Albert “Kid” Mertz (above: Untitled, c. 1980) painted hundreds, possibly thousands of railroad spikes he had collected from tracks near his property, giving each spike a cheerful face.

The Allure of Self-Taught Art

SAAM’s new show “We Are Made of Stories” examines the 20th-century rise and creative vision of artists who make art without formal training

Gilliam, 88, died June 25 in his studio, just miles from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which recently opened a captivating new show, “Sam Gilliam: Full Circle.”

Abstractionist Sam Gilliam Dies at 88, Hirshhorn Hosts His Final Show

The beloved Washington, D.C. artist went full circle with a bold new series of round paintings

The single-engine, single-seat Turner RT-14 Meteor is the "epitome of what a 1930s air racer in the United States would be: big engine, big propeller, small profile,” says the museum's Jeremy Kinney.

The Record-Shattering Airplane Behind a Dashing Pilot’s Meteoric Rise to Fame

Roscoe Turner's air racer takes center stage this fall when newly renovated galleries open at the National Air and Space Museum

The "Gifts We Carry: Sounds of Migration and Memory” concert will combine musicians from several backgrounds and cultures, including Salar Nader on the tabla and Homayoun Sakhi, a master on the Afghan stringed instrument the rubab. 

After Long Absence, the Folklife Festival Returns to the National Mall

The much-loved summer event, featuring the United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism programs, opens with a concert hosted by Yo-Yo Ma

On May 20, the artist KAWS, also known as Brian Donnelly (above at Rockefeller Center in August 2021), received from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden an award for "his contributions to art and popular culture."

Is a KAWS Celeb Sighting Cause for Speculation?

The ex-street artist turned art-world sensation receives a warm reception and an award from the Hirshhorn

Richard Nixon (detail) by George Giusti, 1973

View the Granddaddy of Political Scandals in Oils, Cartoons and Sculpture

The 1972 Watergate break-in that led to Richard Nixon's resignation is the subject of a new exhibition

A museum patron enjoys Yayoi Kusama's latest work, Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe (2018), where paper lanterns and dots endlessly multiply inside the chamber.

Art Sensation Yayoi Kusama Wraps Visitors in Polka Dots, Pumpkins and a World Without End

A new Infinity Mirror Room with its forever-repeating lights and imagery opens at the Hirshhorn with other works by the iconic artist

An early 18th-century Indian watercolor of a mounted hunter keeping an eye on a bird at the moment of an attack is featured in the show "Falcons: The Art of the Hunt" at the Freer Gallery of Art, part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art.

A Museum Show Takes Visitors on a Hunt for the Birds of Prey Populating Centuries of Artworks

From an ancient Egyptian plaque to a Ming dynasty scroll, explore the central role that falcons and hawks play across cultures and millennia

Toyin Ojih Odutola (above) “flips the script in every aspect," she says of her 40 charcoal and pastel drawings depicting a story about a strong race of women, called the Eshu, who rule over humanoid men made to work in the mines or to cultivate food.

Women Warriors Ran the Ancient World in Artist Toyin Ojih Odutola's Imagined Past

The Hirshhorn's show, "A Countervailing Theory," posits a society where gender roles are reversed

With every hope that Covid-restrictions will soon give way to happier times ahead, the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. and New York City plan a bright year of grand new showings

Twenty-Two Smithsonian Shows to See in 2022

Falcon hunting, Watergate, a Kusama mirror room and the new Latino Gallery await

In "New Glass Now," at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery, works by 50 artists, including the hot-sculpted glass work of James Akers, (above: TThe Wild One (B), 2018) amplify the stunning advancement of the artform since the last major survey.

 

Two New Shows Reflect the Shining Versatility of Glass

Thrilling innovations at the Renwick mirror SAAM’s exquisite historical survey of the Venetian masters and their influences

The much-lauded exposition-style celebration invites “all dreamers, makers, and changers of tomorrow to imagine a more exciting, equitable, and sustainable future.”

Futures

At New 'Futures' Show, Big Dreamers and Changemakers Activate a Better Way Forward

Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary exposition opens with big-name speakers, family fun and a 21st-century peek into the world ahead

Laurie Anderson’s singular artistic path has included books and movies, and an influential performance style whose loops, tapes and style has informed generations. 

The Multiple Arts and Artistries of the Inimitable Laurie Anderson

A Hirshhorn retrospective opens with ten new works from the pioneering artist, composer, poet and musician

"As an artist and an art lover," says the artist Nicolas Party, his site-specific, 829-foot work, Draw the Curtain, "is a way to pay homage" to the many art museums located in Washington, D.C. The Hirshhorn invited Party to help to disguise construction scaffolding as it undergoes a lengthy renovation.

A Peek Behind the Curtain of Hirshhorn's Largest Artwork Ever

After wrapping the museum's historic building in a huge, playful painting, Swiss artist Nicolas Party reveals what he hid in plain sight

I Go To Prepare A Place For You (detail) by Bisa Butler, 2021

These Stunning Artworks Capture the Resilience—and Defiance—of Black Lives Matter

At NMAAHC's new show "Reckoning" Bisa Butler’s vivid Harriet Tubman joins works from Amy Sherald, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other prominent visual artists

During the 2017 Grocery Walk, more than 500 protestors demanded greater investment in food access programs and healthy food retail options in a local Washington D.C. community.

In a City Flush With Power and Wealth, D.C.'s Ward 8 Faces Food Inequity

Eleven percent of U.S. households experience hunger; an expansive, new exhibition focuses how a local community manages this national problem

The Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Roberto Clemente was greatly admired by his Puerto Rican community (above: in 1962 coaching a local children's team) for his philanthropic pursuits on the island.

A Double Header for Béisbol Lovers

Out of the barrios, into the big leagues came Clemente, Abreu and Martínez. Now the unheralded are All-Stars in this expansive show

Oil Spill #10, Oil Slick at Rip Tide, Gulf of Mexico, June 24, 2010 (detail) by Edward Burtynsky, 2010

The Sad Truths Behind These Unsettling Works of Art

A new exhibition reflects on the haunting aesthetics of human impact on the planet

Nyan Cat, a 2011 animated feline with a Pop Tart body, first became a popular YouTube video but was reclaimed by its creator, a young Dallas artist named Chris Torres, as an NFT that sold for $587,000 in February.

Hirshhorn Hosts Panel of Experts to Hash Out the Brave New World of Non-Fungible Tokens

The unexpected $69 million sale of a digital artwork shocked the art world and now disruption is the name of the game

Reddy's two-story installation weaves human wisdom and intelligent technology together, forming a shimmering monument reflective of visitors' collective visions of the future.

Futures

A New, Interactive Sculpture by Suchi Reddy Illuminates Our Hopes and Fears About the Future

The A.I.-powered installation, a hallmark of the Smithsonian's upcoming "Futures" show, promises something never seen or experienced before

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