MUSEUM TOURSBETA

Art Lover

Slow down. Stop and stare. Step into the worlds created by the Smithsonian’s paintings and artworks. Start your visit at the Renwick Gallery, enjoying the work of the nation's crafts artists, and admire the mystery of Wendell Castle's Ghost Clock, and the decorative ironwork in Albert Paley's Portal Gates. On the National Mall, rest between destinations in the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle, before continuing inside the Castle to find a 12th-century Buddha and mid-century modern china. Next door are the world class collections of the Freer Gallery, which reopens in October after extensive renovations. At the Sackler, home to exquisite Buddha collections, gaze deeply into the reflections and subtle shades found on a celadon glaze bottle. Up 7th Street is the National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum. See one of the most haunting images of Abraham Lincoln at the Portrait Gallery, and then pretend to hike into the California foothills when you visit Bierstadt’s epic 1868 painting, Among the Sierra Nevada, California, at the American Art Museum. Other stops along the way, include the National Postal Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the African Art Museum. The Smithsonian's art collections are vast and diverse, this tour takes you far and wide across centuries and cultural landscapes.

Renwick Gallery

Renwick Gallery

The Renwick Gallery is home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection of contemporary craft and decorative art—one of the finest and most extensive collections of its kind. The museum’s home is a National Historic Landmark, and was the first structure built expressly as an art museum in the United States. It is named in honor of its architect, James Renwick, Jr., and exhibits the most exciting works by artists exploring traditional and innovative approaches to making.

Renwick Gallery

ADDRESS

1661 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20503

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily

Closed December 25th

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Farragut West (17th St. exit) or Farragut North (K St. exit)

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Apocalypse ‘42

Second Floor, Room 203

Viktor Schreckengost, 1942, terracotta and glaze with engobe, Gift of the artist

Viktor Schreckengost created Apocalypse ‘42 a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This image of a frightened horse bearing Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito, and a figure of Death across the globe was made to protest the rise of fascism. The drips of bloodred glaze around the horse's head and hooves were an unintentional effect of the firing process.

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Batman 2

2nd Floor, Room 203

Mark Newport, 2005, acrylic and buttons, museum purchase through the Richard T. Evans Fund © 2005, Mark Newport

Mark Newport knits costumes for superheroes such as Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. These protagonists first appeared in comic books and were further popularized in cinema and television, the media that brought theater to the masses. Some of Newport’s other subjects include fictionalized heroes of the American West, such as Rawhide Kid and Two Gun Kid, and characters of his own invention, such as Sweaterman. Knitting is more readily associated with craft than high art, so Newport’s lowbrow process, emphasized by his use of acrylic yarn, affirms his message about the influence and pervasiveness of the popular.

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Black and Grey Toaster, 2011

Second Floor, Room 203

Artist Margarita Cabrera’s vinyl sculptures like Black and Grey Toaster take the form of appliances, assembled in Mexican factories and sold to U.S. consumers. She sewed each sculpture in a process that echoes factory labor. The strings used to bind the vinyl are left long and exposed, reminders of the labor involved in producing appliances found in many American homes.

Margarita Cabrera, 2011, vinyl, copper wire and thread, museum purchase through the Frank K. Ribelin Endowment © 2011, Margarita Cabrera.

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Charred Split Birch Log Teapot

Second Floor, Room 206

Eric Serritella, 2013, stoneware, stains, and oxides, museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art © 2013, Eric Serritella

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Cut, Flamed, Spalted

Second Floor, Room 202

Dan Webb, 2013, maple, museum purchase through the Decorative Arts and Crafts Endowment, the Richard T. Evans Fund, and the Renwick Acquisitions Fund © 2013, Dan Webb

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Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty), 2015

Second Floor, Room 207

Debra Baxter, 2015, quartz crystal and sterling silver, gift of the artist in honor of Joanna and David Baxter

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Drift, 2011

Second Floor, Room 207

Matthias Pliessnig's extraordinary amorphous furniture has its unlikely roots in the history of wooden boat-building. While studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Pliessnig, fellow student Benjamin Wooten, and professor Tom Loeser embarked on a project to each build a simple skiff for use on the town's surrounding lakes. Muddling through the basics of marine design required learning to steam-bend wood, an ancient technique that effectively boils the resin inside wood, rendering the stock malleable. Use of steam-bending is evident in the shape of boat hulls across the globe but has only influenced furniture design sporadically, including the eighteenth-century development of the Windsor chair and the nineteenth-century catalogue of the Austrian firm Gebrüder Thonet.

Matthias Pliessnig, 2011, white oak and bamboo, gift of the James Renwick Alliance and museum purchase through the Richard T. Evans Fund, © 2011, Matthias Pliessnig

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Ghost Clock, 1985

Second Floor, Room 203

Beneath Wendell Castle's clever shroud, there is neither a classic grandfather clock nor a statement about time. Castle's magnificent Ghost Clock is a haunting sculpture so still and timeless it suggests eternity. Constructed from laminated and bleached Honduras mahogany, Ghost Clock is a powerful example of trompe l'oeil, a French term that means "to fool the eye." Here, the "drapery" is not soft, supple cloth but beautifully carved wood that suggests muslin in color and texture. What we think we see is, in fact, not what is.

Wendell Castle, 1985, bleached Honduras mahogany, museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program © 1985, Wendell Castle.

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Green Balance, 2011

Second Floor, Room 207

Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine, Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, gift of the artists in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the Renwick Gallery © 2011, Erik and Martin Demaine.

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Inez, 2010

Second Floor, Room 203

Ken Price, 2010, earthenware and acrylic paint, gift of the James F. Dicke Family © 2010, Ken Price, Inc.

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Low-Back Side Chair

Second Floor, Room 202

Sam Maloof, 1995, ziricote and ebony, gift of Alfreda and Sam Maloof in honor of Michael W. Monroe, curator-in-charge, Renwick Gallery (1986-1995) © 1995, Sam Maloof

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Related Articles from Smithsonian.com

Famous for His Rocking Chair, Sam Maloof Made Furniture That Had Soul
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Mandara, 2005

Second Floor, Room 207

Lino Tagliapietra is widely revered as a master of glass blowing, and is recognized for his unparalleled contributions to the studio glass movement through his teaching, which fostered a new generation of artists. Mandara is a seminal example of the innovative work Tagliapietra created since he decided to become a self-styled studio artist, after braking from the factory-system in Murano, Italy, where he worked for more than 40 years. Illustrated in this piece are classic Murano colors, and the 500-year-old incalmo technique, in which different glass bubbles, such as the blue and the yellow, are joined together to create a more distinctive work. Also present are rich examples of Tagliapietra's trademark "coldworking" techniques, in which patterns are cut into the glass after it has cooled.

Lino Tagliapietra, 2005, glass, museum purchase made possible by the American Art Forum © 2005, Lino Tagliapietra, Inc.

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Portal Gates, 1974

Second Floor, Room 207

In 1974, Albert Paley was a highly successful jewelry artist, when he won the Renwick Gallery's national design competition and was awarded the commission to design decorative metalwork doors for the gallery shop. His Portal Gates opened the door to a new career, leading to numerous commissions and world renown for Paley's monumental architectural ironwork and sculpture. The ironwork in Portal Gates pays homage to European art nouveau and American abstract expressionism.

Albert Paley, 1974, steel, brass, copper, and bronze, commissioned for the Renwick Gallery.

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Practice Bomber Range in the Mississippi Flyway

Second Floor, Room 203

Terese Agnew, 1999-2002, cottons, bridal tulle, and denim, gift of S & R Pieper Family © 2002, Terese Agnew

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Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery, 2009

Second Floor, Room 207

Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery by Karen LaMonte shows the technical virtuosity and sensitivity to material expected in contemporary craft, augmented by LaMonte's natural ease with history. This piece is part of her glass dress series, which she began in 2000. It is the strongest piece from this series, with its bold drapery and delicate treatment of the female figure. No other work demonstrates with such clarity LaMonte's grasp of classical style and composition.

Karen LaMonte, 2009, glass, gift of the James Renwick Alliance and Colleen and John Kotelly

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Shadow of Amboseli

2nd Floor, Room 203

Wendy Maruyama, 2016, jelutong, milk paint, waxed linen thread, and finish, gift of Penland School of Crafts through contributions made by Fleur Bresler, the Cousins Foundation, Tom Oreck, Kaola and Frank Phoenix, Susan Parker Martin and Alan Belzer, Barbara McFadyen and Douglass Phillips, Diane Charnov, Lee Rocamora, John A. Thompson, Jr., members of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, and the Collectors of Wood Art

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Tea for One, 2002

Second Floor, Room 207

Jeffrey Clancy, 2002, sterling silver and mahogany, museum purchase made possible by the Charles and Margret Craver Withers Bequest © 2002, Jeffrey Clancy

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The Craftsman Series: Shovels, 2011

Second Floor, Room 203

Stacey Lee Webber, 2011, pennies, brass, silver, and copper, museum purchase made possible by the Clare Brackett Morison Bequest in memory of Philip Fike and museum purchase through the Richard T. Evans Fund.

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Vase with Landscape and Dinosaurs, 2014

Second Floor, Room 203

Artist Steven Young Lee blends Eastern and Western traditions with anachronistic, often playful imagery and striking pattern in porcelain works like his Vase with Landscape and Dinosaurs. His process allows the clay forms to sink under their own weight in the kiln, creating dramatic "broken" silhouettes that can never be replicated. The resulting vessels embody equal parts mastery and chance, and reflect Lee’s own inquiries into the nature of perfection, the construction of identity and balancing tradition with personal expression.

Steven Young Lee, 2014, porcelain with pigment and glaze, gift of Richard Fryklund, Giselle and Ben Huberman, David and Clemmer Montague, and museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art © 2014, Steven Young Lee.

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Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

Completed in 1855, the Castle is our signature building and home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center.

Smithsonian Castle

ADDRESS

1000 Jefferson Drive, SW

Washington, DC 20560

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

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Smithsonian (Mall exit)

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Blanco y Verde, 1960

Herrera, who left her native Cuba for New York City in 1939, is best known for crisp, geometric canvases produced during and after a productive five-year sojourn in Paris (1948-53). Even though Herrera felt excluded from the commercial art scene, she interacted with fellow American artists Barnett Newman and Leon Polk Smith, who were also creating geometric works. In Blanco y Verde, Herrera constructed a series of pressure points where green triangles meet the edge of the canvases, or butt up against each other to create an even larger triangular form that opens up pictorial space. The result is a dynamic work that invites viewers to decipher the shifting relationships between color and form.

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Buddha Sheltered by Naga, Angkor period, 12th century

Commons Room

Angkor period, 12th century, stone, gift of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Bunker

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Disk (bi 璧)

Commons Room

The markings on the interior of the central perforation indicate that it was worked from both sides. There are irregularities in the outer edges of the disk. Several chips in the edge, which is rough. Also: Surface cracks and scratches. The inner hole is roughly carved and nicked.

Liangzhu culture 良渚, Late Neolithic period, ca. 3300-2250 BCE, Jade (nephrite), gift of Arthur M. Sackler

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Frame and Photograph (France), 1907

Commons Room

This is a Frame and photograph. It was designed by Hector Guimard. It is dated 1907 and we acquired it in 1956. Its medium is gilt bronze. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department. This object was donated by Mme. Hector Guimard and catalogued by Hedy Backlin-Landman. It is credited Gift of Mme. Hector Guimard.

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Headrest, Mid-20th century

African headrests are designed to cradle the neck and support the head. They protect coiffures and elevate the head for sleeping. Headrests display an amazing variety of shapes. In some, one sees the original form of the tree trunks or branches from which they were carved. Others such as this example bear little resemblance to the natural form. Generally, the head support is a curved rectangle; the legs, pedestals and decorations, however, demonstrate the cultural style and the work of the individual artist. The interlace pattern on the top of this headrest is typical of the Kuba style.

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Imperial Hotel Dinner Plate, 1962

Commons Room

This is a dinner plate. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and manufactured by Noritake and made for Imperial Hotel. It is dated 1962 and we acquired it in 1979. Its medium is enameled and glazed porcelain. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

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Incense burner/Incensario cover with crocodile effigy

Commons Room

AD 750-1300, pottery, sold to Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Sackler

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Liz Balmaseda, 1994

Commons Room

Carlos Betancourt, 1994, acrylic on linen, gift of the artist

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Mountains by Moonlight, 1984

Mark Peiser has made many sculptures that show landscapes with a sun or moon hovering above. He forms the initial image by pouring layers of molten glass into a mold, then quickly adds a dollop of a different color to the hot mixture for the floating sphere. In Mountains by Moonlight a simple twist of frosted glass creates the illusion of rolling hills below a clear blue sky. The highly polished planes of glass on the outside refract the image so that we see a slightly different view from each angle.

Mark Peiser, 1984, glass, gift of Dale and Doug Anderson

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Plate (Netherlands), 1691-1721

Commons Room

This is a plate. It was manufactured by Lambertus Van Eenhoorn and Metalen Pot [de] (the Metal Pot Factory). It is dated 1691–1721 and we acquired it in 1986. Its medium is tin glazed earthenware. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

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Standing Nude III, 1953

Commons Room

Alberto Giacometti, 1953, bronze, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn

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Susanna (#2), 1946

Commons Room

Paul Manship, 1946, bronze/gilded on stone: marble base, bequest of Paul Manship

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Tile in the shape of a mihrab

Commons Room

13th century, Stone-paste, molded, with turquoise glaze, gift of Arthur M. Sackler

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Tube (cong)

Commons Room

Jade, Shang dynasty, ca. 2nd Millennium BCE, gift of Arthur M. Sackler

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National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

Devoted to the history of America's mail service and the hobby of stamp collecting.

