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Author: Erin Rushing

Erin handles rights and reproductions for Smithsonian Libraries' images. She also has an outreach role in the Libraries, coordinating social media and the blog, Unbound, and managing the internship program. She holds an M.L.S from the University of Maryland, as well as a BA in History and Art History.

“Material Meanings” exhibit opens Wednesday!

We often think of the book as a container of information. A book’s text conveys meaning through reading. However, meaning can be expressed in other ways. Typography, ink color, blank space, paper, artwork, and binding also provide information to the reader about the artist’s project. Featuring artists’ books from the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG), this exhibit investigates the way that book artists use material and visual features to make meaning.

Happy Independence Day!

Bolgiano’s 1918 Catalog

In honor of the patriotic spirit of the Fourth of July, plus the gardening season that is upon us, we take a special look at victory gardens!

Though more known for their place in the Second World War, victory gardens (or war gardens as they were initially called) were first advocated during World War I. In addition to rationing other goods, citizens were urged to do their patriotic duty and grow their own vegetables, fruits and herbs at home in order to free up resources for the military. It was hoped that with more resources, the U.S. forces would have better success on the warfront.

Transit of Venus

On June 5 and 6th, much of the world will be able to catch a glimpse of the planet Venus traversing across the face of the Sun. The “Transit of Venus” occurs when the planet passes between the Earth and the Sun, a rare occasion that has happened only seven times since the year 1600. Many folks in the modern era will have a chance to witness this remarkable occurrence twice in their lifetimes, as the last Transit occurred in  2004.