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Tag: American Art and Portrait Gallery Library

Between Pages—the Art of Bill Traylor

Bill Traylor:People’s Artist,  Cover

On the occasion of Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor, the first major retrospective ever organized for an artist born into slavery and the most comprehensive look at Bill Traylor’s work to date, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Sept. 28, 2018 – Mar. 17, 2019, we take a look at a special Traylor work in our library collections. 

Bill Traylor’s art is colorful—floating silhouettes of yellow, red and purple dogs, rabbits and snakes; brown, green and blue people walking, talking, working and drinking.  Set against simple backgrounds, Traylor’s inspired figures interpreted the world of his youth on Alabama plantation farms through the world of his old age, the downtown streets of Montgomery.

The ABC’S of the Corcoran Artist Files: the I’s

In the series called “The ABCs of the Corcoran Artist Files” the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library will explore artists through the materials from the recent Corcoran Vertical File Collection donation by featuring artists whose surnames begin with that letter. This time we are looking at the artists whose last names start with I.

Inside an Artist’s file: Lessons from Robert Beverly Hale

This post was contributed by Jessica Downie, 2018 Smithsonian American Art Museum summer intern with the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library, and a rising senior at Bucknell University.

During my internship this summer, I have been working to merge a recent donation of materials from the Arts Students League of New York (ASL) with the AA/PG Library’s Art & Artist Files. Through the process I have come across a variety of different catalogs, announcements as well as letters and personal notes written to the director, secretary, and archivists of the ASL.

Exploring Our Collections with “Bill T. Jones”

This year is Smithsonian Libraries is celebrating 50 years as  a unified system. While each museum has (at least) one library dedicated research material on items related to the museum’s collection; as a branch system, The Libraries’ help researchers explore any part of a question that interests them. This sounds pretty straightforward, but what does it look like in real life? To find out, this post explore how one item from a museum’s collection can be researched across several of our library branches. Our example:  Bill T. Jones (1985),  a  portrait of the choreographer by Robert Mapplethorpe. This work is on view in the Recent Acquisitions exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

One intern’s trip around the World’s Fairs

–This post was written by Jenna Fattah, a Summer 2017 intern at the American Art & Portrait Gallery Library. She is a junior at Indiana University Bloomington studying History. She hopes to continue on to get her Masters in Library Science. Interested in interning with Smithsonian Libraries? Check out our internship opportunities for Spring 2018.

AAPG World's Fair book spines
AAPG World’s Fair book spines

As an American Art & Portrait Gallery Library intern, I was lucky to spend my summer surrounded by books, art, and bibliophiles. My largest project took me about two months to complete, but it was well worth it. When you type “World’s Fair” into the Smithsonian Library’s catalog, SIRIS, almost 1,600 items come up. Of those, almost 1,200 are original artifacts published for or by the sponsors or committees of the different World’s Fairs.