National Postal Museum

ADDRESS

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE

Washington, DC 20002

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

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METRO

Union Station (Mass. Ave. exit)

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1c Franklin Z. Grill single, 1868

William H. Gross Stamp Gallery

This stamp became rare when it was pressed with a grill pattern to help absorb ink and deter re-use. It is one of only two known examples of a z-pattern grill used on a 1-cent stamp. This is the RAREST U.S. stamp.

Loan from the The Benjamin K. Miller Stamp Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

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British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, 1856

William H. Gross Stamp Gallery

The world’s rarest and most valuable postage stamp, it is the only one of its kind in the world.

Exhibit Dates: June 4, 2015 - November, 2017, Loan from Stuart Weitzman

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Inverted Jenny Block of Four, 1918

William H. Gross Stamp Gallery

This upside-down blue plane within a red frame is the most famous U.S. stamp and one of the world’s most famous printing errors. Only one misprinted sheet of 100 stamps was sold.

Loan from William H. Gross.

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Stamp Act of 1765 Proof, 1765

William H. Gross Stamp Gallery

In 1765 the British Parliament passed an act commonly called The Stamp Act that infuriated American colonists. Resisting the Act was the first incremental step on the road to the American Revolution. Cries of “taxation without representation” and attacks on stamp agents led to the repeal of the Act on March 18, 1766.

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National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Tells the multifaceted story of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story. Connect with the museum at Facebook; Instagram; blog; Twitter and YouTube.

National Portrait Gallery

ADDRESS

8th and F Streets, NW

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 633-8300

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

11:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

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Abraham Lincoln, 1865

America's Presidents, Second Floor, S240

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) by Alexander Gardner, 1865

One of the most haunting images in American history is a photograph of Lincoln taken on February 5, 1865, a week before his 56th birthday. Only one original print was ever made. The hollowed, careworn features of the 16th president are offset by the trace of a faint smile. The photograph is made poignant by a crack in the glass plate negative, since many have considered the line of fracture symbolic of the fissures of a country torn by war or a frightening omen of the path of the assassin’s bullet that would kill the president just months later, on April 14.

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African-American Stories
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Cat's Cradle, 1981

Champions, Third Floor, S342M

Muhammad Ali (1941-2016) by Henry C. Casselli, Jr., 1981

When Muhammad Ali proclaimed "I am the greatest," it was hard not to agree. Just 22 years old when he stunned the boxing world by upsetting heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in 1964, Ali (born Cassius Clay) would become the first three-time winner of the heavyweight crown. A consummate showman whose braggadocio and rhyming banter captivated the public, the fleet-footed and graceful Ali was mesmerizing as he confounded opponents with his unorthodox boxing style. Ali was also a potent force beyond the ring. In 1967 he became a symbol of conscience to many when he was convicted of draft evasion and stripped of his title after refusing military induction on the basis of his religious beliefs. The Supreme Court later overturned the conviction, and Ali battled back in the ring to regain the heavyweight title in 1974.

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Charlie Parker, 1950

20th Century Americans, Third Floor, S321

Charlie Parker (1920-1955) by Dennis Stock, 1950

Jazz musician and saxophonist Charlie ("Bird") Parker was a pioneer of mid-20th-century free jazz and later the bebop movement. Parker's deconstruction of traditional jazz melodies allowed him to accelerate and lengthen the individual lines of his solos. This was the musical equivalent of Whitman's breaking of the iambic pentameter line and creating free verse. Tragically, Parker's career was marked by heavy drug use as he sought to erase the boundary line between the individual and the art.

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Elvis Presley, 1976-1988

Bravo!, Third Floor, S322M

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) by Ralph Wolfe Cowan, 1976-1988

Although the king of rock ’n’ roll was endlessly photographed and filmed, he sat only once for a portraitist. Elvis posed for Cowan in 1969 for a portrait that now hangs at Graceland, his home in Memphis. Cowan completed this second painting in 1988—11 years after Presley’s death—relying on sketches he had made during the sitting.

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Fatha Hines, c. 1941

20th Century Americans, Third Floor, S321

Earl Kenneth Hines (1905-1983) by Ronny Jaques, c. 1941

Earl Hines was given the nickname "Fatha" by a Chicago disc jockey in part because of his genial, fatherly personality, but also in tribute to Hines as the progenitor of modern jazz piano. Playing horn-like lines with one hand and chords with the other, Hines elevated the role of the piano as a solo instrument and, in the process, became the most influential jazz pianist of his generation. A church organist as a child, he resettled in 1924 in Chicago, where his playing partners included trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Shortly thereafter, he formed his own big band, which performed regularly at the Grand Terrace Ballroom and toured throughout North America and later Europe and Russia. During the 1940s, when bebop was transforming jazz with its fast tempos and improvisation, Hines's band continued to grow, nurturing new talent that included trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker.

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Grant and His Generals, 1865

American Origins, First Floor

Grant and His Generals by Ole Peter Hansen Balling, 1865

The monumental Grant and His Generals, a 10- by 16-foot canvas, by Norwegian immigrant Ole Peter Hansen Balling, depicts Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) on a bay horse leading a group of legendary commanders, including William T. Sherman (riding a white horse) and George A. Custer (left, on black horse). Also pictured: Winfield Scott Hancock, known as “Hancock the Superb"; George Meade, the hero of the Battle of Gettysburg; George Thomas, known as the “Rock of Chickamauga”; and Philip Sheridan, the conqueror of the Shenandoah Valley.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1853

American Origins, First Floor, E122

Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) by Alanson Fisher, 1853

Long before the first blast of cannon fire at Fort Sumter, writers had begun the battle, armed only with their pens. One of those was the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), which sold more than 300,000 copies in its first year and converted many to the cause. Upon meeting Stowe in 1862, Abraham Lincoln remarked: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!” This portrait of Stowe was commissioned in 1863 by the owner of New York City’s National Theatre, which was staging a play based on the novel. It hung in the theater’s lobby, meant to reveal the inner resolve of the writer who left an indelible mark on the nation’s conscience.

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Harriet Tubman, c. 1885

American Origins, First Floor, E112

Harriet Arminta Tubman (1820-1913) by H. Seymour Squyer, c. 1885

Named Araminta Ross and born a slave, Harriet Tubman rebelled against her servitude from her earliest years, running away as early as age seven. At fifteen, she defied an overseer and was nearly killed when he gave her "a stunning blow to the head." Barely recovering, she regained her health, cultivated her toughness, and nurtured her anger. In 1844 she married a freedman, John Tubman, and in 1849 she escaped to Philadelphia, discarding her slave name for her mother's name, Harriet. After her husband refused to join her, Tubman became the lead conductor on the Underground Railroad, guiding escaping slaves to freedom. She made 19 recorded trips out of the South and was reputed never to have lost a soul. Tubman was active throughout the abolitionist movement and conspired with John Brown about raiding the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, although she did not participate.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 2011

20th Century Americans, Third Floor, S341

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (1950) by Yuqi Wang, 2011

The author of numerous books, including Life Upon These Shores (2011), Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates is one of today’s most prominent public intellectuals. He has cast a wide net of influence across generations with a variety of publications about African American history and culture, combined with frequent public appearances. Yuqi Wang’s portrait refers to 1975, when Gates “decided to become an academic.” During that year, Gates was on a fellowship at Cambridge University, where he encountered professors Wole Soyinka and Anthony Appiah, whose books are included here on the table along with W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk (1903). The sculpture next to them represents the Yoruba god Esu-Elegbara. Gates’s analysis of the relevance of this god to black literary theory appears in his influential Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African American Literary Criticism (1988). Wang balances the composition with purple freesia, a personal reference to Cambridge, England, and Gates’s pivotal year there.

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47
47

Ira Aldridge as Othello, c. 1830

American Origins, First Floor, E120

Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807-1867) Henry Perronet Briggs, c. 1830

The career of Ira Aldridge illustrates the costs that racism inflicted on African Americans and on America itself. Aldridge was one of the great actors of his age—but he was black. Unable to work in America, he moved to England in the 1820s and lived abroad until his death. Aldridge's most famous role was Othello, in which he is shown here, a part that he invested with the poignancy of his own experience; a Russian critic wrote in 1858 that "he was Othello himself, as created by Shakespeare." Yet Aldridge was not bound by color in his acting. He played most of Shakespeare's main characters, especially the tragic heroes. Aldridge's career foreshadows the fate of many African American artists, such as dancer Josephine Baker or jazz musician Dexter Gordon, who chose to go to Europe to find wide acclaim.

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48
48

Jacob Lawrence, 1959

20th Century Americans, Third Floor, S342

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) by Arnold A. Newman, 1959

Jacob Lawrence achieved recognition during his lifetime previously unparalleled by an African American artist. This critical attention began early in his career. In 1941, at age twenty-four, he exhibited a series of sixty paintings, The Migration of the Negro, at the prestigious Downtown Gallery in New York. Visually chronicling the historic movement of African Americans from the South to the North between the two world wars, these paintings attracted wide notice and helped solidify Lawrence's reputation for creating multi-picture narratives about individuals and episodes in African American history. Other noteworthy series from this period highlighted such figures as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and John Brown. To the end of his career, Lawrence remained committed to an aesthetic of bold colors and flat forms and to a subject matter that was sensitive to the varied experiences of African Americans.

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49
49
OFF DISPLAY

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) by Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989), 1963

When Elaine de Kooning first saw President Kennedy in Palm Beach, he was talking to reporters in the distance. As she recalled, "he was not the grey sculptural newspaper image. He was incandescent, golden. And bigger than life. Not that he was taller than the men standing around; he just seemed to be in a different dimension. Also not revealed by the newspaper image were his incredible eyes with large violet irises half veiled by the jutting bone beneath the eyebrows."

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50
50

Julia Ward Howe, c. 1910-1925

American Origins, First Floor, E112

William Henry Cotton, (1880-1958) by John Elliott, c. 1910-1925

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) was a self-taught intellectual, poet, and women’s rights activist. Her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, strongly disapproved of her pursuits outside the home, thus she published her poetry anonymously. In 1861, on a visit to Washington, D.C. a friend suggested she rewrite the lyrics of a popular song, “John Brown’s Body.” The result was her most famous poem, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which became the anthem of the Union Army. Her poem also appeared in a unique 1864 volume entitled Autograph Leaves of Our Country’s Authors, alongside Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” and works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Edgar Allan Poe.

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51
51

Lionel Hampton, 1997

Bravo!, Third Floor, S322M

Lionel Hampton (1908-2002) by Frederick J. Brown, 1997

Lionel Hampton began his musical career as a drummer until Louis Armstrong encouraged him to take up the vibraphone in the early 1930s. Hampton introduced that instrument to the jazz idiom and came to the attention of Benny Goodman in 1936. When Goodman formed the Benny Goodman Quartet, Hampton played "vibes" and went on to direct the group's recordings of such favorites as "Dinah" and "Exactly Like You." In 1940 Goodman disbanded the quartet, and Hampton struck out on his own, incorporating such musicians as Charles Mingus, Quincy Jones and Charlie Parker into the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Among the top bands in the country, the orchestra played all the popular clubs, as well as Carnegie Hall and Harlem's Apollo Theatre. Hampton's high-energy spontaneity was legendary: "We got no routine," he once said. "We just act the way the spirit moves us."

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52
52

Maria Callas (1923-1977), 1956

Bravo!, Third Floor, S321M

Maria Callas (1923-1977) by Henry Koerner, 1956

This oil portrait of Maria Callas appeared on the cover of Time magazine the week she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Norma. Grand opera has long been characterized by larger-than-life singers and even larger egos—and by some accounts, Callas was the grandest diva of them all. Renowned for her soaring soprano, riveting stage presence and volcanic temperament, she did not have the word “compromise” in her vocabulary. “I will always be as difficult as necessary to achieve the best,” Callas said.

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53
53

Marian Anderson, 1944

Bravo!, Third Floor, S321M

Marian Anderson (1887-1993) by Laura Wheeler Waring, 1944

Of the outstanding voices of the 20th century, contralto Marian Anderson—like many African American artists of the time—first achieved success in Europe. Impresario Sol Hurok convinced her to return to America, and a triumphant 1935 concert secured her reputation. In 1939 she became embroiled in a historic event when the Daughters of the American Revolution banned her appearance at its Constitution Hall because she was black. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt intervened and facilitated Anderson's Easter Sunday outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial—an event witnessed by 75,000 and broadcast to a radio audience of millions. In 1955 Anderson was invited to appear at the Metropolitan Opera, becoming the first African American to sing an important role with that company. Laura Wheeler Waring painted this portrait for the Harmon Foundation, an organization that promoted appreciation of African American heritage. The picture was part of a collection of likenesses that the foundation circulated around the country for many years.

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54
54

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1969

The Struggle for Justice, Second Floor, W220

Martin Luther King, Jr., (1929-1968) by Joseph Stein, 1969

Although many important civil rights leaders emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, Martin Luther King personified the struggle for African American equality and justice. King’s synthesis of Christian theology and its message of a supporting and loving God, together with Mohandas Gandhi’s tactics of nonviolent protest, became the defining features of the civil rights movement. In 1963 King focused the nation’s attention on the African American struggle by leading a massive civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, and helping to organize the August 28, 1963, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

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55
55

Pedro Martinez, 2000

20th Century Americans: 1990 to Present, Third Floor, S341

Pedro J. Martinez (1971) by Susan Miller-Havens, 2000

It’s the rare professional athlete who gets to be known by just his first name. There’s Mickey, Babe, Kobe, Mario, and a smattering of others, including Pedro, one of baseball’s greatest pitchers. From 1997 to 2003, Martinez lead the American League fives time in ERA, three times in strikeouts, and five times in hits allowed per nine innings; he also won the league's Cy Young Award in 1997, 1999 and 2000. He might be most remembered, though, for his part on the 2004 Red Sox team, which broke the Curse of the Bambino and brought the World Series trophy back to Boston for the first time in 86 years. Martinez was also known—lovingly in Red Sox Nation, not so much elsewhere—for his antics of questionable taste. He befriended the 2-foot-4-inch-tall actor Nelson de la Rosa as a “good luck charm” and during an on-field brawl in a 2003 playoff game, he famously threw down 72-year-old Yankees coach Don Zimmer. Artist Susan Miller-Havens captured the character in her painting and even hid a few rose petals from the Dominican Republic beneath the pitchers' mound as a nod to the country where Martinez was born.

