The American Art Museum, Archives of American Art & Renwick Gallery
The Lincoln Gallery of the American Art Museum
The American Art Museum will exhibit American Myth and Memory: David Levinthal Photographs June 7-October 14. Levinthal's photographs "reference iconic images and events that shaped postwar American society. The exhibition brings together six of the artist’s best-known bodies of work to explore some myths found in American popular culture and their place in our collective memory. Created between 1984 and 2018, the series Modern Romance, American Beauties, Wild West, Barbie, Baseball, and History all explore quintessentially American themes and imagery. The exhibition includes more than 70 color photographs drawn from two recent gifts to SAAM. The exhibition is organized by Joanna Marsh, SAAM’s Deputy Education Chair, Head of Interpretation and Audience Research."
The American Art Museum is exhibiting Tiffany Chung: Vietnam, Past Is Prologue thru September 2.The contemporary artist from Vietnam is known for her multimedia work “that explores migration, conflict, and shifting geographies in the wake of political and natural upheavals.” Chung’s father was a pilot in the South Vietnamese army who fought alongside American forces. The family immigrated to the U.S. as part of the post-1975 exodus from Vietnam. The exhibition illuminates both the war’s scale and the personal stakes of people affected by it. The museum commissioned a new series of video interviews with former Vietnamese refugees in Houston, Texas; Southern California; and Northern Virginia for the exhibition. The exhibition also includes photographs, watercolors, texts, and hand-drawn maps that trace military strategies and refugee resettlement patterns. Sarah Newman, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art, organized the exhibition. Image below: Tiffany Chung, reconstructing an exodus history: flight routes from camps and of ODP cases, 2017, embroidery on fabric, edition of 2, courtesy of the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York
The American Art Museum is exhibiting Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975, thru August 18.The exhibition presents art created between the time of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s decision to deploy U.S. ground troops to South Vietnam in 1965 and the fall of Saigon ten years later. Artists Respond brings together nearly 100 works by fifty-eight of “the most visionary and provocative artists and artist groups of the period.” The exhibition is organized by Melissa Ho, SAAM’s curator of twentieth-century art.
Bloom: Flowers from the Archives of American Artis on exhibit in the Lawrence A. FleischmanGallery, thru September 2.The exhibition featuressketches and drawings of flowers from the museum’scollections that offer an opportunity to examine flowers from both an artistic and scientific point of view. The exhibition coincides with Smithsonian Gardens' biannual Orchid Show, which is being held this year in the Kogod Courtyard of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, which is directly adjacent to the Archives of American Art. Please see the "Gardens" column of this edition for information about the Orchid Show.
Image below: Watercolor study, 19--. Polly Thayer (Starr) papers, 1846-2008, bulk 1921-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Visit www.aaa.si.edu/
The Renwick Gallery
The Renwick Gallery
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 Smithsonian American Art Museum is exhibiting Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018, thru May 5, 2019.The exhibition features the work of Tanya Aguiñiga, Sharif Bey, Dustin Farnsworth, and Stephanie Syjuco, who “challenge the conventional definitions of craft by imbuing it with a renewed sense of emotional purpose, inclusiveness, and activism.” The four artists work in a variety of media including ceramics, wood, and fibers. “They all share a dedication to social justice and to interrogating cultural identities and established historical narratives. By exploiting the conceptual toolkits of craft, they develop responses to the contemporary political landscape while also analyzing and challenging their own cultural histories.”
Image below: Dustin Farnsworth, XLIII, 2016, poplar, reclaimed wood, chair, pencil, and various polychrome. Collection of Sandy Berlin. Photo by Ben Premeau
The Renwick Gallery will exhibit Reforestation of the Imagination by contemporary artist Ginny Ruffner, June 28-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 will exhibit Michael Sherrill Retrospective, June 28-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 will be 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