November twenty-six, nineteen hundred sixty-three.

  The assassination of President John F. Kennedy Jr. on November 22, 1963, ultimately ushered in a decade of turmoil and distress in the United States. The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement for African Americans were two of many struggles facing the American people in the 1960s.

Spotlight on Native American Artists

Native Americans have had a tremendous impact in numerous arenas of American life. This is particularly true in the visual arts. In celebration of Native American Heritage Month we’re highlighting artists of American Indian descent who have had a significant presence in the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library’s collections.

Remembering Olga Hirshhorn

This post was written by Tim Cannon, intern in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery Library. Olga Hirshhorn, the widow of Hirshhorn founder Joseph H. Hirshhorn, died October 3 in Naples, Florida. She was a generous friend and donor to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library.  

Miró and Pierre Matisse: 55 Years of Partnership found in the Art & Artist Files

If you think of Jean Dubuffet, Yves Tanguy, Balthus, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró, you may instantly think of some of the most famous canvases and sculptures of modern art. These artists have been immortalized in art history as key figures within Modernism, a position made even more apparent by their countless works housed in some of the most important museums around the world. A name less recognizable is that of more »

For the Voice 

This post was written by Stephen Van Dyk, Librarian, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library. The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library recently obtained this renowned example of early 20th century book and graphic design entitled Dlja golosa (For the Voice), published in Berlin in 1923.  The sixty-one page softcover work, a collaboration of Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) and designer El Lissitzky (1890-1941), rhythmically interlaces innovative constructivist style layouts and patterns with thirteen more »

Designing Women: The Hewitt Sisters and The Remaking of a Modern Museum (Part 2)

This is a two-part series on the Hewitt sisters. By 1897, Sarah and Eleanor had collected enough to formally open their museum on the fourth floor of the Cooper Union. In the tradition of their grandfather, the Hewitt sisters wanted to actualize a museum and library that were not just a showcase, but also tools—places that students and designers could come to for reference and inspiration, then go out and create their more »

Designing Women: The Hewitt Sisters and The Remaking of a Modern Museum (Part 1)

This is a two-part series on the Hewitt sisters. Deep in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library’s collection of rare books, one might be surprised to come across children’s illustrated books by Walter Crane and Beatrix Potter. Even more fascinating might be the origin of these tomes, for in this collection are the very books read by the founding sisters of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum: Sarah (Sallie) and Eleanor (Nellie) more »

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