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56
56

Reggie Jackson, 1974

Champions, Third Floor, S342M

Reginald Martinez Jackson (1946) by Howard Rogers, 1974

One of baseball's great sluggers and larger-than-life personalities, Reggie Jackson hit 563 career home runs and helped carry his teams to four World Series championships from 1973 to 1978. While Jackson's regular season play was far from average, his postseason performances were spectacular. In his 1973 World Series debut, Jackson was a key factor in the Oakland A's victory over the New York Mets, producing five extra-base hits and driving in six runs to collect MVP honors for the series. But Jackson's exploits in the 1977 World Series proved even more remarkable. Playing this time for the Yankees, he belted three consecutive homers off three Dodgers pitchers in the deciding game of the series to propel New York to its first world championship in 15 years. Jackson's heroics earned him the moniker "Mr. October"—a fitting tribute to his postseason brilliance.

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57
57

Roland Hayes, 1924

20th Century Americans, Third Floor, S322

Roland Hayes (1887-1977) by Winold Reiss, 1924

Pastel on illustration board . Gift of Lawrence A. Fleischman and Howard Garfinkle with a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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58
58

Shimomura Crossing the Delaware, 2010

20th Century Americans, Third Floor, S341

Roger Shimomura (1939) self-portrait, 2010

As an artist, Roger Shimomura has focused particular attention on the experiences of Asian Americans and the challenges of being “different” in America. He knows well the pain and embarrassment associated with xenophobia: as a small child during World War II, he and his family were relocated from their home in Seattle to a Japanese American internment camp in Idaho. This painting takes as its source Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Shimomura presents himself in the guise of America’s Founding Father; he replaces George Washington’s colonial troops with samurai warriors; and he remakes the body of water they cross to resemble San Francisco Harbor with Angel Island (the processing center for Asian immigrants) in the background. The work echoes the compositional format of a Katsushika Hokusai wood-block print.

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59
59

Stephen Douglas, c. 1858

American Origins, First Floor, E110c

Stephen Arnold Douglas, (1813-1861) by an unidentified artist, 1858

Before the Civil War, a tall and gangly young Republican named Abraham Lincoln faced off in a series of seven debates against the short, stout Democrat Stephen Douglas (1813-1861), whose stature was solidly grounded in his political preeminence. Also known as the “Little Giant,” as depicted in this painted woodcarving crafted by an unknown artist, Douglas advocated for popular sovereignty, meaning each new state would decide for itself whether to allow slavery. Lincoln, on the other hand, opposed the expansion of slavery into western states. Both were vying for a seat in the Senate and Douglas won the election. But the debates brought national attention to Lincoln, whose memorable words proved prophetic: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Two years later, Lincoln would garner the presidential nomination on the Republican ticket.

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60
60
OFF DISPLAY

The Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington, 1796

America's Presidents, Second Floor

George Washington (1732-1799) by Gilbert Stuart, 1796

This portrait of George Washington ranks in importance with such sacred founding documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In 1796, the last year of his two-term presidency, Washington was portrayed by Gilbert Stuart as the elected executive, empowered by the consent of the people and dressed in civilian clothes, rather than as a military leader in uniform or in the trappings of a monarch. The artist was commissioned by Senator and Mrs. William Bingham of Pennsylvania to do the painting as a gift for the marquis of Lansdowne, a British supporter of American independence. The painting is off view, undergoing conservation through Fall 2017.

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National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions and education outreach programs. Opened in 1910, the green-domed museum on the National Mall was among the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to house the national collections and research facilities. The museum connects people everywhere to Earth’s unfolding story.

National Museum of Natural History

ADDRESS

10th St. and Constitution Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20024

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily

Click here for extended hours information.

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Airplane Carving

African Voices, First Floor

The windows of this hand-carved KLM 747 jumbo jet are covered with Christmas wrapping paper, and the inside is lined with pink satin. Stare at it long enough and you’ll realize that this model plane is also a miniature coffin. Ghanian artist Paa Joe adapts traditional African burial practices to reflect modern life with his intricate caskets, crafted to reflect the ambitions or achievements of the deceased. His coffins—many of which are created for local funerals—are uncommonly upbeat for items associated with death. Instead of lamenting the loss of life, the designs are a celebration of life.

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62
62

Cindy Chao Masterpiece Royal Butterfly Brooch

Second Floor, Geology, Gems and Minerals

When Taiwanese-born, New York-trained jewelry artist Cindy Chao created her 2009 butterfly brooch, she felt the piece represented her own creative metamorphosis. And its collection of more than 2,300 diamonds, rubies, and tsavorite garnets reflects a literal transformation, one that, below the earth's surface, turns mineral crystals into gemstones. But she had no idea the metamorphosis her own piece would undergo when Smithsonian scientists placed it under ultraviolet light—a spectacular light show of neon colors appeared, delighting the designer. Chao is known for her ready-to-wear creations and her attention to detail, which can be seen in the craftsmanship on both the front and the back of the brooch.

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63
63

Dom Pedro Aquamarine

Geology, Gems and Minerals, Second Floor

The Dom Pedro—the world’s largest faceted aquamarine gem at 10,363 carats—is now on exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. The "baby," as the Dom Pedro is referred to by the group that made it all happen, has had a long journey, but it is now "home" at the Smithsonian where they all hoped it would be.

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64
64

Easter Island Stone Figure

Constitution Avenue Lobby, Ground Floor

The Smithsonian’s two monumental Easter Island stone figures, or moai, represent some of the most popular and intriguing exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History. Since their arrival in 1887, one or both has always been on exhibit. Exceedingly rare, the statues—one a complete statue, the other a head—remain today the only such figures in a public museum in the United States. These distinctive stone figures are a quintessential feature of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui. Most of them were made between the years 1100 and 1680, and are carved primarily out of volcanic tuff (solidified ash) from the extinct volcano, Rano Raraku. To date, a total of 887 are known to have been made, though many never made it out of the volcanic quarry.

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65
65

Hope Diamond

Geology, Gems and Minerals, Second Floor

The Hope Diamond—the world's largest deep blue diamond—is more than a billion years old. It formed deep within the Earth and was carried by a volcanic eruption to the surface in what is now India. Since the Hope Diamond was found in the early 1600s, it has crossed oceans and continents and passed from kings to commoners. It has been stolen and recovered, sold and resold, cut and recut. Through it all, the diamond's value increased. In 1958, Harry Winston donated the Hope Diamond to the Museum, and it now belongs to the people of the United States.

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66
66

Mummy

External Life in Ancient Egypt, Second Floor

Some remarkable gifts have been given to U.S. diplomats throughout American history, but this one has to top the list. This artifact, the museum’s best-preserved mummy, was given to former New York congressman and diplomat Sullivan Cox while he was traveling in Egypt in the mid-1880s. Recent technology has helped researchers learn more about the person inside, who died about 2,000 years ago: X-rays and CT scans revealed that he was a male, 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 40 years old.

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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, a leading voice for contemporary art and culture, provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time in the celebrated Gordon Bunshaft designed cylindrical building and adjoining plaza and sunken sculpture garden.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

ADDRESS

700 Independence Ave. at 7th Street, SW

Washington, DC 20560

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

Museum: 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily
Plaza: 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Sculpture Garden: 7:30 a.m. to dusk
Closed December 25

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67
67

1962-D, 1962

Third Floor

Clyfford Still, oil on canvas, gift of the artist, 1969

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68
68

29 Discs, 1958

Third Floor

Alexander Calder, American, b. Lawnton, Pennsylvania, 1898–1976, sheet metal, paint, and wire, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972

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69
69

Are Years What? (for Marianne Moore), 1933

Sculpture Garden

Mark di Suvero, American, b. Shanghai, China, 1933, steel and paint, Joseph H. Hirshhorn purchase fund and ift of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, by exchange, 1999

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70
70

Belief+Doubt, 2012

Lower Level

Part of an initiative to bring art to new sites within and around the building, this installation by Barbara Kruger fills the Lower Level lobby and extends into the newly relocated Museum bookstore. Famous for her incisive photomontages, Kruger has focused increasingly over the past two decades on creating environments that surround the viewer with language. The entire space—walls, floor, escalator sides—is wrapped in text-printed vinyl, immersing visitors in a spectacular hall of voices, where words either crafted by the artist or borrowed from the popular lexicon address conflicting perceptions of democracy, power, and belief.

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71
71
OFF DISPLAY

Boccioni’s Fist--Lines of Force II, cast 1968

The Futurist Italian sculptor Giacomo Balla was so obsessed with industry, machinery and raw power that he designed his works to be mass-produced. In this jagged brass construction, he attempted to confine the concepts of movement and force within a stationary form. Balla’s design for this piece was actually cast in 1968, a decade after his death. The Futurist’s work truly lived on into the future. Giacomo Balla, Italian, b. Turin, 1871–1958, brass and paint, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972.

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72
72

Eleven A.M., 1926

Third Floor

Edward Hopper, American, b. Nyack, New York, 1882–1967, oil on canvas, gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966

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73
73

Field for Skyes,1973

Third Floor

Joan Mitchell, American, b. Chicago, Illinois, 1926–1992, oil on canvas, gift of Mr. and Mrs. David T. Workman, 1975

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74
74
OFF DISPLAY

Giacometti’s Tall Figure, 1947 (cast 1956)

Early in his career, the surrealist Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti created small-scale sculptures based on the human head; over time, his forms became more and more elongated until they were as thin as nails and many feet tall. The haunting figures, such as this one from 1947, were regarded as symbols of the pessimism associated with existentialism, the philosophy popularized by figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, with whom Giacometti studied in Paris. What disturbs Giacometti, Sartre wrote, “is that these (sculptures) always mediating between nothingness and being, always in the process of modification, perfection, destruction and renewal, have begun to exist independently.” Alberto Giacometti, Swiss, b. Borgonovo, 1901–1966, bronze, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

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75
75
OFF DISPLAY

Hotel by a Railroad, 1952

During the first half of the 20th century, American painter Edward Hopper cut against the grain of his contemporaries—rather than moving toward abstraction, he devoted himself to realism. The artist became renowned for his spare, contemplative paintings that captured the reality of modern American life. In this seemingly unremarkable scene, the interior of a low-rent hotel room near a railroad, the occupants look away from each other, immersed in their own thoughts. Edward Hopper, American, b. Nyack, New York, 1882–1967, oil on canvas, gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966

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76
76

Large Triptych, 1964

Third Floor

Jean-Paul Riopelle, Canadian, b. Montreal, 1923–2002, oil on canvas, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

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77
77

Number 3, 1949: Tiger, 1949

Third Floor

Jackson Pollock, American, b. Cody, Wyoming, 1912–1956, oil, enamel, metallic enamel, and cigarette fragment on canvas mounted on fiberboard, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972

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78
78

Sleeping Muse I, 1909-1910

Third Floor

Constantin Brancusi, French, b. Hobitza, Romania, 1876–1957, marble, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

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79
79

Study for "Portrait of Van Gogh" III, 1957

Third Floor

Francis Bacon, British, b. Dublin, Ireland, 1909–1992, oil and sand on canvas, gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966

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80
80

The Burghers of Calais, 1884-1889, cast 1953-1959

Sculpture Garden

According to legend, in the 14th century, during the Hundred Years’ War, King Edward III of England promised to spare the residents of the French port of Calais, captured after the Battle of Crécy, on condition that six individuals step forward to be sacrificed for the city. Centuries later, French sculptor Auguste Rodin depicted the quiet dignity and anguish of the doomed heroes—the burghers, or prosperous citizens—as they accepted their fate. Under French law, no more than 12 casts of the statue could be produced after Rodin’s death; others are installed in New York, Tokyo and London, in addition to the original in Calais’ central square. Ultimately, the Burghers were granted clemency, thanks to the intervention of Edward’s wife, Philippa of Hainault. Auguste Rodin, French, b. Paris, 1840–1917, bronze, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

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81
The End of Ending, 2012
81

The End of Ending, 2012

Third Floor

Eduardo Basualdo, 2012, black aluminum foil, wire, and wood, collection of the artist.

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82
82

The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, 1965-1968

Third Floor

Ed Ruscha, American, b. Omaha, Nebraska, 1937, oil on canvas, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1981

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83
83

The Nose, 1947, revised 1949, cast c. 1960-65

Third Floor

Alberto Giacometti, Swiss, b. Borgonovo, 1901–1966, bronze, iron, and twine, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972

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84
84

The Serf, 1900-1908

Sculpture Garden

Five years after Henri Matisse completed work on this piece, he decided to return to it, lopping off its arms and casting the work in bronze. Matisse had created the sculpture during a reported 500 sessions with the Italian model Bevilaqua, who had been known as an Adonis in his youth, but was considered overweight and over the hill by the time he posed for The Serf. Henri Matisse, French, b. Le Cateau-Cambrésis, 1869–1954, bronze, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

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85
85

Two Women in the Country, 1954

Third Floor

Dutch-born artist Willem de Kooning, a pioneer in Abstract Expressionism, spent a breakthrough period in the 1950s creating dozens of chaotic variations on an elemental form: abstract portraits of women. After years fixated on one canvas, he completed Woman I and then, in rapid succession, finished several more, including this one. The art world viewed the works as a curious return to a classical style dominated by the human figure, while the public regarded them as shocking. “Beauty becomes petulant to me,” de Kooning once explained. “I like the grotesque. It’s more joyous.” Willem de Kooning, American, b. Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1904–1997, oil, enamel, and charcoal on canvas, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

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86
86

Untitled (Big Man), 2000

Third Floor

Ron Mueck, Australian, b. Melbourne, 1958, pigmented polyester resin on fiberglass, Museum Purchase with Funds Provided by the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest and in Honor of Robert Lehrman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, 1997-2004

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Related Articles from Smithsonian.com

The Hyperreal Magnetism of the Truly Huge "Big Man"
87
87

Venus of the Rags, 1967

Third Floor

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Italian, b. Biella, 1933, plaster and fabric, plaster figure, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest Fund, 1999

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88
88

Window, 1968

Third Floor

Gerhard Richter, German, b. Dresden, 1932, oil on canvas, Holenia Purchase Fund, in memory of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 2003

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89

Woman before an Eclipse with her Hair Disheveled by the Wind, 1967

Third Floor

Joan Miró, Spanish, b. Barcelona, 1893–1983, oil on canvas, museum purchase with funds provided under the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisitions Program, 1980

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Freer Gallery of Art

Freer Gallery of Art

The Smithsonian Institution has two museums of Asian art: the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Sackler Gallery hosts contemporary art from Asia as well as international loan exhibitions. The Freer, which is currently closed for renovation, is home to some of the world's most important holdings of Asian art. Visitors will also find late 19th-century works by James McNeill Whistler and his American contemporaries. The entire Freer and Sackler collection is available digitally on Open F|S.

