Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Smithsonian's Archives of American Art ​The Archives of American Art is the world’s preeminent and most widely used research center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America.
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Since 1954, the Archives has collected roughly 16 million letters, photographs, diaries, oral history interviews, sketches, scrapbooks, business records, and other documents that support the study of the history of the visual arts in America. Smithsonian Privacy Statement: http://www.si.edu/privacy/ Smithsonian Terms of Use: http://www.si.edu/termsofuse/

Operating as usual

On this day in 1926, Edith Halpert, with business partner Bea Kroll Goldsmith, opened the doors to Our Gallery at 113 We...
11/02/2020

On this day in 1926, Edith Halpert, with business partner Bea Kroll Goldsmith, opened the doors to Our Gallery at 113 West 13th Street. One year later the name was changed to Downtown Gallery, to reflect its location in Greenwich Village. In her more than forty years as an art dealer, Halpert represented artists including Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Stuart Davis, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, and Jacob Lawrence. While the Downtown Gallery would operate from various locations throughout the years, the name remained even after a move to Midtown.

We thank @hlucefdn for making the digitization of the Downtown Gallery Records possible. Explore them on our website: s.si.edu/Downtown

📷 : Charles Sheeler. Edith Gregor Halpert, 1935. Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974.

Today marks the beginning of Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, where it is believed the passageway between this wo...
11/01/2020

Today marks the beginning of Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, where it is believed the passageway between this world and the spirit world opens, and our deceased loved ones come back to visit. Families celebrate by creating altars, decorating burial sites, and preparing special food. These traditions come from the Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess, Mictecacihuatl, Queen of the Underworld. The announcement above was illustrated by Artemio Rodriguez for Galeria Otra Nez’s 1995 exhibition, “Dia de los Muertos: Una Celebracion.” #DiaDeLosMuertos #DayOfTheDead #ArchivesAmericanArt #ArtArchives #Archives 💀🌺

📸Tomás Ybarra-Frausto research material, 1965-2004

Happy Halloween! In honor of NYC’s 47th Annual Village Halloween Parade, we are celebrating with a photo from 8BC’s open...
10/31/2020

Happy Halloween! In honor of NYC’s 47th Annual Village Halloween Parade, we are celebrating with a photo from 8BC’s opening night celebration on October 31, 1983. 8BC was a multimedia gallery and performance art club located on East 8th Street between Avenues B and C in New York’s East Village neighborhood. The collection, compiled by 8BC’s co-founder and owner, Cornelius Conboy, documents the underground art scene that exploded in the East Village in the early 1980s. View select digitized material from the collection here: s.si.edu/3jXEHgg. 🎃👻 #ArchivesMonth #ArchivesAmericanArt #ArtArchives #8BC #NYCHalloween #Halloween #EastVillage #NYC

📸 8BC records, 1983-1985

Show of hands, who feels like time-warping to 1966 Italy today?Artist, collector, librarian, and scholar Kate Steinitz (...
10/30/2020

Show of hands, who feels like time-warping to 1966 Italy today?

Artist, collector, librarian, and scholar Kate Steinitz (1889, Beuthen, Germany [now Bytom, Poland] – 1975, Los Angeles, CA) kept tickets, receipts, and maps as mementos of the trip she took to Switzerland and Italy in 1966, at age 77.

Steinitz's papers show that travel was an integral component of her full life, which included studying drawing and painting under Käthe Kollwitz and Lovis Corinth, collaborating with Kurt Schwitters and Theo Van Doesburg on several avant-garde publications, fleeing to the United States to escape Nazi persecution, and, later in life, becoming a respected scholar of Leonardo Da Vinci and Schwitters.

Learn more here: http://s.si.edu/KateSteinitz
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📸 Travel ephemera from trip to Switzerland and Italy, 1966. Kate Steinitz papers, c. 1910 – 2002.

