’t conceive of making art any other way. “An artist must keep in close contact with nature… in order to produce a significant body of work,” she […]

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