Freer Gallery of Art

ADDRESS

Jefferson Dr. and 12th St., SW Washington, DC

Washington, DC 20560

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
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A Festival at the Sumiyoshi Shrine I, Edo period, early 17th century

A two-panel screen, Edo period, early 17th century, color and gold on paper, Japan, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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A Shinto Priest, Three Women and a Child, Edo period, c. 1799-1801

This painting depicts a Shinto priest blessing young women who bear iron cooking pots perched on their heads. One leads a robust young child by the hand. The festival, in which young women carry pots upon their heads, was probably performed at the Tsukuma Shrine in the Omi region around Lake Biwa, to the east of Kyoto. The painting combines strong, expressive brushwork, seen in the representation of the tree and its foliage, with clear, detailed rendering of the figures, their gestures, and their colorful costumes.

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Basin (jian) With Narrative Scenes, Middle Eastern Zhou dynasty, c. 5th century BCE

Ritual vessel, Middle Eastern Zhou dynasty, ca. 5th century BCE, bronze, China, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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1910

In 1894, Charles Lang Freer went to Italy to visit the villas and gardens recommended by Charles Adams Platt, the architect who later designed the Freer Gallery of Art. The trip strengthened Freer's admiration for Italian Renaissance architecture and may have influenced his decision to buy this painting in 1917. Breakfast in the Loggiarepresents a Florentine villa on a bright autumn morning. A marble statue of Venus, the embodiment of beauty, presides over the women dining in the sun-dappled arcade, which resembles the loggia of the Freer Gallery courtyard.

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Disk (bi) with Incised Glyph and Decorated Edge, Late Neolithic period, c. 3300-2250 BCE

Perforated disk of the type pi [bi] 璧; bored from both sides, leaving rough median ridge; darkly mottled green and golden brown; bluish-gray frosting and veins of incipient disintegration; scattered granular pittings; decoration: lightly incised, a device on obverse, birds, arrows and geometric pattern around outer rim.

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Ewer, Goryeo period, mid 13th century

Deep red copper pigment outlines the petals of the two lotus buds that compose the body of this ewer and accents the leaf-shaped spout and other sculptural details such as the kneeling children on the neck. An identical ewer, registered as a National Treasure in Korea, was found in the tomb of a military ruler, Choe Hang, who died in 1257, on Kanghwa Island, where between 1232 and 1270 the Goryeo court took refuge from repeated Mongol invasions.

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Figurine of the Goddess Neith, Saite Dynasty 26 or later, 664-525 BCE or later

Neith was a warrior goddess, a protectress of humankind (both living and deceased), and she was also the mother of the crocodile god Sobek. Neith was particularly associated with northern Egypt and the Nile Delta, which is why she was often portrayed wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. During the Old Kingdom (ca. 2675–2130 B.C.E.), she was closely linked to the queens of Egypt.

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Flower Vase With Two Lugs, Momoyama period, early 17th century

This vase unites extremes of formality and rusticity in a manner typical of Iga tea wares. The form was inspired by antique Chinese celadon-glazed vases, yet the rough surface bears irregular ash-glaze deposits resulting from long exposure to the flames of a wood-fired kiln. The rich coloration of this vase attracted Charles Lang Freer, even though wood-fired stoneware did not become widely popular among Western collectors until recent decades.

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Frontal from the Base of a Funerary Couch with Sogdian Musicians and Dancers and Buddhist Divinities, Northern Qi dynasty, Period of Division, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577

Buddhist sculpture, Northern Qi dynasty, Period of Division, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-570, gray marble with traces of pigment, China, Henan province, probably Ce xian, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room, 1876-1877

The Peacock Room was originally the dining room in the London home of Frederick Richards Leyland (1831–1892), a wealthy shipowner from Liverpool, England, who was James McNeill Whistler's leading patron. The architect Thomas Jeckyll (1827–1881) designed the room, constructing an intricate lattice of shelving to contain Leyland's collection of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, mostly from the Kangxi era (1662–1722) of the Qing dynasty. Antique Dutch gilt leather hung on the walls and a painting by Whistler, The Princess from the Land of Porcelain, was given the place of honor above the fireplace.

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Harvesting Knife (hu) with Mask and Felines, Fragment, Late Neolithic period, c. 2000-1700 BCE

Longshan culture 龍山 (ca. 3000 - ca. 1700 BCE), Box inscription by Chu Deyi 褚德彝 (1871-1942), Late Neolithic period, ca. 2000-1700 BCE, Jade (nephrite), China, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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Head of a Pharaoh, 2675-2130 BCE

Whose portrait is this? The headgear and moustache identify the figure as an Egyptian pharaoh; the tall crown with the rounded top, known as the White Crown, signified rule over southern Egypt. Broken at the neck, the head originally belonged to a full, probably standing, statue. In ancient Egypt, such statues were placed in tombs to serve as eternal images of the deceased. Sculptors sought to convey the pharaoh's divine character, while also experimenting with realistic portrayals of the human face and body.

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Jar, 12th–13th century

This tall, slender jar with cobalt decoration of lionlike mythical creatures, peony scrolls, and lotus-petal panels was made at a kiln in the Red River delta of northern Vietnam. Its place of manufacture is confirmed by recent research that has identified the locations of several pottery centers in the delta. The ceramic products of those kilns, made with the fine white local clay, were traded to markets ranging from Japan to West Asia in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; this jar was recovered in Indonesia.

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Kiyosu Bridge, 1931

Kiyosu Bridge, 1931, Kawase Hasui, (Japanese, 1883-1957), Showa era, woodblock print; ink and color on paper, Japan, Robert O. Muller Collection

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Lateral Stretcher from the Base of a Funerary Couch with Sogdian Musicians and a Dancer, Period of Division, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577

Buddhist sculpture, Period of Division, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577, gray marble with traces of pigment, China, Henan province, probably Ce xian, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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Lateral Stretcher from the Base of a Funerary Couch with Sogdian Musicians and a Dancer, Period of Division, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577

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Mallet-Shaped Vase, Southern Song dynasty, 12th century

When the Song dynasty (960–1279) court was located in north China, blue-green celadons called Ru ware were made exclusively for the palace. Characterized by a smooth glaze, either uncrazed or with faint marks like cracked ice, Ru wares provided a prototype for Guan ware, the official ware of the Southern Song (1127–1279) court, which relocated to modern-day Hangzhou. This mallet-shaped vase represents the finest of southern Guan ware. The shape of the vase resembles a mallet used to pound fibers in making paper. The direction of the crackle, here an intentional design feature, developed along stress lines created when the vessel was shaped.

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Monadnock in Winter, 1904

Monadnock mountain rises impressively near the property once occupied by Abbott Thayer at Dublin, New Hampshire. Thayer was profoundly attracted by the mountain, spending many hours on its wooded slopes studying the flora and fauna of the region.

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Monadnock No. 2, 1912

Thayer's modest home in Dublin, New Hampshire, afforded a stunning view of Mount Monadnock, a magnificent peak that had long provided solace and inspiration for the poets of New England. Monadnock became the spiritual center of Thayer's life: he would feed his soul, he told Freer, by gazing on its unspoiled beauty. He was particularly taken with the landscape in winter, when the region was almost deserted. Although his versions may appear more expressive than representational, they were meant to be portraits, faithful to nature.

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Nocturne: Grey and Silver—Chelsea Embankment, Winter, c. 1879

Following a suggestion by his patron Frederick Richards Leyland, Whistler used the musical term Nocturne to title more than thirty paintings of London after dark that he created in the 1870s. When this painting was exhibited in Glasgow in 1879, a local journalist described it as fresh from the easel of this artist . . . a nocturne, the Thames by moonlight, with ice coming down the river, an effect seen by Mr. Whistler only the other night. The immediacy of the subject exists in delicate tension with the decorative quality of the overall design, with its fluid, thin washes of pigment, clearly defined boundaries, and extreme, tilted perspective.

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Nocturne: Trafalgar Square, Chelsea—Snow, c. 1875-1877

Trafalgar Square, Chelsea, (painting) c. 1875-1877, oil on canvas

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One-Tier Tube (cong 琮) with Masks, Late Neolithic period, c. 3300-c. 2250 BCE

Squared, hollow cylinder of the type ts’ung [cong] 琮; narrow projecting collar at both ends; rich cream and tans; decoration: incised and in low relief, stylized masks and double bands of fine lines on corners. (Collar chipped.)

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Resting [and] Sketch of Standing Figure, c. 1870-1873

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Spouted Vessel With Gazelle Protome, 4th century

Vessels made entirely or in part in the shape of an animal, in both metal and ceramic versions, have a long history in ancient Iran. Only a few examples of this vessel type, however, have surfaced among artifacts of the Sasanian period (ca. 224–651). Chiefly influenced by Roman and Byzantine prototypes and to some extent by Central Asian styles, Sasanian silver plate seldom drew on traditional Iranian vessel forms. Horned animals, such as the ram and this gazelle, appear as quarry on some of the Sasanian silver and gilt plates depicting a royal hunt. With its animal-shaped protome (forepart) joined to a compact horn and furnished with a spout through the animal's mouth, this is an extremely rare example dating from the Sasanian period. This type of vessel embodies an important image and concept: a special liquid, probably wine, was contained in and dispensed from the mouth of an animal that itself held powerful, royal connotations.

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Statuette of Anubis, Saite Dynasty 26 or later, 664-525 BCE

Deity figure, Saite Dynasty 26 or later, 664-525 BCE, bronze, Egypt, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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Stone Casket With Epitaph on the Lid and Animals of the Four Quarters on the Inner Walls, Goryeo period, 1197

Casket, Goryeo period, 1197, slate, Korea, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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Symphony in Grey: Early Morning, Thames, 1871

Whistler exhibited this painting both as a Harmony and as a Symphony rather than as a Nocturne, but this view of Battersea at dawn shares the same features as many of the artist s moonlit scenes of the Thames. Thinly painted, it conveys a sense of space and movement through the sweeping brushstrokes that move across the canvas from left to right. Whistler s butterfly signature appears on a cartouche in the manner of Japanese printmakers.

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Tea Bowl, Momoyama or Edo period, 1600-1650

Korean potters founded the Agano kilns in Japan and prodced tea bowls like this one, whose rice-straw ash glaze reflects a utilitarian pottery tradition of northern Korea.

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The Buddhist diety Ji-jang, 14th century

The Buddhist diety known in Korean as Ji-jang, or in Sanskrit as Kshitigarbha, was a bodhisattva (enlightened being) revered for his merciful deliverance of living beings from the world of suffering. He was also believed to have the power to rescue those who were unjustly sentenced to hell.

Ji-jang is customarily portrayed, as in this painting, wearing the garments of a Buddhist monk. His sacred status is represented by a circular halo and the lotus-shaped pedestals on which he stands. In his left hand he holds a staff with six rings, which would announce, through their distinctive sound, the presence of a Buddhist priest; in his right hand he holds a circular gem, which has the power to grant wishes.

Korean Buddhist paintings reached a peak of refinement under the patronage of the kings of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392). The richness and elegance typical of Koryo Buddhist paintings can be seen in Ji-jang's ornate robes, which are embellished with delicate patterns painted in gold.

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The Carnation, 1893

Dewing employed Julia Baird as the model for The Carnation, painting her as one might render a still life. This detachment was not meant as an adverse commentary on the role of women. Instead, he intended the work to evoke a state of mind as well as present an attractive image. Dewing had earlier painted figures with blue, yellow, and pink dresses. Here he emulated the white girls of Whistler. Another source for this pose was likely the recently discovered second-century terra-cotta statuettes found near the Greek town of Tanagra. Linear and elegant, they inspired Whistler, who kept photographs of them in an album for reference. These little sculptures inspired Dewing and Freer as well. Accordingly, a famous writer at the time called The Carnation "a modern Tanagra figure," thereby identifying a mere model with the classical past.

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The Garland, c. 1916

After the turn of the century, Dewing developed a theme he would render in endless variations: a woman alone in a quiet, uncluttered room. Like James McNeill Whistler, Dewing selected a color scheme for each painting and carefully arranged the elements of the composition to create a contemplative mood. To emphasize the formal qualities of the paintings, he gave them titles that refer to aesthetic props in the pictures—like the tiny floral wreath the model holds here—as often as to the figures, who might otherwise be considered the subject. The model depicted here is Gertrude McNeill, who gave up modeling in 1917 for a career in Hollywood as a silent film star.

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The Mirror, 1907

The Mirror by Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938), 1907, oil on wood panel, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

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The Shapur Plate, 300 to 400 A.D.