It's #NationalCatDay! 🐈 To celebrate we are posting our Collective Collection of Cats! 🐾 1) Giada and Ina recently joine...
10/29/2020

It's #NationalCatDay! 🐈 To celebrate we are posting our Collective Collection of Cats! 🐾 1) Giada and Ina recently joined Ryan Evans, Archivist. 🐾 2) 3 is the magic number for Chairman Meow, Cleocatra, and Roxie who all reside with Michelle Herman, Digital Experience Manager 🐾 3) Turkey is feeling right at home with Sarah Mundy, Archivist. 🐾 4) Tommy O'Malley and Jennifer Neal, Archivist, live together in the big apple! > > > For more of our co-working cats, check out this morning's post! 😻

It's #NationalCatDay! 🐈 To celebrate we are posting our Collective Collection of Cats!  🐾 1)  Denbigh , along with foste...
10/29/2020

It's #NationalCatDay! 🐈 To celebrate we are posting our Collective Collection of Cats! 🐾 1) Denbigh , along with foster kittens Montrose and Rentz, are co-working with Andrews, Processing Archivist. 🐾 2) Daryl keeps Marisa Bourgoin, Head of Reference Services, and her family company. 🐾 3) Batman and his plucky sidekick Commissioner Jim Gordon live with Lindsey Bright, Library Technician 🐾 4) Between naps, Lola Bean helps Susan Cary, Registrar. 🐾 5) Jam is 17 years young(!) and hangs out with Ella Comberg, AAA Journal intern. > > > Stay tuned for part 2 later today!

Did you know painter Martin Johnson Heade was a keen amateur ornithologist? While his intended monograph on hummingbirds...
10/28/2020

Did you know painter Martin Johnson Heade was a keen amateur ornithologist? While his intended monograph on hummingbirds, “Gems of Brazil,” never materialized, his research in Brazil resulted in a series of sixteen paintings, “The Gems of Brazil,” treasures that now reside in the collection of @crystalbridgesmuseum. The Archives of American Art holds a handwritten notebook by Heade, thought to be the introduction to his unrealized volume.

Learn more about Heade, hummingbirds, and his time in Brazil in the first entries from Conversations Across Collections, our new collaborative blog series with Crystal Bridges. To read the essays, visit our websites: s.si.edu/HeadeAAA and s.si.edu/HeadeCB.

📷: 1. Martin Johnson Heade, Black-eared Fairy, ca. 1863-1864, oil on canvas, 12 1/4 x 10 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2006.89. Photography by Dwight Primiano. 2. Martin Johnson Heade, First page from Notebook on Hummingbirds, circa 1864, circa 1881. Martin Johnson Heade papers, 1853-1904. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

“The tempo of the painting had taken over, and I didn’t have much choice in it” —Lee Krasner, oral history interview wit...
10/27/2020

“The tempo of the painting had taken over, and I didn’t have much choice in it”
—Lee Krasner, oral history interview with Dorothy Seckler, 1964–8.

Happy birthday, Lee Krasner (1908–1984)! Born on this day in Brooklyn, Krasner was one of the most vital and experimental instigators of abstract art in the 20th century. Known for her sophisticated art historical allusions and collage techniques, Krasner’s work melted cubism and abstract expressionism into something fresh—her style and approach never stopped evolving.

Read the full transcript of her oral history here:
s.si.edu/krasneroh

Dive into her papers here:
s.si.edu/pollkras

📷Photograph of Lee Krasner, ca. 1938. Photographer unknown. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914–1984.

#LeeKrasner #OTD #Happybirthday #Abstractart #feministart

“You know you work in a direction to make four or five little objects like that and then you go off in another direction...
10/26/2020

“You know you work in a direction to make four or five little objects like that and then you go off in another direction, that's suppose to be the secret of success or something.” –Alexander Calder, oral history interview, October 26, 1971

Alexander Calder (1898–1976) is known for his large sculptures and dynamic mobiles housed in prominent collections all over the world. In his oral history at the Archives, he discusses his many inspirations—including circuses, copper wiring, and Paris—and as suggested by this quote, the secret of success! Or something. Read the full transcript of Calder’s interview with Paul Cummings in 1971, here: s.si.edu/CalderOH

Looking for a (virtual) getaway? Explore Adolf Ferdinand Konrad’s sketchbook of his travels through Rome and Egypt. We’r...
10/24/2020

Looking for a (virtual) getaway? Explore Adolf Ferdinand Konrad’s sketchbook of his travels through Rome and Egypt. We’re loving his gorgeous sketch of Athens, Greece from 1963. It’s just one of seventy digitized pages filled with travel notes and beautiful drawings in various media. Browse the full sketchbook here: s.si.edu/AdolfKonrad

On December 12, 1963, Konrad wrote, “First stop Athens–an unexpected treat–magnificent approach through broken clouds–the islands and the beaches.” What are some of your favorite travel destinations?

