~This post was written by Katherine Williamson, an intern at the American Art/ Portrait Gallery library. As part of my work as an American Art/Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG) intern, I answer reference questions from patrons that involve some type of research, either within our collection or using online sources that the library subscribes to. One of the most interesting reference questions I have received actually came from our Head Librarian, Doug Litts. Through his own research involving the original location of the AA/PG library – Room 331 of the main museum building – he came across a list of paintings, a marble bust and a cast iron sculpture, that were located in what was known as the NCFA/NPG Library when it was housed in the museum. Through circumstances unknown to us, those artworks were never transported to the Victor Building when the library moved here in 2000. He became very interested in the history of the artworks, as well as where they are now, and recruited me to help him more »
This summer, three of the Smithsonian Libraries art libraries, the Hirshhorn Library (HMSG), the African Art Library (AfA), and the American Art Library/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG) have hosted an intern through the Katzenberger Foundation Art History Internship Program. Each library has a collection of artists’ books and has been working to provide better access and exploring ways that the collections may be used. This year, under the coordination of Anna Brooke more »
This post was contributed by Kaitlyn Tanis, intern at the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library. Walking around downtown Washington, D.C. (located between the Capitol and the White House) is always a sight to behold. Between the grand marble buildings, the throngs of tourists, museums, and the vast number of restaurants, downtown D.C. represents the diversity and beauty of the city. However, the area was not always a thriving tourist destination. Pre- more »
This post was contributed by Rita O’Hara, library technician at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library. At the March 27th public program “Meet the Artist” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Christo engaged a full house in the Ring Auditorium with discussions of two current projects: Over the River, a 5.9 mile expanse of fabric panels which will be temporarily suspended over 42 miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado, and The Mastaba, a new permanent sculpture reportedly the largest in the world to be situated near Abu Dhabi. After showing images of his projects, Christo was very entertaining and gracious in answering any question from the audience.
This post was contributed by Lilla Vekerdy, Head of Special Collections. On December 19th, 2012 an unusual gift arrived to the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology in two huge crates. The cargo did not look like, nor was it packed as books, more like art work. Naturally, the shipment was not a surprise: its arrival had been preceded by a year’s worth of correspondence, administration, a trip to pack and ship, and several phone calls about the material.
Though American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) worked in every media, he is known best for his wall drawings and series of investigations of lines, colors and shapes. If you have ever been to an exhibition of LeWitt’s wall drawings, you’ll agree there is a sense of awe (“How could someone draw so many tiny straight lines across that entire gallery?”) mixed with a sense of vertigo (“How could someone draw so many tiny straight lines across that entire gallery?”).