The boar squeals in terror as the iron-faced man and horse rear above it. The hunt was a well-known symbol of royalty in the Ancient Near East. Unearthed in Russia, this delicately worked gold and silver plate was likely a gift to a foreign leader, a way to advertise the authority of Shapur II, a Sasanian king who ruled from A. D. 309 to 379.

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The Thatched Hut of Dreaming of an Immortal, Early 16th century

A brilliant youth, Tang Yin achieved first place in the provincial examinations that he hoped would open a career for him as an official, but scandal ruined his chances. He instead became a professional painter who received commissions from his scholar friends. This handscroll was requested by Tang's contemporary Wang Dongyuan, who followed Daoist practices meant to encourage longevity. After a prophetic dream in which Wang Dongyuan saw an immortal approaching him, Wang named his garden "Dreaming of an Immortal." It was common in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) for a garden proprietor to take the name of his garden, or a site within it, as a sobriquet, or secondary name. Thus, the painting is a "double image" that refers to Wang Dongyuan as a sleeping figure and, by extension, through the garden property itself. Tang Yin creatively captured the meaning of the garden's name by portraying Wang asleep with the dreamy emanation of an immortal floating in the sky.

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Washington Manuscript III - The Four Gospels (Codex Washingtonensis), Late 4th-early 5th century

Variously known as Codex Washingtonensis or the Freer Gospels, this codex originally contained the complete text of the four canonical gospels in the Western order (Matthew, John, Luke, Mark). Its careful layout suggests it was for public, liturgical reading. But it was apparently compiled from a number of different and probably fragmentary sources, perhaps caused by the Great Persecution when Diocletian ordered the destruction of Christian books. At the end of Mark (after 16:14) is a statement attributed to Jesus that occurs in no other manuscript. Called the Freer logion, it reads, in part:

And Christ replied to them, "The term of years for Satan's power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was delivered over to death so that they may return to the truth and no longer sin, so that they may inherit the spiritual and incorruptible glory of righteousness that is in heaven."

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Winter, 1893

In 1891, Tryon offered to paint a picture or two for the house Charles Lang Freer was building in Detroit, "a dream of Beauty," as it was described, "inside and out." Freer readily accepted Tryon's offer, and before long the commission had grown to include five landscapes for the main hall: Autumn (F1893.16), Summer (F1893.15), Winter, Springtime (F1893.14) and Dawn (F1906.86). In these "decorations," as Tryon called these paintings, the artist attempted to maintain the classic "purity" of the interior design by keeping a consistent horizon in every scene. Although some of the paintings were occassionaly exhibited separately, Freer and Tryon always regarded them as an "ensemble."

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Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

The Smithsonian Institution has two museums of Asian art: the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Sackler Gallery hosts contemporary art from Asia as well as international loan exhibitions. The Freer, which is currently closed for renovation, is home to some of the world's most important holdings of Asian art. Visitors will also find late 19th-century works by James McNeill Whistler and his American contemporaries. The entire Freer and Sackler collection is available digitally on Open F|S.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

ADDRESS

1050 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20560

(202) 633-1000

publicaffairsAsia@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

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Beehive cover, Qajar period, dated 1884-85 (AH 1302)

Sky Blue: Color in Ceramics of the Islamic World, sublevel 3

Among some of the more unusual ceramic objects from Islamic Iran are beehive covers, some of which date back to at least the seventeenth century. Beekeeping was widely practiced throughout the Islamic world and because bees are singled out in the Qur'an, Islam's holy text, they enjoy particular status among other animals and insects. The designs on the two covers on view are intended as protective and auspicious symbols and are characteristic of the more vernacular ceramic tradition that has existed in the Islamic Near East for centuries.

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Bhairava, 15th-16th century

Sculpture of South Asia and the Himalayas, sublevel 1

Standing in the dynamic, diagonal pose known as the hunter's stance (pratyalidha), Bhairava, a fierce manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva, is one of the most important deities of Nepal, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike. Each of his three scowling faces has round bulging eyes, an open mouth displaying fangs, and a trim beard, while his six hands brandish weapons. His robust body is ornamented with a range of twisted serpents, which serve as earrings, bracelets, anklets, and sacred thread (yajnopavita). He wears a tiger skin and a ritual apron composed of human bones.

The image is made by the complex technique called repouss, in which a copper sheet is cold-hammered alternately from front and back to achieve the desired form. The image is constructed of more than twenty separately made parts. It was then covered with mercury gilding, and during worship it would have received applications of turmeric and vermilion.

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Buddha draped in robes portraying the Realms of Existence, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577

Body of Devotion: The Cosmic Buddha in 3D, sublevel 1

According to the sacred text of the Lotus Sutra, when the historical Buddha delivered a sermon a vision of the entire cosmos often appeared before him, which is why he was sometimes called the Cosmological Buddha. The decoration on the front and back of this figure's monastic robe features scenes of the life of the historical Buddha and cosmic imagery.On the front chest of the robe, Mount Sumeru, a sacred Buddhist mountain believed to connect heaven and earth, is depicted with two snakes, or naga, entwined around it. Scenes below illustrate the historical Buddha as a prince before his enlightenment. The tortures of hell appear above the hem.

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Disk, Sasanian period, 7th century

Feast Your Eyes: A Taste For Luxury in Ancient Iran, sublevel 1

This large disk must have been secured to another material, such as leather or wood, by means of the circular perforations around its rim. Did it decorate a piece of furniture, for example? We do not know. Traces of gilding are preserved on the background and around the figures, indicating that the raised decoration was originally gilded.

The decoration on the disk at least provides some clues to the date of manufacture. The composition of the decoration---inhabited vines with intertwined branches, flanked by rampant animals---is common in late Sasanian decorative arts. The patterned mountains from which the vines grow appear on a number of Sasanian silver vessels. Architectural stucco patterns of the fifth to seventh centuries preserve similar decorative patterns. The form and style of decoration thus suggest a date late in the Sasanian period, probably the seventh century.

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Head of Buddha, Kushan dynasty, 3rd century

Sculpture of South Asia and the Himalayas, sublevel 1

This head of the Buddha, once framed by a halo and joined to a complete figure, would have been worshipped in a monastic shrine. The facial features and wavy hair show the Greek and Roman influences that arose through trade contacts with ancient Gandhara, an area now divided between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Head of the Buddha, Shailendra period, 8th century

Level Two, elevator lobby

The work of a sculptor of consumate skill, this exquisitely modeled head evokes the Buddha's gentle omniscience. Buddhist texts describe thirty-two signs of the Buddha's superhuman perfection; two of these are visible here. The curl of hair (urna) resting between the Buddha's eyes symbolizes his renunciation, and the protuberance upon his head (ushnisha) signifies spiritual attainment. The head once belonged to a full-length Buddha that graced a Buddhist sanctuary in Central Java.

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Monkeys Grasp for the Moon, 2001

Stairwell

In a popular Chinese folk tale, monkeys formed a chain to reach the moon, only to find it was a reflection in the water. Contemporary Chinese artist Xu Bing was inspired by this legend to create his hanging sculpture, “Monkeys Grasp for the Moon,” specially for the Sackler staircase. Each of the 21 wooden pieces spells “monkey” in a different language, linked in a chain stretching from the sky-lit atrium to the reflecting pool.

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Plate, Sasanian period, Reign of Shapur II, 4th century

Feast Your Eyes: A Taste For Luxury in Ancient Iran, sublevel 1

One of the earliest and most enduring of the royal images created during the Sasanian period (ca. 224–651) shows the king on horseback hunting select quarry: boar, lion, antelope (or gazelle). This image, often embellished with gilding, was depicted on the interior of silver plates, about thirty of which have been found in Iran and neighboring countries. Produced in imperial workshops, these plates were given as official gifts from the king to high-ranking individuals within or beyond the empire's frontiers. In the early centuries of Sasanian rule, silver production was controlled by a royal monopoly and could be minted into coins or fashioned into objects only on the king's authority.

Although the royal figures on the plates are not labeled, they can sometimes be identified by their crowns, which are sometimes also shown on coin portraits of individual Sasanian kings. The figure on this plate is generally identified as Shapur II (reigned 309–79).

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Seated Buddha, 14th Century

Sculpture of South Asia and the Himalayas, sublevel 1

This serenely radiant Buddha was crafted for the altar of a Tibetan monastery. His hollow body held relics and written mantras intended to increase spiritual potency. The elongated earlobes result from heavy earrings worn by royalty; while the patched robe shows his renunciation of royal life and gold signifies purity. His enigmatic smile hints at the joy of enlightenment.

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Yong Bells, 5th to 6th Century B.C.

These bells were crafted from a single pour of molten bronze around the fifth century B.C. The suspended set, one of the few preserved outside China, would have been hung from a stand and struck with a mallet. Each bell can produce two different tones.

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National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life.

National Museum of the American Indian

ADDRESS

4th St. and Independence Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20024

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

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METRO

L'Enfant Plaza (Maryland Ave. exit)

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Raven Steals the Sun, 2003

Fourth Floor

The Native peoples of the North Pacific Coast in southern Alaska and British Columbia have long adapted their traditional arts to new materials and technologies. Here, Tlingit artist Preston Singletary honors the story of how "Raven Stole the Sun” in a contemporary glass medium. Raven was traditionally recognized for his role in shaping the natural and human world, often through trickery rather than benevolence. In the story, Raven releases the sun and the moon from boxes held by a chief, thus creating day and night and giving light to the people.

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Smithsonian American Art Museum

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the nation’s first collection of American art, is an unparalleled record of the American experience. Its artworks capture the aspirations, character, and imagination of the American people across four centuries. The museum is home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world, revealing America’s rich artistic and cultural history from the colonial period to today.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

ADDRESS

8th and F Streets, NW

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

11:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

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METRO

Gallery Place-Chinatown (9th St. exit)

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1946-H (Indian Red and Black), 1946

Third Floor, North Wing

Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still was one of the first artists to move from representational works to purely abstract forms and is credited with laying the foundations of the movement. This painting’s crusty surface evokes a sense of the earth as rugged and rich. The color black held special significance. “Black was never a color of death or terror,” he said. “I think of it as warm and generative."

Clyfford Still, 1946, oil on canvas, museum purchase from the Vincent Melzac Collection through the Smithsonian Institution

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138
138

Achelous and Hercules, 1947

Second Floor, North Wing

Thomas Hart Benton saw the legend of Achelous and Hercules as a parable of his beloved Midwest. The Army Corps of Engineers had begun efforts to control the Missouri River, and Benton imagined a future when the waterway was tamed, and the earth swelled with robust harvests. Benton's mythic scene also touched on the most compelling events of the late 1940s. America's agricultural treasure was airlifted to Europe through the Marshall Plan as part of Truman's strategy to rebuild Europe and contain communism. Benton may have been thinking of his fellow Missourian's legendary stubbornness when he described Hercules as "tough and strong" with "a reputation for doing what he thought was right."

Thomas Hart Benton, 1947, tempera and oil on canvas mounted on plywood, gift of Allied Stores Corporation, and museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

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139
139

Among the Sierra Nevada, California, 1868

Second Floor, East Wing

Albert Bierstadt’s beautifully crafted paintings played to a market eager, in the 1860s, for spectacular views of the nation’s frontier. Bierstadt painted Among the Sierra Nevada, California in his Rome studio. He then showed the canvas in Berlin and London before shipping it to the United States. Works such as this fueled the image of America as a promised land just when Europeans were immigrating to this country in great numbers.

Albert Bierstadt, 1868, oil on canvas, bequest of Helen Huntington Hull, granddaughter of William Brown Dinsmore, who acquired the painting in 1873 for "The Locusts," the family estate in Dutchess County, New York

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140
140

Angel, 1887

Second Floor, East Wing

Abbott Handerson Thayer is recognized today for his ethereal angels, portraits of women and children, landscapes, and delicate flower paintings. Angel is both a portrait of his daughter Mary at age eleven and an allegory of hope and spirituality. Thayer manipulated the paint with brooms, scrapers, his fingers, and even a paint tube to achieve his effects. The Renaissance-inspired frame, called a “tabernacle” type, was designed especially for this painting by American architect Stanford White.

Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1887, oil on canvas, gift of John Gellatly

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141
141
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Attack Developing in the Champagne, Blanc Mont Sector

Claggett Wilson, ca. 1919, tempera, watercolor and pencil on paperboard, gift of Alice H. Rossin

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142
142

Aurora Borealis, 1865

Second Floor, East Wing

The ship and sled team in this image belonged to Frederic Church's friend, polar explorer Dr. Isaac Hayes. Hayes had led an Arctic expedition in 1860, and gave his sketches from the trip to the artist as inspiration for this painting. Hayes returned from his voyage to find the country in the thick of the Civil War, and in a rousing speech vowed that "God willing, I trust yet to carry the flag of the great Republic, with not a single star erased from its glorious Union, to the extreme northern limits of the earth." Viewers understood Church's painting of the Aurora Borealis (also known as the northern lights) as a portent of disaster, a divine omen relating to the conflict.

Frederic Edwin Church, 1865, oil on canvas, Gift of Eleanor Blodgett

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143
143

Baseball at Night, 1934

First Floor, South Wing

In the worst years of the Depression, Americans looking for good news avidly followed the fortunes of their sports heroes. The first official minor league game to be played under lights took place in Independence, Kansas in 1930. The National League president harrumphed that "night baseball is just a step above dog racing," but working-class Americans flocked to join industrial leagues and town teams. The new lights meant that people lucky enough to have jobs could go to games after work, and the extra revenue helped struggling clubs survive. The baseball field gave isolated and apprehensive Americans a place to take comfort in the crowd, and the success of the home team encouraged those in the bleachers to believe in their own dreams.

Morris Kantor, 1934, oil on linen, Gift of Mrs. Morris Kantor

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144
144
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Black Grey Beat, 1964

Color Field Painting emerged in the United States in the 1950s. The movement is characterized by pouring, staining, spraying, or painting thinned paint onto raw canvas to create vast expanses of color. These works — by artists such as Gene Davis, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski — are considered crowning achievements of postwar American abstract art. Washington, DC, washome home to a number of these artists who became known as the Washington Color School. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has one of the largest collections of Color Field painting in the world.