Adolf Ferdinand Konrad sketchbook of travels to Rome and Egypt, 1962-1963. Adolf Ferdinand Konrad papers, 1962-2002.

#VirtualGetaway #Travel #Athens #Islands

If you could go anywhere in the world to study, where would it be? 🌍After earning her BA, Senga Nengudi enjoyed a format...
10/23/2020

If you could go anywhere in the world to study, where would it be? 🌍

After earning her BA, Senga Nengudi enjoyed a formative year studying Japanese culture at Waseda University in Tokyo.

In her 2013 oral history interview with the Archives, Nengudi shares how profoundly her time abroad influenced her creative practice and vision.

View the finding aid and images from her papers here: s.si.edu/SengaNengudi

Read her oral history here: s.si.edu/NengudiOH
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📸 Waseda University International Club at the Heian Shrine, Kyoto, Japan, December 17, 1966

📸 Senga Nengudi and others in front of the Great Buddha of Kamakura, Kamakura, Japan, c. 1966.

🎉#HappyBirthday, Robert Rauschenberg!🎉#BOTD, Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was a painter and graphic artist who was famous fo...
10/22/2020

🎉#HappyBirthday, Robert Rauschenberg!🎉#BOTD, Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was a painter and graphic artist who was famous for creating works with found materials. His Combines series blurred the lines between painting and sculpture, placing ordinary found materials into an art context.

Rauschenberg worked with a wide variety of materials and mediums, including painting, sculpture, prints, photography, film-making, and performance.

Rauschenberg believed strongly in the capacity of art to foster social change, and in the 1970s to 1990s he participated in several international projects, including the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI), which aimed to foster dialogue and understanding through artistic experimentation. ROCI projects eventually took place in several countries around the world, including Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, China, Tibet, Japan, Cuba, the USSR, Germany, and Malaysia.

The Archives of American Art holds the papers of curator and art historian Nan Rosenthal, a friend of Rauschenberg's, who interviewed him extensively and wrote a book about him. You can explore her drafts and research materials here ➡️ s.si.edu/34l0tFC

📷Photograph of Mike Wallace and Robert Rauschenberg by Nancy Astor, circa 1962. Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000.

Happy Birthday Childe Hassam (1859-1935)! 🎉 #BOTD in 1959, Hassam was a pioneer of American Impressionism in the 1890s. ...
10/17/2020

Happy Birthday Childe Hassam (1859-1935)! 🎉 #BOTD in 1959, Hassam was a pioneer of American Impressionism in the 1890s. Like many of his fellow artists, he traveled to Europe for instruction in the 1880s and eventually settled in New York.

Hassam is known for adapting the style of his French counterparts to make distinctly American paintings, choosing to paint contemporary scenes of New Yorkers and the rocky coasts of New England. He was a prolific and successful practitioner, composing colorful compositions with energetic brushwork. Later in life, he traveled throughout New England, painting picturesque villages and towns.

To view more of our holdings related to the artist, click here: s.si.edu/childehassam

📸Photograph of Childe Hassam, 1913. Possibly taken by Caroline Reed Parson. Macbeth Gallery records, 1947-1948.

#HBD #impressionism #impressionist #impressionistart #childehassam #americanart #archives

Happy Birthday, Dorothy Liebes! Dorothy Liebes (1899–1972) was a weaver, textile designer, and businesswoman known for h...
10/14/2020

Happy Birthday, Dorothy Liebes! Dorothy Liebes (1899–1972) was a weaver, textile designer, and businesswoman known for her use of color, texture, and material. She travelled to France, Italy, Guatemala, and Mexico to learn various traditional weaving techniques and established her own company in San Francisco in 1934. Between 1937 and 1970, Liebes participated in more than thirty solo and group exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, and other venues. She also advised textile chemists in the development of fibers and worked with engineers to develop new machines that could reproduce the irregularities of handloomed fabrics.

