Newcomb Pottery – An Educational Experiment for Women Artists

I’ve been a fan of Newcomb pottery since I first saw an example on the Antiques Roadshow more than a decade ago. Currently I have the opportunity to see Newcomb pottery every day — three pieces are featured in an art pottery and glass exhibit at the National Museum of American History, the building where I work. Simple forms, lovely colors and nature motifs make Newcomb pottery very appealing and highly collectible. But there’s more »

Experiencing “The Ultimate Safari”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a book written and illustrated by female artists, The Ultimate Safari. The book is currently featured in our exhibition, Artists’ Books and Africa, which is open until September 2016 and is located in the National Museum of African Art. The short story “The Ultimate Safari,” by Nadine Gordimer, was originally published in 1991 in Jump and Other Short Stories (London: Bloomsbury).[1]  This new edition of more »

Greek Wild Flowers: Dialogues and Diplomats on the Parthenon and the Athenian Acropolis in the nineteenth century

This post was written by Dr. Alexander Nagel, Research Associate with the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology.   In the fall semester of 2015, I was teaching a course on *Classical Heritage in Washington: Encounters in the Museum* for students from the University of Maryland. Every Friday afternoon around 2pm, students would meet with colleagues and curators, archivists and archaeologists, diplomats and thinkers who work on aspects of heritage more »

Fashion in the Natural World: Fusing Science with Art

This post first appeared on the Biodiversity Heritage Library blog in February 2016. Emile-Allain Séguy was a popular French designer throughout the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements of the 1920s. Often confused with the French entomologist Eugene Séguy who was active during the same time period, E.A. Séguy designed primarily patterns and textiles and was heavily influenced by the natural world. He was particularly fond of the intricate patterns and beauty more »

Ian Cheng: Live Simulation

This post was written by Tim Cannon, intern in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library. Suspended Animation, which opened on February 10 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, features work by six contemporary artists working with digitally generated images. Among these artists is Ian Cheng, a New York-based artist who worked for George Lucas’ visual effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, before earning an MFA at Columbia University. His work more »

Spiral: Discussing the Role of African American Artists in the Civil Rights Movement

  We are always finding great materials in our Art and Artists Files at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library and we’re excited it to share it with the public. In our mission to provide greater access to our ephemera files, we are working on adding our corporate files to the Art and Artist Files database. The corporate files contain ephemera (catalogues, pamphlets, exhibition invitations. etc.) produced for group exhibitions by galleries, museums, and other institutions. more »

Art and Artist Files Reveal Surrealist Jewels Designed by Salvador Dalí

The brilliant sparkle of a diamond, the saturated blood-red of a ruby, and the rich deep blue of a sapphire become the building blocks of one of Salvador Dalí’s lesser known artistic enterprises: jewelry design. The renowned Catalonian artist, most famous for his mind-bending Surrealist paintings of dream worlds and for his eccentricity as a self-proclaimed “genius,” began to design his jewelry collection in 1941 and continued the artistic project until 1970.

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