Gene Davis, 1964, acrylic on canvas, Gift from the Vincent Melzac

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145
145
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Blackberry Woman, 1930-1932

Twentieth-century sculptor Richmond Barthé fused Italian Renaisssance, African, and African American sources in his work Blackberry Woman. The title of the sculpture is from Wallace Thurman's 1929 book, The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life, a story of the discrimination against dark-skinned women within the African American community. The woman's bare feet, simple cotton dress, and thatched baskets evoke the extreme poverty of Barthé's youth in rural Mississippi where he often saw black women carrying bundles on their heads. But she is more than an echo of an image once observed. She has the frontal, linear form found in West African sculpture, which Barthé first saw in Chicago, in an exhibition during “The Negro in Art Week” in November 1927, when he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The figure also echoes the work of Italian Renaissance sculptor Domenico Ghirlandio. The work embodies the emotional power, technical prowess and commitment to black subjects that brought Barthé fame.

Richmond Barthé, modeled by 1930, cast 1932, bronze, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

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146
146
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Boudoir of Madame la Comtesse H--. Black Death Lay Heavy in the Heart of this Exquisite Flower

Claggett Wilson, ca. 1919, watercolor and pencil on paperboard, gift of Alice H. Rossin

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147
147
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Cadmium Orange of Dr. Frankenstein, 1962

Color Field Painting emerged in the United States in the 1950s. The movement is characterized by pouring, staining, spraying, or painting thinned paint onto raw canvas to create vast expanses of color. These works — by artists such as Gene Davis, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski — are considered crowning achievements of postwar American abstract art. Washington, DC, washome home to a number of these artists who became known as the Washington Color School. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has one of the largest collections of Color Field painting in the world.

Jules Olitski, 1962, acrylic on canvas, Gift from the Vincent Melzac

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148
148

Café, 1939-1940

Second Floor, North Wing

William H. Johnson traveled the world, seeking the authentic spirit of ordinary people from different cultures. In the late 1930s, he found what he was looking for in his own African American community. The strong colors and silhouettes in Café evoke the African art that black artists and writers embraced during the Harlem Renaissance. But this affectionate couple also has the fashionable flash of zoot-suiters in the big band era. Above the table, the two figures coolly take in the café scene; below, a tangle of legs and limbs hints at the erotic energy of a night on the town.

William H. Johnson, ca. 1939-1940, oil on paperboard, Gift of the Harmon Foundation

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149
149

Cape Cod Morning, 1950

First Floor, South Wing

Edward Hopper is one of America’s best known and most time-honored artists. A realist who was internationally acclaimed during his lifetime, Hopper painted characteristic American subjects, from movie theaters and restaurants to New England lighthouses. The still pose of the figure and dramatic light and shadow in Cape Cod Morning evoke tense anticipation in an isolated place.

Edward Hopper, 1950, oil on canvas, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

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150
150
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Dancing Man, Woman, and Dog, 1939-1942

Folk and Self-Taught Art affirms the basic human impluse to create. The museum has long championed self-taught art as an embodiment of the democratic spirit. It is one of the only major American museums to advocate for a populist and uniquely American voice within the context of what is traditionally considered great art. These works by untrained artists are powerfully evocative of a personal vision.

Bill Traylor, ca. 1939-1942, crayon and pencil on paperboard, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

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151
151

Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, 1995

Third Floor, East Wing

Nam June Paik is hailed as the father of video art and is credited with the first use of the term “information superhighway” in the 1970s. He recognized the potential for people from all parts of the world to collaborate via media, and he knew that media would completely transform our lives. Electronic Superhighway—constructed of 336 televisions, 50 DVD players, 3,750 feet of cable, and 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing—is a testament to the ways media defined one man’s understanding of a diverse nation.

Nam June Paik, 1995, fifty-one channel video installation (including one closed-circuit television feed), custom electronics, neon lighting, steel and wood; color, sound, Gift of the artist © Nam June Paik Estate

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152
152

Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler (Mrs. John Jay Chapman), 1893

Second Floor, East Wing

John Singer Sargent painted twenty-six-year-old Elizabeth Chanler while she was in London for her brother’s wedding. “Bessie” Chanler’s determination and strength of character emerge forcefully in Sargent’s remarkable portrait. The top half of the portrait is ordered and still. Chanler’s gaze is direct, her face centered between two paintings: a Madonna and Child and a figure of an old woman copied from Frans Hals. The lower half, however, is full of tension. Chanler’s arms, leg-of-mutton sleeves, and the pillows seem to wrestle with one another; only her clasped fingers and elbows keep everything under control.

John Singer Sargent, 1893, oil on canvas, Gift of Chanler A. Chapman

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153
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Empress of the Blues, 1974

African American Art is a rich part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection, which is the largest and one of the finest in the United States. The museum began acquiring work by African American artists in the 1960s, some in depth — such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, William H. Johnson, and Alma Thomas. Many of the social, political, and cultural movements that came to define the twentieth century in America and captured the imagination of artists — such as the Jazz Age, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement — were rooted in African American communities.

Romare Bearden, 1974, acrylic and pencil on paper and printed paper on paperboard, Museum purchase in part through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

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154

Evening Tones, 1911-1917

Second Floor, North Wing

Evening Tones abstracts a landscape along the Hudson River into a vibrant range of colors. Oscar Bluemner came to the United States to escape Germany's conservatism, hoping to find the freedom to try new ideas. After years of struggling in his architectural practice, he turned to painting, throwing himself into the exciting theories of modern art that were making their way across the Atlantic from Europe.

Oscar Bluemner, 1911-1917, oil on canvas, Gift of James F. Dicke II and museum purchase made possible by the American Art Forum, the Julia D. Strong Endowment and the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

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155
155
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Flower of Death--The Bursting of a Heavy Shell--Not as It Looks, but as It Feels and Sounds and Smells

Claggett Wilson, ca. 1919, watercolor and pencil on paperboard, gift of Alice H. Rossin

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156
156
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Front Line Stuff

Claggett Wilson, ca. 1919, watercolor, pencil and varnish on paperboard, gift of Alice H. Rossin

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157
157

Georges Clemenceau

Luce Foundation Center, Third Floor

The United States War Portraits Commission hired Cecilia Beaux to paint this portrait of Georges Clemenceau, the premier of France who signed the World War I peace treaty at Versailles in 1919. Clemenceau hated having his portrait made, so Beaux prepared her composition from photographs and sketches while she waited for his return from a trip to the Middle East. She wrote: “Now I am after the most illusive and ‘orneriest’ of them all, and dear knows when I shall catch him . . .” Beaux finally went to his house for one sitting and from an oil sketch created this portrait of the statesman, standing in his study behind a desk with books and papers.

Cecilia Beaux, 1920, oil on canvas, gift of the National Art Committee

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158
158
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Grenadier Cut Off in the Flaming Woods

Claggett Wilson, ca. 1919, watercolor and pencil on paperboard, gift of Alice H. Rossin

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159
159

Grey Sun, 1967

Third Floor, North Wing

Believing that sculpture should be “an equivalent for natural forms and forces,” Isamu Noguchi explored the sun’s vital power in this massive marble. He derived its shape from a millstone which, “inverted and elevated, becomes a sun-like image.”

Isamu Noguchi, 1967, Arni marble, Gift of the artist © The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York

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160
160

High Cliff, Coast of Maine, 1894

Second Floor, East Wing

Winslow Homer was known for his robust depictions of nature. In High Cliff, Coast of Maine, the ocean wages a mighty and relentless assault on a rocky cliff at Prout’s Neck, one of the artist’s favorite spots on the coast. Both the two small figures at the upper right and the tight composition heighten the viewer’s sense of the powerful surf.

Winslow Homer, 1894, oil on canvas, Gift of William T. Evans

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161
161

Industrial Cottage, 1977

Third Floor, North Wing

In Industrial Cottage, James Rosenquist divided the canvas into three zones, populating each with large forms that reflected his years as a billboard painter. In each zone, cold-hued machinery contrasts with softer forms and warmer colors. The artist was working his way out of debt following a catastrophic car accident, and the title expresses his wry opinion of himself as a “cottage industry.”

James Rosenquist, 1977, oil on canvas, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 1977, James Rosenquist

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162
162

Jackpot Machine, 1962

Third Floor, East Wing

Vibrant reds, whites and blues tempt the inner gambler in us all to tug on the lever of the imposing one-armed bandit in the 1962 painting Jackpot Machine by California artist Wayne Thiebaud (born in 1920). The get-rich-quick theme is offset by a visible warning to all those who come to the West Coast looking for the prize. Only two out of three tokens line up, as if to point out how random success can be.

Wayne Thiebaud, 1962, oil on canvas , Museum purchase made possible by the American Art Forum and gift of an anonymous donor

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163
163

Manhattan, 1932

Second Floor, North Wing

Dizzying heights, soaring verticals, and spectacular views of New York City’s skyscrapers inspired some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s most memorable paintings. O’Keeffe not only painted these wonders of modern architecture, she was also one of the first American artists to live in a skyscraper. In the mid-1920s, she and her husband, photographer and gallery directory Alfred Stieglitz, had an apartment on the thirtieth floor of the Shelton Hotel.

Georgia O'Keeffe, 1932, oil on canvas, Gift of the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation

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164
164

Merce C, 1961

Third Floor, North Wing

Merce C is a tribute to choreographer Merce Cunningham—a modern dancer, choreographer, and friend of the artist—who inspired Kline’s own dynamic performance in black and white. In this stark but dramatic composition, Kline captures the power and elegance of Cunningham’s dance. The strokes of dense black paint pushing their way through the white field suggest a pair of athletic dancers carving the space with their movements.

Franz Kline, 1961, oil on canvas, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

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165
165

Miss Liberty Celebration, 1987

First Floor, West Wing

Malcah Zeldis refers to this painting as an "exultation of survival," painted after her recovery from cancer in 1986, the same year as the centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty. She includes herself (in the red dress at the lower right) alongside American icons like Elvis and Miss America in a celebration of liberty and life—personally from her sickness, and universally for the diversity of Americans.

Malcah Zeldis, 1987, oil on corrugated cardboard, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. © 1987, Malcah Zeldis

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166
166

Modern Head, 1974/1990

Exterior, South Side

Modern Head is part of a series Roy Lichtenstein began in the late 1960s that explored the idea of creating images of human figures that look like machines. The flat planes and curvilinear geometric forms of the sculpture blend the streamlined industrial style of 1930s art deco architecture and design with references to Picasso and Apollo, the Greek god of the arts. On September 11, 2001, the sculpture, which was installed one block from the World Trade Center, survived the terrorist attack on New York City with only surface scratches. It was temporarily used by the FBI as a message board during its investigations.

Roy Lichtenstein, 1974/1990, painted stainless steel, Gift of Jeffrey H. Loria in loving memory of his sister, Harriet Loria Popowitz © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

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167
167

Monekana, 2001

Third Floor, East Wing

Deborah Butterfield’s majestic horse is monumental in scale. Butterfield considers the animal’s expressive postures in response to the natural world as metaphors for human experience. At first glance, the sculpture appears to be made of tree branches. It is, in fact, cast in bronze, with a patina that masterfully captures the textures and colors of the Hawaiian wood fragments the artist used to make the original maquette. Butterfield divides her time between a ranch in Montana and a studio space in Hawaii. Monekana is Hawaiian for the word Montana.

Deborah Butterfield, 2001, bronze, Gift of the American Art Forum, Mr. and Mrs. Frank O. Rushing, Shelby and Frederick Gans and museum purchase © 2001, Deborah Butterfield

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168
168

Night in Bologna, 1958

Second Floor, North Wing

Night in Bologna is a dark comedy of sexual tensions played out on a stage of shadowy arcades. In the foreground, a soldier on leave throws off a visible heat that suffuses the air around him with a red glow. He casts an appraising look at a worldly woman nearby, who in turn gauges the interest of a man seated at a café table. Unaware of her attentions, the gawky tourist looks longingly at the man in uniform. Paul Cadmus left the outcome unclear because he was more interested in the tangle of human instincts than in tidy resolutions.

Paul Cadmus, 1958, egg tempera on fiberboard, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

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169
169

Peacocks and Peonies I, 1882

Second Floor, East Wing

The stained-glass windows by John La Farge reflect the Gilded Age’s fascination with medieval art and craftsmanship. These windows were commissioned by Frederick Lothrop Ames, a railroad magnate who had them installed in the vast, opulent hall of his Boston home. For this composition, La Farge borrowed from many cultures: the central panels evoke Chinese and Japanese screens; the lower panels emulate Pompeian architecture; and the transoms recall the tympanum above the door of a Romanesque cathedral.

John La Farge,1882, stained glass window, Gift of Henry A. La Farge

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170
170

Peacocks and Peonies II, 1882

Second Floor, East Wing

The stained-glass windows by John La Farge reflect the Gilded Age’s fascination with medieval art and craftsmanship. These windows were commissioned by Frederick Lothrop Ames, a railroad magnate who had them installed in the vast, opulent hall of his Boston home. For this composition, La Farge borrowed from many cultures: the central panels evoke Chinese and Japanese screens; the lower panels emulate Pompeian architecture; and the transoms recall the tympanum above the door of a Romanesque cathedral.

John La Farge, 1882, stained glass window, Gift of Henry A. La Farge

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171
171

Portrait of Mnonja, 2010

Third Floor, East Wing

Mickalene Thomas explores notions of beauty, sexuality, and black female identity in her work. She is inspired by a wide range of sources, from Hudson River School landscapes to Henri Matisse’s nudes and Romare Bearden’s collages. Thomas is one of many contemporary artists experimenting with nontraditional materials. For her, the rhinestones evoke folk art traditions and Haitian voodoo art. They also serve as a metaphor for female beauty products, which can both enhance and mask a woman’s identity.