This year, the Archives received a grant from the Coby Foundation to digitize the Dorothy Liebes papers, making the life of this important figure available for study by people around the world.

📸 Dorothy Liebes with fabric samples, 195-?. Photographer unknown. Dorothy Liebes papers, circa 1850–1973, bulk 1922–1970.

#textiles #americanart #archives #womenartists #becauseofherstory #OTD #HBD

New York-based artist Josh Dorman was inspired by a 1933 holiday card at the AAA designed by landscape painter Charles B...
10/14/2020

New York-based artist Josh Dorman was inspired by a 1933 holiday card at the AAA designed by landscape painter Charles Burchfield. He created a series of original paintings for the fall issue of the Archives of American Art Journal that offer a timely reflection on loss, longing, and regeneration.

“…I remember I was not a good painter, I knew I was a bad painter even then, and I was working away at something, at som...
10/13/2020

“…I remember I was not a good painter, I knew I was a bad painter even then, and I was working away at something, at some muddy painting, one day and [Sister Lionel] came up behind me and I thought, oh, she's going to just tell me to give it up, and she said, "Oh, that's very good, very good," and I looked at her like she was absolutely nuts and I told her, "But I can't get it right, the colors aren't mixing─" And she said, "Technique can be learned. You have ideas and that's what's important." And that always stayed with me, it's always been a guiding force. And sure enough: eventually my technique was photography.” ─Kathy Vargas, oral history interview, 1997

Kathy Vargas is an educator and photographer. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and began photographing in 1971 under the guidance of rock and roll photographer Tom Wright. Vargas attended San Antonio College and earned a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1981 and a Master of Fine Art in 1984 from the University of Texas in San Antonio. She was mentored by painter Mel Casas who invited her to join the Chicano art group Consafo. Vargas has exhibited her work, as well as curated numerous exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, collaborating with colleagues such as Jim Goldberg, close friend Lucy Lippard, and others. To view selected digitized items from the Kathy Vargas papers, visit: s.si.edu/KathyVargaspapers

To read the full transcript of her oral history interview conducted by Jacinto Quirarte in 1997, click here: s.si.edu/KathyVargasOH

📸Photograph of Kathy Vargas with Michael Nye at "The Human Condition" exhibition, 1991. Kathy Vargas papers, circa 1965–2016.

#ChicanaArtists #HHM #HispanicHeritageMonth #LatinoArtIsAmericanArt #HeritageMonthsAllYearRound #Americanart

“If you ever saw me on a set—not now that I'm 94, but when I photographed for real, you know, on my feet—the moment I go...
10/12/2020

“If you ever saw me on a set—not now that I'm 94, but when I photographed for real, you know, on my feet—the moment I got interested in what I was doing, my shoes went off. I would get on the paper, dance barefoot, dance for the models, move in the way I wanted them to move...”

Lillian Bassman (1917–2012) was a New York-based photographer and graphic designer, and she was a linchpin in the development of Harper’s Bazaar’s visual vocabulary and left an indelible mark in fashion. She was interviewed on this day in 2011 by Steven Watson.
Check out the rest of her oral history:

s.si.edu/bassman

#OTD #OralHistory #LillianBassman #Harpers #HarpersBazaar #Fashionphotography

Happy birthday to painter George Ault, who had the WFH setup of our dreams!📸 George Ault at forest's edge, ca. 1920. Pho...
10/11/2020

Happy birthday to painter George Ault, who had the WFH setup of our dreams!

📸 George Ault at forest's edge, ca. 1920. Photographer unknown. George Ault papers, 1892–1980.

#wfh #archives #americanart #painting

The papers of Juan Sánchez (b. 1954, New York City) document the Nuyorican artist, activist, and educator's substantial ...
10/10/2020

The papers of Juan Sánchez (b. 1954, New York City) document the Nuyorican artist, activist, and educator's substantial accomplishments and contributions to American art, across painting, muralism, printmaking, film, and photography. In his 2018 oral history interview with the Archives, Sánchez recalls coming of age as an artist in New York City, frequenting the nascent Nuyorican Poet's Café, and watching Amiri Baraka perform at poetry marathons.

