The American Art Museum, Archives of American Art & Renwick Gallery
The Lincoln Gallery of the American Art Museum
The American Art Museum is exhibiting George Catlin's American Buffalo, thru April 12, 2020.“Catlin was among the first artists of European descent to travel beyond the Mississippi River to record the “manners and customs” of American Indians, painting scenes and portraits from life." He feared the effects of the mass migrations forced by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Catlin recorded the massive herds of buffalo that roamed the Great Plains of the American West, capturing the central importance of the buffalo in the daily lives of American Indian tribes. Forty original paintings by the artist explore Catlin’s representation of buffalo and their integration into the lives of Native Americans. Image below:Buffalo Bull, Grazing on the Prairie by George Catlin, 1832–1833
The American Art Museum is exhibiting Chiura Obata: American Modern, thru May 25, 2020.Chiura Obata (1885–1975) was one of the most significant Japanese American artists working in the U.S. in the last century. The exhibition presents the most comprehensive survey of his rich and varied body of work to date with more than 150 paintings and personal effects, many of which are on public display for the first time. The exhibition includes works “that survey the complex variety of styles, techniques, and genres in which he worked." ShiPu Wang, professor of art history at the University of California, Merced, is the guest curator for the exhibition; Crawford Alexander Mann III, SAAM’s curator of prints and drawings, is coordinating its presentation in Washington, DC.
The American Art Museum is exhibiting Sculpture Down to Scale: Models for Public Art at Federal Buildings, 1974–1985, thru June 6, 2020.“Building on the arts patronage established during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s, the Kennedy administration inaugurated the Fine Arts Program of the General Services Administration (GSA) in 1962 to commission work by living artists for federal buildings. In 1972, the program began to operate in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1977 it became the Art in Architecture Program that exists today. The nine maquettes in the exhibition—many of them considered by the artists to be completed works of art in their own right—were acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum between 1977 and 1990.” Sarah Newman, the James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art, organized the exhibition.
Image below:Frank Stella - Maquette I for Joatinga 1974, oil & lacquer on aluminum
The Renwick Gallery will exhibit Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, February 21-May 17. The exhibition, which was organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, is “the first major thematic exhibition to explore the artistic achievements of Native women.” The exhibition includes about 80 artworks dating from ancient times to the present and ranging from sculpture, time-based media, photography, textiles, and decorative arts. “At the core of this exhibition is a firm belief in the power of the collaborative process. A group of exceptional Native women artists, curators, and Native Art historians have come together to generate new interpretations and scholarship of this art and their makers, offering multiple points of view and perspectives to enhance and deepen understanding.” The exhibition is organized by Jill Ahlberg Yohe, associate curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Teri Greeves, an independent curator and member of the Kiowa Nation. An advisory panel of Native women artists and Native and non-Native scholars provided insights from a range of nations.
The Renwick Gallery opened Connections: Contemporary Craft in late March, 2019.The dynamic ongoing permanent collection presentation features 80+ objects celebrating craft “as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world. The installation includes iconic favorites alongside new acquisitions, some of which are displayed at the museum for the first time. Nora Atkinson, The Lloyd Herman Acting Curator-in-Charge, selected the objects and conceived the innovative presentation.The artworks range from the 1930s through today and span numerous media.”
Image below: Debra Baxter, Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty), 2015, quartz crystal and sterling silver, Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Renwick Gallery is exhibiting Reforestation of the Imagination by contemporary artist Ginny Ruffner, thru January 5, 2020. Ruffner is best known for her elegant sculptures and mastery of glass techniques. Recently, she has created "work that combines traditional glass sculpture with Augmented Reality (AR) technology to create an interactive viewer experience. Visitors to the exhibition use a downloadable app that superimposes digital information over seemingly barren sculptures, creating two distinct realities to explore."
The Renwick Gallery is exhibiting a Michael Sherrill Retrospective, thru January 5, 2020. Sherrill renders delicate sculptures in clay, glass, and metal. His most recent work "reveals his naturalist’s sensitivity to botanical wonders, especially those outside his studio in the mountains of North Carolina. The retrospective was organized by The Mint Museum, and it illustrates the artist’s evolution over his more than forty-year career. More than seventy-five objects are being exhibited - from Sherrill’s earliest teapots and functional clay vessels to his mixed media sculptures inspired by nature.
Image below: Michael Sherrill, Yellowstone Rhododendron, 2000, porcelain, glaze, and steel, Smithsonian American Art Museum - Renwick Gallery