Mickalene Thomas, 2010, rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 2010, Mickalene Thomas

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172
172

Preamble, 1987

First Floor, North Wing

In a show of American ingenuity, Mike Wilkins utilized a collection of vanity license plates to recreate phonetically the preamble to the US Constitution in abbreviated script. All fifty states and the District of Columbia are represented in alphabetical order. Though the plates rarely make sense on their own, together they recreate one of the greatest documents in American history. This work represents the meaning of the name “the United States” with a fun twist.

Mike Wilkins, 1987, painted metal on vinyl and wood, Gift of Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A.

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173
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Radiante, 1967

The Latino Art Collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum represents a deep and continuing commitment to building a great national collection reflecting the rich contributions of Latinos to the United States, from the colonial period to the present. These artworks present a picture of an evolving national culture that challenges expectations of what is meant by the words American and Latino.

Olga Albizu, 1967, oil on canvas, Gift of JPMorgan Chase

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174
174

Reservoir, 1961

Third Floor, North Wing

Rauschenberg was one of the Beat Generation of artists, writers, and musicians who attacked the barriers between art and life. In Reservoir, a length of wood, two clocks, and a couple of cast-off wheels reach out from the painted surface into the viewer’s space. These elements represent both the randomness and order that Rauschenberg saw in everyday life. The arrangement of objects and thick, splashy brushstrokes represent his split-second decisions, and the two clocks record when he started the work and the moment he considered it finished.

Robert Rauschenberg, 1961, oil, wood, graphite, fabric, metal, and rubber on canvas, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

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175
175

River Bluffs, 1320 Miles above St. Louis, 1832

Third Floor, Luce Foundation Center 2B

On his long river voyage of 1832, George Catlin painted dream-like views of sunlit bluffs on the upper Missouri that preserve a now-lost world. Indians had shaped this landscape by setting fires that curbed tree growth; when the Indians were gone, so were the “beautiful clear-cut outlines of these billowy slopes.”

George Catlin's Indian Gallery is an unparalleled collection of great artistic and historic significance that contributes to understanding America's frontier and the cultures of the Native Americans who lived there. George Catlin (1796-1872) was the first major artist to travel beyond the Mississippi to record what he called the "manner and customs" of American Indians, painting scenes and portraits from life. He wanted to document these native cultures before they were irrevocably altered by settlement of the frontier and the mass migrations forced by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Between 1830 and 1836, Catlin took five trips across the Great Plains, eventually visiting fifty tribes. The nearly complete surviving set of Catlin's first Indian Gallery, painted in the 1830s, constitutes more than five hundred works.

George Catlin, 1832, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

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176
176
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Runner Through the Barrage, Bois de Belleau, Chateau Thierry Sector; His Arm Shot Away, His Mind Gone

Claggett Wilson, ca. 1919, watercolor and pencil on paperboard, gift of Alice H. Rossin

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177
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Saviors of France—Jeanne d’Arc, St. Louis, Clovis and the Hands of the Common Soldier

Claggett Wilson, ca. 1919, watercolor on paperboard, gift of Alice H. Rossin

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178

Self-Portrait, 1923

Third Floor, North Wing

In this painting, Romaine Brooks portrayed herself in the dark colors of a man's outfit, her eyes veiled under the shadow of her hat brim. Brooks lived most of her life in Paris, where she crafted an androgynous appearance that challenged conventional ideas of how women should look and behave. The shadowed face in this portrait suggests that her true self is hidden behind a carefully constructed facade. The tiny flash of red on Brooks's lapel represents the ribbon of the Legion of Honor she received for her artistic achievements, but it might also hint at the secret passions of her personal life.

Romaine Brooks, 1923, oil on canvas, gift of the artist

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179
179

Small's Paradise, 1964

Third Floor, North Wing

Frankenthaler's breakthrough as an abstract painter came when she discovered that paint thinned with turpentine and poured on raw canvas provided rich colors and random forms. She titled her works according to the images that seemed "to come out of the pictures." When a shape that struck her as "Persian" emerged on the canvas, Frankenthaler apparently thought of the word "paradise," invented by the Persians to describe a wall around a garden. She had been to Small's Paradise not long before, and when she put the associations together, the painting became an emblem of a particular moment in her life.

Helen Frankenthaler, 1964, acrylic on canvas, gift of George L. Erion

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180
180

Snails Space with Vari-Lites, “Painting as Performance,” 1995-1996

Third Floor, East Wing

Snails Space unfolds as a silent performance that evokes David Hockney’s experience of designing sets and costumes for operas even as he lost his hearing. In the absence of sound, pure visual experience compensates and suggests a different narrative to every viewer. The installation consists of two attached canvases and a floor piece that look like a tiny, tangled world blown up to a preposterous size. Three-dimensional and painted patterns and shapes suggest enchanted forests and streams. These appear to advance and recede with the changing colors provided by a nine-minute computer program; the viewer follows these shifts as he or she would the episodes of a stage play.

David Hockney, 1995-1996, oil on two canvases, acrylic on canvas-covered masonite, wood dowels, Gift of Nan Tucker McEvoy © 1995-96, David Hockney

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181
181
OFF DISPLAY

SOB, SOB, 2003

SOB, SOB marks a pivotal moment in Kerry James Marshall’s career. It is one of his earliest paintings to address the idea of black aesthetics. Beginning in the early 1960s, writers, musicians, and visual artists imbued their work with the tones and textures of African American heritage to create a unique form of expression. The painting depicts a female figure seated in front of a tall shelf of African history books. This work is about the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge and relates closely to the artist’s ongoing exploration of African American history.

Kerry James Marshall, 2003, acrylic on fiberglass, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 2003, Kerry James Marshall

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182
182

Stu-mick-o-súcks, Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe, 1832

Second Floor, South Wing

Buffalo Bull’s Back Fat (named after a prized cut of bison) was a chief of the Blackfoot, a tribe of the northernmost Plains whose territory straddled the present-day border between the United States and Canada. Catlin considered the people of the northern Plains the least corrupted by white contact, and he helped establish their image as nature’s noble people in Europe as well as America. This commanding portrait was exhibited to favorable notice in the Paris Salon of 1846.

George Catlin, 1832, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

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183
183

Subway, 1934

First Floor, South Wing

The New Deal ushered in a heady time for artists in America in the 1930s. Through President Franklin Roosevelt's programs, the federal government paid artists to paint and sculpt, urging them to look to the nation's land and people for their subjects. For the next decade — until World War II brought support to a halt — the country's artists captured the beauty of the countryside, the industry of America's working people, and the sense of community shared in towns large and small in spite of the Great Depression. Many of these paintings were created in 1934 for a pilot program designed to put artists to works; others were done under the auspices of the WPA that followed. The thousands of paintings, sculptures, and murals placed in schools, post offices, and other public buildings stand as a testimony to the resilience of Americans during one of the most difficult periods of our history.

Lily Furedi, 1934, oil on canvas, Transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

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184
184

The Death of Cleopatra, 1876

The Luce Foundation Center, Third Floor

Edmonia Lewis was the first professional African-American sculptor. She was born in Ohio or New York in 1843 or 1845. Her father was a free African-American and her mother a Chippewa Indian. Lewis began sculpting in Boston and eventually moved to Rome, where she set up a studio and worked in the neoclassical style popular in her day. In addition to Biblical and mythological figures, she created portrait busts of abolitionists and patrons such as Anna Quincy Waterston, and subjects depicting her dual African-American and Native American ancestry. One of her most famous works is The Death of Cleopatra (1076). Cleopatra (69 - 30 BCE), the legendary queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 BCE, is often best known for her dramatic suicide, allegedly from the fatal bite of a poisonous snake. Here, Edmonia Lewis portrayed Cleopatra in the moment after her death, wearing her royal attire, in majestic repose on a throne. Unlike her contemporaries however, who often depicted an idealized Cleopatra merely contemplating suicide, Lewis showed the queen’s death more realistically, after the asp’s venom had taken hold.

Edmonia Lewis, carved 1876, marble, Gift of the Historical Society of Forest Park, Illinois

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185
185

The Girl I Left Behind Me, 1872

Second Floor, East Wing

The Civil War defined America and forever changed American art. American artists of this era could not depict the conflict using the conventions of European history painting, which glamorized the hero on the battlefield. Instead, America's finest painters captured the transformative impact of the war. Through landscapes and genre paintings, these artists gave voice to the nation's highest ideals and deepest concerns — illustrating a time that has been described as the second American Revolution.

Eastman Johnson, ca. 1872, oil on canvas, Museum purchase made possible in part by Mrs. Alexander Hamilton Rice in memory of her husband and by Ralph Cross Johnson

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186
186

The Heavens

Luce Foundation Center, Third Floor

The Heavens, along with three other works representing earth, water and man, was commissioned for the National Geographic Society in New York. Solon Borglum and three other sculptors were involved, including his brother Gutzon. World War I interrupted the project and it was never completed, but Borglum made this smaller bronze version as well as a larger plaster version, which has since disappeared. Representing the heavens, a male figure emerges from the planets and clouds, looking back to acknowledge his creation. The man has mortal beauty but embodies God’s transcendent powers.

Solon H. Borglum, 1913-1917, bronze, gift of Monica B. Davies and Paul Borglum in memory of Mrs. M. Nash Bly

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187
187

The Mirror, 1910

Second Floor, East Wing

American Impressionism emerged in the late 1880s when a generation of American artists studied abroad to absorb the new palette and compositions that were modernizing painting in France. Landscapes and domestic scenes by these American Impressionists are as wonderfully fresh and sparkling as those by their more familiar French counterparts. These artists, attracted to the light and color of painting outdoors, celebrate a modern view of life as America entered the twentieth century.

Robert Reid, ca. 1910, oil on canvas, Gift of William T. Evans

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188
188

The Solidity of the Road to Metaphor and Memory

Luce Foundation Center, Fourth Floor

The inscription “Neutrality Agreement” on the back of this painting implies that the image is about America’s involvement in Europe’s growing conflicts. It shows three strange figures, shaking hands across a train track. The person on the left thinks he is holding the hand of the figure directly opposite, when he is actually making a deal with the headless creature behind. This, together with the train tracks that lead nowhere, suggests that the “agreement” is a farce and holds no true meaning. Misha Reznikoff saw firsthand the devastation and misery of World War I during his childhood in Russia. This cast of surreal characters suggests that he saw no sincerity in the “deals” made between world leaders.

Misha Reznikoff, 1934, oil on canvas, gift of Peter and Michael Reznikoff

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189
189

The South Ledges, Appledore, 1913

Second Floor, East Wing

Childe Hassam spent many summers on Appledore Island off the coast of Maine. Every year, he and a circle of musicians, writers, and other artists made an informal colony based at the home of his friend, the poet Celia Thaxter. In Thaxter’s gardens and on the rocky beaches, Hassam used the flickering brushwork and brilliant colors he had adopted in France to capture the spangled light of Appledore’s brief summer.

Childe Hassam, 1913, oil on canvas, Gift of John Gellatly

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190
190

The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly, 1950-1964

First Floor, West Wing

James Hampton’s entire artistic output is this single work, which he constructed for more than fourteen years in a rented garage, transforming its drab interior into a heavenly vision. The Throne and its associated components are made from discarded materials and found objects such as old furniture, cardboard cutouts, and light bulbs. All were scavenged from secondhand shops, the streets, or the federal office buildings in which Hampton worked as a janitor. To complete each element, Hampton used shimmering metallic foils and brilliant purple paper (now faded to tan) to evoke spiritual awe and splendor. Praised as America’s greatest work of visionary art, The Throne reveals one man’s faith in God as well as his hope for salvation.

James Hampton, ca. 1950-1964, gold and silver aluminum foil, Kraft paper, and plastic over wood furniture, paperboard, and glass, Gift of anonymous donors

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191
191

The Wave, 1942-1944

Third Floor, North Wing

In The Wave, Willem de Kooning divided large areas of cool, marine colors with contoured lines to create shapes that suggest distorted figures. An elegant looping line like the automatic drawing of the surrealists suggests a figure reclining before a window or a door. Painting quickly, de Kooning applied layers of wet paint atop one another. Not long after this work was finished, cracks emerged near the center of the image. Like a good surrealist, de Kooning accepted the damage as an accidental element of the painting and did not repair it.

Willem de Kooning, ca. 1942-1944, oil on fiberboard, Gift from the Vincent Melzac Collection

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192
192

Tur, 2007

Third Floor, East Wing

Walton Ford’s large-scale watercolors combine the meticulous detail of naturalist drawings with all the narrative drama of a great film. Tur depicts the aurochs, a prehistoric bull that gave rise to modern day bison and cattle. The Latin inscription at the top left of the painting reads: “The Polish call me tur, the Germans call me aurox, and the ignorant call me bison.”

Walton Ford, 2007, watercolor and gouache on paper, Gift of the American Art Forum and Nion T. McEvoy © 2007, Walton Ford

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193
193

Vaquero, 1980/cast 1990

The monumental sculpture Vaquero confronts popular stereotypes of the cowboy while connecting this classic symbol of America to its Mexican origins. Luis Jiménez is known for his reinterpretations of images associated with the American West and Mexican-American culture. In Vaquero, he wanted to update the traditional equestrian statue. In the composition, horse and rider are inseparable—extensions of a dramatic curve and countercurve. The sculpture is constructed of fiberglass, a material that Jiménez used frequently. The bright colors and glossy finish recall movie marquees, a reminder of how much movies have influenced what we know about the American cowboy.