Explore his papers here: s.si.edu/JSanchezPapers

Read the Archives' oral history with Sánchez here: s.si.edu/JSanchez

Read national collector Josh Franco's acquisition note here: s.si.edu/JSanchezNote

📸Juan Sánchez, preliminary design for the 2009 mural program "Our Transcendence is Our Reign," James Monroe Educational Campus, Bronx, New York, 2005. Juan Sánchez papers, c. 1972 – 2010.

Happy Birthday John Lennon 🎂🎁🎈🎊 #HBD #BTD #BornThisDay #ArchivesAmericanArt #ArtArchives #ArchivesMonth📸  John Lennon an...
10/09/2020

Happy Birthday John Lennon 🎂🎁🎈🎊 #HBD #BTD #BornThisDay #ArchivesAmericanArt #ArtArchives #ArchivesMonth

📸 John Lennon and Yoko Ono Christmas card to Joseph Cornell, 1971 Dec. 23. Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986.

María Luisa Pacheco was a painter in La Paz, Bolivia and in New York, New York.  Pacheco painted archaeological and moun...
10/08/2020

María Luisa Pacheco was a painter in La Paz, Bolivia and in New York, New York.

Pacheco painted archaeological and mountain shapes, translating them into semi-abstract forms. Her work employed wood, sand, acrylic, oil, and collage. She has been called a pioneer in the development of Bolivian contemporary art.

Born in La Paz, she studied and later taught at the Academia de Bellas Artes and worked as an illustrator and editor for the newspaper La Razón. In 1951, Pacheco received a scholarship to attend the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid as a graduate student and instructor. Pacheco moved to New York in 1956 when she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. In addition to her painting, she worked as a textile designer and as an illustrator for Life magazine.

#MaríaLuisaPacheco #LatinoArtIsAmericanArt #HispanicHeritageMonth #HHM

Tired of seeing the same four walls? How about a first-class ticket to late 19th-century Europe or the Middle East? Expl...
10/07/2020

Tired of seeing the same four walls? How about a first-class ticket to late 19th-century Europe or the Middle East? Explore Lockwood de Forest’s sketches of landscapes, textiles, and even camels, during his trips abroad in 1878! To view de Forest’s full sketchbook, click here: s.si.edu/LdeForest

📸Lockwood de Forest. Sketchbook of travel in in the Middle East and Europe, 1878. Lockwood de Forest papers, 1858-1980.

#getaway #egypt #europe #gildedage #aestheticmovement #americanart #archives

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Since 1954, the Archives has collected over 20 million letters, photographs, diaries, oral history interviews, sketches, scrapbooks, business records, and other documents that support the study of the history of the visual arts in America. Smithsonian Privacy Statement: http://www.si.edu/privacy/ Smithsonian Terms of Use: http://www.si.edu/termsofuse/


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Remembering Mail Art. enjoy.
One of our great resources!
Rachel Handler Procures Girls; Check Flight Logs to Little Saint James (Epstein Island) 3133 Q !!mG7VJxZNCI 20 Mar 2019 - 10:30:24 PM >>5800566 http://www.rachelchandler.us How many 'girls' were waiting for their return to the boat? Who owned the boat? What does a 'handler' procure? Is the 'handler' [one of many] connected to Epstein? Flight logs reveal many hidden artifacts. [RC] Q >>5800988 WHO IS RACHEL CHANDLER? Q
This is a show I'm not going to miss. Flowers in American Art, on from now till October in Washington, DC
ART150, a collective of over 20 artists living and working at 150 Bay Street, the historic landmark building in the heart of downtown Jersey City’s Powerhouse Arts District (PAD), will hold a public group art exhibition the weekend of May 5th & 6th, 12:00-6:00 PM This is a free event. Shipping Station, 58x36 inches, Graphite on canvas
Una revista muy especial! Thank you for your awesome writing! Shalom