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Author: Anne Evenhaugen

Hard-edged, Bright Color: The Washington Color School.

Hard-Edged, Bright Color
“The idea of bands of color, hard-edged, bright color. It was like a breath of fresh air in the early ’60s, because all this messy sh*t, you know, that was going on in New York — we provided an alternative.” Gene Davis oral history transcript, Archives of American Art.

With the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Gene Davis: Hot Beat, the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library is hosting a complementary exhibition of ephemera showcasing a group known as the Washington Color Painters, or perhaps better recognized by their more dubious title, the Washington Color School.

From Charlie Parker to Potato Chip Portraits: Exhibition of Recently Acquired Artists’ Books

American Art & Portrait Gallery LibraryThe Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library is pleased to present an exhibition of some of its recently acquired artists’ books in the Library’s Reading Room.

The books, all acquired in the last two years, range from mass-produced publications to unique, hand-made book works. The artworks show a range of subjects, from the very personal, family stories, to the cult of celebrity.

A funny thing happened on the way to my internship: What I accidentally learned in my first week as an AA/PG intern

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

This post was written by American Art/Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library intern Sharon Wolff. Sharon is an MSIS grad student at SUNY at Albany in New York, and came down to DC to intern with the AA/PG from the end of December through most of January. She primarily worked on cataloging the Art and Artist Files while she was there, along with the upcoming Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here exhibit.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I was accepted as an intern for the Smithsonian AA/PG Library in DC, but I certainly could not have predicted that I would accompany Anne Evenhaugen to George Mason University to pick up artists’ books and prints for an exhibition on my second day. I wasn’t even sure what an artist’s book was, so the whole trip was a great learning opportunity for me!

Corcoran Artist Vertical File collection donated to the Smithsonian Libraries

Alexander Liberman Catalog from the CGA ephemera files.
Alexander Liberman Catalog from the CGA ephemera files.

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to announce the donation of research ephemera for more than 8,000 artists from the Corcoran Gallery of Art (CGA) in Washington, D.C., to be housed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library.

Dan Graham and Marilyn Levine ephemera
Dan Graham and Marilyn Levine ephemera

The Smithsonian AA/PG Library recently acquired the Artist Vertical File collection from the Trustees of the Corcoran, which encompasses a large collection of published ephemera related to artists, with particular strength in Washington D.C.-based artists and those who worked during the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program.

November twenty-six, nineteen hundred sixty-three.

 

November twenty-six, nineteen hundred sixty-three, poem
November twenty-six, nineteen hundred sixty-three, poem

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.

The Anniversary of Museum Cats Day – Cats in Art!






Almost a year ago, the Libraries celebrated “Museum Cat Day”, a social media celebration of cat-related objects in museums which was organized by  Culture Themes.  To see the Libraries’ contributions to Museum Cat Day, check out our Storify account of the action.  On the anniversary of such a fun social media event, we take a look at more cats in art!  This post was contributed by Ria Witteman, intern at the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library summer 2015.  Ria is a rising third year at the University of Virginia, majoring in Art History and Spanish.