- This post was contributed by Kelsey Clark, intern at the Smithsonian AA/PG Library summer 2013. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created during the Great Depression as the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works. This included artists, such as William Gropper, Marsden Hartley, Henry Varnum Poor, or Ben Shahn, who painted murals across the nation, from inside Coit Tower in San Francisco to the Harlem Hospital in New York City. The Smithsonian Libraries collection has books and archival material on the WPA projects, including a file on one man intimately connected to the government project: Dr. Francis V. O’Connor. During my internship, I was given the “O’Connor File” as a research project – a box filled with files containing published articles and books he had written, archival notes, and letter correspondence between the former Librarians at the National Portrait Gallery and various patrons concerning the rights to read some mysterious “questionnaires” that were somehow connected to O’Connor and the WPA. What were more »
This was written by Hirshhorn Library volunteer, Elena Grant. In the summer of 2013, while preparing donated books for cataloging at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden library, we discovered an uncatalogued item—a 14 ½ by 11 ½-inch portfolio of reproductions titled 22 Selected Masterpieces: French Moderns, Museum of New Western Art, Moscow, USSR. The unfamiliar publisher name “Bookniga” and name of the long-extinct museum in the title attracted our attention. We decided more »
Through the generosity of a donor (who is also on the staff of the Smithsonian Libraries!), the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG Library) is pleased to announce a new addition to its artists’ book collection: Cumulus by Thomas Parker Williams.
The Smithsonian Women’s Committee granted the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library an award in 2012-13 for the preservation and re-housing of two important and rare embroidery and lace manuals dating from the early 17th and late 18th century. Due to their poor and fragile condition, they could not be handled and would have continued to deteriorate if left untreated.
“This Art Book is dedicated to all the people who lost their lives on 3.11.2011”—Kumiko Shindō. According to the official record of the Japanese Government 15,883 people died, 6,145 injured, and 2,656 are missing in twenty prefectures affected by 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Through the generosity of an artists’ book enthusiast (and a member of the Smithsonian Libraries staff), the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library has recently acquired a copy of a new book depicting scenes from a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale: Hansel and Gretel: A Shadow Theatre Book.
Most art history students have had to tackle an assignment that requires researching a contemporary artist. Quickly, it becomes clear that the research of contemporary artists involves a different research process than more seasoned artists. The resources that students would normally access first, such as catalogue raisonnés or retrospective exhibition catalogues, most likely do not exist yet. So, what sources are available to researchers of contemporary art and how does a contemporary more »