Passing the Torch: George Grosz to Marshall Glasier to Robert Cenedella

Alexandra Reigle : September 14, 2017 9:00 am : Art and Design, Collection Highlights, Exhibitions, homepage, Intern and Volunteer Updates, Special Collections

Ephemera relating to Marshall Glasier, George Grosz, and Robert Cenedella from "Igniting Artistic Consciousness"

Ephemera relating to Marshall Glasier, George Grosz, and Robert Cenedella from “Igniting Artistic Consciousness”

In conjunction with the recently opened exhibition “Igniting Artistic Consciousness: Ephemera of Twentieth Century Instructors of the Art Students League of New York” produced by Michelle Ibarra at the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library, the blog has been exploring themes and artists featured in the exhibit, which will be on display through December 2017. Interested in the Art Students League and participating in Wikipedia? Join us for the Art Students League Archive Edit-a-thon in our library on September 29th.

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Hard-edged, Bright Color: Beyond the End

Anne Evenhaugen : April 6, 2017 9:00 am : Art and Design, Exhibitions, homepage, Intern and Volunteer Updates, Special Collections

In conjunction with the recent exhibition “Hard-edged, Bright Color: The Washington Color School” produced by Angelique Roy at the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library, the blog has been exploring the group of color artists featured in the exhibition.  more »

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In Memoriam: William B. Walker (1930-2017)

Anne Evenhaugen : March 13, 2017 9:00 am : Art and Design, homepage, Staff Notes

Bill Walker in his office, NCFA/NPG Library, c. 1970

William Bond Walker, the first librarian of the Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery Library, died on February 22, 2017 at the age of 86.

Bill Walker was hired in 1964 to manage the joint library of the National Collection of Fine Arts and the brand new National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution. The arts library was originally housed in the Arts & Industries Building, and Bill was instrumental in planning for all aspects of the move to the historic Patent Office Building in downtown Washington D.C. This move meant building out a new space in every detail from shelving to furniture, and establishing both a competent staff and a great library collection in a very short period of time, while navigating strong personalities in the Smithsonian. The library grew from a general art collection of 8,000 volumes in 1964 to more than 60,000 volumes when Bill left in 1980, with particular strength in American art, history and biography. Bill’s care and warmth when working with researchers and collectors was remarkable, and the donations he shepherded during his tenure are still some of the most valuable research materials held at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library.

Bill Walker with collector Chapin Riley, at the reception to celebrate the Archives of American Art joining the Smithsonian Institution, 1970.

William Bond Walker “Studio: Crated Furniture” 1998 (Carrie Haddad Gallery)

Bill was an avid painter and exhibited widely, including at the Art and Music Library of the University of Rochester and the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, New York.

Bill began his career at the former Donnell Branch of the New York Public Library in 1955. He was a Reference Librarian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1957-1959, Chief Librarian of the Brooklyn Museum’s Art Reference Library, 1959-1964, and the Arthur K. Watson Chief Librarian of Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1980 until his retirement in 1994. Walker was a founding member of ARLIS/NA, and a recipient of the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 1991.

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Significant donation from the Art Students League of New York

Anne Evenhaugen : February 27, 2017 9:00 am : Art and Design, Collection Highlights, homepage, New and Notable, Research, Special Collections

Alumni, Art Student’s League, 1950. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Arnold Newman. NPG.91.89.56

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce the donation of research ephemera for more than 4,000 artists from the Art Students League of New York (ASL), to be housed at the American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library. more »

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Hard-edged, Bright Color: Generations of Color

Anne Evenhaugen : December 16, 2016 9:00 am : Art and Design, Exhibitions, homepage, Intern and Volunteer Updates, Special Collections

Thomas Downing's examples of grids and dots

Thomas Downing’s examples of solid dots within rigid grids

In conjunction with the exhibition “Hard-edged, Bright Color: The Washington Color School” at the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library, the blog will be exploring the group of color artists to accompany the exhibit running until late spring. We’ll be exploring three of the “first generation” Washington Color School artists: Thomas Downing, Howard Mehring, and Paul Reed. more »

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