Luis Jiménez, modeled 1980/cast 1990, acrylic urethane, fiberglass, steel armature, Gift of Judith and Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Anne and Ronald Abramson, and Thelma and Melvin Lenkin © 1980, Luis Jimenez

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194
194

Woman Eating, 1971

Third Floor, East Wing

Duane Hanson was known for his ultrarealistic sculptures that often cause viewers to pause with uncertainty as to whether they are seeing a sculpture or a person. Cast in fiberglass and resin from live models, then painted and clothed, Hanson’s life-size figures are presented as ordinary individuals engaged in mundane activities. The museum has replaced the original National Enquirer on the table with a contemporary tabloid, both to spare the original from overexposure to light as well as to heighten the surprise for visitors that the seated woman is not alive.

Duane Hanson, 1971, polyester resin and fiberglass with oil and acrylic paints and found accessories, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

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National Museum of African Art

National Museum of African Art

The National Museum of African Art is the only national museum in the United States dedicated to the collection, exhibition, conservation and study of the arts of Africa.

National Museum of African Art

ADDRESS

950 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20560

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

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195
195

Bottle, late 19th to early 20th century

African Mosaic, Sublevel One

Clothes, accessories and works of sculpture can signal the wealth, power and position of their owners. Elaborate clothes and hats and heavy jewelry made of rare or valuable materials, such as gold, copper alloy or glass beads, indicate both the financial security and the discerning eye of the owner—a message reinforced in the quality and quantity of prestige items. Imported glass beads were highly prized trade items within the Bamum kingdom, and they became an essential part of local art styles. Here, they were sewn onto plant fiber and attached to a gourd to create this colorful bottle used for serving palm wine. The dramatic beaded covering transformed a basic container into a dazzling emblem of royal status.

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196
196
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Boy and the Candle, 1943

South African contemporary artist Gerard Sekoto (1913-1993), a pioneer of African modernism, was among the first black South Africans to work in oil. He found steady patronage in the 1940s, before the policy of apartheid stifled the country’s black artists and scholars. In 1947, Sekoto moved to Paris, supporting himself as a pianist in the city’s nightclubs and jazz cafes, and produced a body of unpublished songs and lyrics that were discovered among his papers in 2002 almost a decade after his death. This painting, Boy and the Candle with its alternating planes, flattened perspective, subtle palette and command of light and shadow, is one of the most recognized works of an era.

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197
197
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Carved Door Panel, c. 1904-1910

Nigerian sculptor Olawe of Ise (c. 1875-c. 1938) is considered by many art historians and art collectors to be the most important Yoruba artist of the 20th century. Active in the first quarter of the century, he designed and carved architectural sculptures for several palaces in the Ekiti region of Yorubaland. His innovative high-relief technique conveys an illusion of movement in this elaborately carved door depicting a king on horseback with his entourage of royal wives, children, palace guards, priests and a musician.

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198
198

Commemorative Trophy Head, late 15th- early 16th century

African Mosaic, Sublevel One

The rulers of the ancient Benin Kingdom exercised a monopoly over the use of copper alloy, and the majority of sculptures made of it once were displayed within the palace—atop altars, attached to piers or as regalia. Coral beads were a similar royal prerogative, worn as crown jewels and allocated to others in the court. This representation of a male head with beads totally covering the neck would seem to have a royal association, but the tight-fitting collar differs from the looser style shown on images of Benin kings. The substitution of an elaborate but unadorned hairstyle for a beaded crown also separates this individual from Benin royals. This style of head is probably a trophy head representing a powerful defeated enemy.

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199
199

Contact, 2010

African Mosaic, Sublevel One

Inspired by a ship’s figurehead that comes toward us but is always just beyond reach, the sculpture Contact by artist Nandipha Mntambo is simultaneously an invitation and a warning, a play on the contradictory notions of isolation and exchange. Cast from her own body and sheathed in cowhide and hooves in a tribute to her cattle-raising Swazi heritage, Contact explores the tensions between presence and absence, and attraction and repulsion, while also probing how ideas of identity, femininity, and contemporaneity can be shaped—or emptied of value.

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200
200

Crest Mask, late 19th to mid-20th century

Second Level, Overlook Gallery (1136)

This crest mask is power personified. Ground spiders are used in divination practices in the Cameroon Grassfields region as a way of gaining access to divine knowledge. The eyes of this mask are covered with silk taken from spider egg sacs or the lining of the nest of the ground-dwelling tarantula. The top of the head is carved to represent a prestige cap worn by men of high status. Horns symbolize the power of the animal and are used throughout Africa as containers for materials associated with hunting, magic, divination and curing.

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201
201
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Face Mask, Late 19th- early 20th century

The striking disconnects between the divisions of the painted surface and the underlying carved form is an aspect of African art that first entranced Western audiences. The Western lack of awareness of context was such that when this mask was exhibited in the 1950s in France, it was identified as coming from another part of Africa. Later research attributed this mask to the Tsogo peoples as part of wider regional tradition of divided color faces.

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202
202

Mami Wata Figure, late 20th-century

Currents: Water in African Art, Third Floor

Depictions of Mami Wata testify to the dynamism and creativity with which Africans respond to imported ideas and images. Mami Wata is recognized today by peoples throughout Africa as a powerful water spirit. Her origins can be traced to a late 19th century lithograph of a female snake charmer in Hamburg, Germany. In the 1950s this image was reprinted in a calendar from an Indian company that was circulated widely in western and central Africa. In southeast Nigeria among the Anang Ibibio, figures and masks of Mami Wata blended with ideas of earlier water spirits and deities. She was considered a giver of wealth and was also linked with curing problems of infertility. Her brightly painted images often include long fiber tresses.

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203
203

Necklace, early 20th century

African Mosaic, Sublevel One

A prosperous woman of high social status would have worn this stunning and expertly crafted gold necklace made by a Moorish master jeweler from Oualata, Mauritania. This small town in southeastern Mauritania has long been recognized as an important center for the fabrication of gold jewelry. The necklace is ornamented with delicate linear and raised patterns using the techniques of filigree and granulation. These techniques were brought to northern Africa by Jewish artisans who moved to the region centuries ago from southern Spain. The triangular pendants recall the form of protective amulets. It is said that the sophistication of jewelry from Oualata is a reflection of the refined social, spiritual and cultural traditions of the Moorish peoples who live there.

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204
204
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Nkisi Figure, late 19th to mid-20th century

The term nkisi (pl. minkisi) has no English equivalent. In the past "fetish" and "power figure" have been used as brief identifiers, but they do not convey the word's meaning. A nkisi is the physical container for a spirit from the other world, the land of the dead. When activated by a specialist, or nganga, it has the power to heal, to protect or to punish.

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205
205

Staff Finial, 16th-19th century

African Mosaic, Sublevel One

Among the Kongo peoples, carved wooden staffs with figurative tops and pointed iron ends were emblems of a ruler's power and wealth. A staff might be presented to a future chief at his initiation, and some were inherited. On staffs such as these, the tops were separately carved ivory figures; the red color is the result of added pigment and age. The value of ivory as a material is universally appreciated. Ivory refers to the blatant physical power of the elephant as a creature who cannot be controlled, who can kill a man.

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206
206

Woman with Palm Leaf Skirt, 1986

African Mosaic, Sublevel One

Artist Sokari Douglas Camp creatively integrates time-honored cultural traditions with contemporary artistic technologies. She is noted for her large, semi-abstract figurative works, some of which are kinetic, that are inspired by the activities, sounds and colors of Kalabari masquerades, funerals, regattas and festivals. The openwork that enlivens this sculpture of a standing woman clearly represents the patterns and movements found in the cloth wrappers worn by Kalabari women attending festivals Douglas Camp transcended a number of conventions to become a sculptor and to work in steel, an art form and a material long restricted to male artists in both Africa and the West.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, making it the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. The museum will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all. The museum's grand opening is September 24, 2016.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

ADDRESS

Constitution Avenue, N.W., between 14th and 15th Streets

Washington, DC 20004

(202) 633-1000

info@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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207
207

The Big Egg, 1968

Fourth Floor, Visual Art and the American Experience

Inspired by the shape of the ellipse, artist Ed Clark (b. 1926) originally painted oval shapes on a traditional rectangular canvas. He later decided to transform the shape of the canvas into an oval itself. By doing so, he became the first American artist to create an oval canvas painting through the implementation of shaped stretcher bars.

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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design, Cooper Hewitt educates, inspires and empowers people through design by presenting exhibitions and educational programs and maintaining active publications.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

ADDRESS

2 East 91st Street

New York, NY 10128

(212) 849-8400

cooperhewitt@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Saturdays, 9 p.m.)

Adults - $18 | Seniors $12 | Students $9 | 18 and under free

METRO

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208
208

Armchair, 1976

Carnegie Mansion, Room 206

Utilizing a newly developed adhesive, Kuramata achieved material and visual minimalism with this armchair. Flat planes of glass are bonded together along their edges, without mounts or screws, to create a functional chair that seems simultaneously visible and invisible. The transparent form invites users to question notions of materiality, utility, and comfort.

Shiro Kuramata, 1976, assembled laminated plate glass, promised gift of George R. Kravis II

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209
209

Cabinet on Stand

Carnegie Mansion, Room 202

The refined construction of this cabinet indicates it was probably made for a sophisticated English client, with a skilled Dutch craftsman providing the marquetry. Specialty craftsmen migrated from France and the Netherlands to London during the last third of the 17th century for political reasons or due to the lure of patronage opportunities.

Unknown artist, 1675–1700, marquetry inlaid, veneered and joined oak, deal, walnut, and other wood, bone, brass, bequest of Mrs. John Innes Kane

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210
210

Dragonfly Lamp

Carnegie Mansion, Room 213

This lamp, given to the collection by Andrew and Louise Carnegie’s only child, Margaret Carnegie Miller, was used in the family’s Skibo Castle in Scotland. The shade of oversized dragonflies, one of Tiffany’s most popular motifs, was designed by Clara Driscoll, head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department. The lamp has always been wired for electricity, a technology Carnegie eagerly embraced.

Clara Driscoll, 1900–10; Stained glass, lead, cut brass, gilt-bronze, gift of Mrs. Margaret Carnegie Miller

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211
211

Little Sun Solar-Powered Lantern

Carnegie Mansion, Room 206

The Little Sun is a small solar powered LED lamp that was developed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to bring light to as many people as possible, particularly those in off-the-grid areas, acting as a poverty reduction strategy and a beacon of safety. In his art practice, Eliasson uses light and color as mediums to affect the way that people experience space and interact with one another. This Little Sun project extends this artistic interest to affect social change outside of the walls of the gallery and on a global scale. The lamp is bright yellow and shaped like a children’s drawing of what a sun might look like. Little Sun features a ventilated, efficient solar cell to keep its electronic components cool even while charging in the sun. The lamp makes possible two light levels, and after five hours of charging in the sun, it produces ten hours of soft light, or four hours of bright light. Little sun provides a healthier and more environmentally-friendly alternative to the kerosene lantern, the lighting device most often used in rural areas at night. Little Sun is also a social business that provides one little Sun to an off-grid African community at a nominal price for every full-price lamp it sells in the developed world. The cheerful, modern design and efficient charging componentry allows for an accessible, affordable lamp. The lamp has distribution in seven African countries as well as in the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen, 2012, molded plastic, solar panel, LED, gift of George R. Kravis II

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212
212

Patriot Radio, 1940

Carnegie Mansion, Room 206

The simple rectangular form of the radio case and its minimal decoration—featuring horizontal red and white stripes on the grill, a bold red and white circular station dial above two red control knobs with molded star decoration, and a simple red linear handle—exhibit a modern and pared-down, yet emotive, aesthetic. The Patriot radio shows Geddes at his best, drawing on his background in theatrical design and illustration as well as his commitment to industrial design. In 1925, while in Paris to design to a stage set, Geddes visited the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts (L’Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes). After seeing examples of modern products in that exhibition, Geddes decided to leave theater design for the new discipline of industrial design, convinced that industry would be the driving force of the age.

Norman Bel Geddes , 1940, cast phenolic plastic (Catalin), molded urea plastic, molded cellulose acetate, embossed acetate, metal, gift of George R. Kravis II

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213
213

Poster, America’s Answer! Production

Carnegie Mansion, Room 206

Commissioned by the Division of Information, Office for Emergency Management in 1942, the America’s Answer! Production poster was designed by French émigré Jean Carlu. The striking propaganda poster was intended to inspire and invigorate the American population in the midst of World War II. For his design, Carlu employed many of the tools of composition that had been inherited through his modernist training in Europe and collaboration with fellow French graphic artist A.M. Cassandre. The use of isolated objects, bold typography and vertical layout helped to produce strong, aggressive images. In this poster, the symbol of a glove, wrench, and bolt communicated the equal value of factory work in supporting the American offensive across the ocean. Here, Carlu symbolically equates tools with weapons. The integration of typography with imagery – in this case: the bolt and wrench formed the ‘O’ of production – was a ploy Carlu continued to use throughout his career.

Jean Carlu, 1942, offset lithograph on paper, promised gift of George R. Kravis II

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214
214

Print, Plate 6

Carnegie Mansion, Room 201

Wendel Dietterlin the Younger, 1614, etching on paper; museum purchase through gift of Mrs. John Innes Kane

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Staircase Model

Carnegie Mansion, Room 212

This fine triple-height staircase model is similar to one designed by Robert Adam for 20 Portman Place in London. The model’s sustaining pillars ensure stability in place of the walls used in Adam’s staircase. The pillars are joined in a manner characteristic of a builder rather than a compagnonnage-trained cabinetmaker.

Unknown artist, late 18th century, joined, bent and carved pear, wrought brass wire, gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw

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216

Textile, Triangles, 1952

Carnegie Mansion, Room 206

Triangles were a favorite motifs of Girard’s, which he used for numerous patterns: in Small Triangles, outlined shapes create an overall diamond lattice, One-Way has overlapping triangles of different sizes all facing the same direction. In the design called simply Triangles, tangent equilateral triangles are colored in such a way as to create three- or four-color syncopations, with each color appearing seemingly at random across the surface.

Alexander Hayden Girard, 1952, Screen-printed linen, gift of George R. Kravis II

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