Art & Artists

Blue Madonna, oil on canvas, 1961. Many of the artist’s works feature religious themes and are painted in the bold colors of the Fauvists and German Expressionists.

American Artist Bob Thompson Riffed on the Old Masters of Europe

A new view of an original genius who died before he could realize his full potential

One reader wonders what graffiti was like before spray paint.

Ask Smithsonian

What Did Graffiti Look Like Before Spray Paint and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

(Top) Leila Strickland, Michelle Egger, Toby Kiers, Colin Averill, J. Richard Gott (Middle) Leslie Jones-Dove, Devshi Mehrotra, Prisha Shroff, Iké Udé (Bottom) Tim Farrelly, Omar Salem, David Deneher, Victor A. Lopez-Carmen, Doris Sung

Innovation for Good

Sixteen Innovators to Watch in 2022

These trailblazers are dreaming up a future with cell-cultured breastmilk, energy-saving windows and more

Wayne Thiebaud, Pies, Pies, Pies, 1961. Oil on canvas.

Getting a Taste of Wayne Thiebaud

An exhibit in California examines the full, delicious spread of the American artist's work

Insects become part of beautiful patterns reminiscent of domestic textiles and wallpaper in the work of installation artist Jennifer Angus.

Art Meets Science

The Creepy, Crawling History of Insect Art

Through history and across cultures, bugs have inspired artists and challenged viewers to shift their perspective

The Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan is an art museum housed in a former factory of train parts and farm equipment.

Six Art Galleries in Unexpected Places

Around the world, factories, distilleries and bunkers have second lives as art venues

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The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Photography Books of 2021

In year two of the pandemic, our favorite titles invite us into worlds outside our own

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

Harvest ABC's, 2019

Crayons Aren't Just for Kids

Mixed media artist Lisa Solomon describes how she and five other artists have embraced Crayola in their work

Joe Fedderson (Arrow Lakes/Okanagan) creates abstract patterns (Above: Horses and Deer, 2020) from ordinary life.

Six Native Artists and Their Works Receive Major Recognition

The upcoming 2023 Renwick Invitational explores how Indigenous worldviews and the present moment inform what Native artists are making today

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

The Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine, hosts an "All Souls Walk" at the town's Hope Cemetery.

In Cemeteries Across the Country, Reenactors Are Resurrecting the Dead

Gravesite readings and performances keep the stories of the dearly departed alive for a new generation

Shera from the series "Tales of the First Sunrise."

How One Photographer Took Spiritual Inspiration From African Woodcarving

Stranded by the pandemic, Yannis Davy Guibinga made a connection with home through his art

The internationally recognized paper artist Jiyong Chung works in the Korean craft of Joomchi (above: Balance IV, detail), a technique that was born of necessity centuries ago.

Three Craft Artists Share How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Life and Art

Traditional and innovative specialists make ready for the upcoming virtual Smithsonian Craft Show and Sale

"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

Stretching 4,800 square feet in size, the piece coincides with the United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child initiative and is also part of World Space Week.

A Monumental Portrait of NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson Crops Up in Atlanta

The earthwork is the latest in land artist Stan Herd's impressive, decades-spanning portfolio

Titled Avant-Garde, the monumental shaped canvas alludes to Liu as a “guard” of a socialist reality she did not condone.

The Revolutionary Portraiture of Hung Liu

For this large-scale retrospective of the Asian American artist, who died this summer, east meets west in an exquisite collision

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

The Paul Family Quilt (1830-35), on display in "Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories," was made for a four-poster bed.

American History as Seen Through Quilts

For historians, the textiles are much more than just decorative covers for a bed

Courtney Gallaher’s Women in Science students at Northern Illinois University created quilt blocks representing astrophysicist Margaret J. Geller, biologist Rachel Carson, and mathematician Ada Lovelace.

Inside the Growing Movement to Share Science Through Quilting

The classic medium allows researchers, students and artists to tell stories about science, technology, engineering and math

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