Art & Artists

To construct her sculptures, artist Phaan Howng used 3-D prints of plants in the Smithsonian Gardens collection, then mounted them onto a steel armature and base. They were then modified and finished with resin, resin foam, foam air dry clay, EVA foam and acrylic paint.

Fantastical Art Joins Hundreds of Blooming Orchids to Shed Light on Conservation Efforts

Smithsonian Gardens’ 28th annual orchid exhibition is underway at the Kogod Courtyard

Cleopatra Adorning the Tomb of Mark Anthony, c. 1765, was one of Angelica Kauffman’s most popular works, reproduced not only in print but also on porcelain and furniture.

Pioneering Artist Angelica Kauffman Put Women at Center Stage

The history paintings of this great Neoclassical artist prove the wonderful benefits that inclusion can bring

Artist and Shaman Between Two Worlds, Norval Morrisseau, 1980, shows the artist’s signature style: bold colors and a surreal sense of his subjects’ inner lives.

Inside the Biggest Art Fraud in History

A decades-long forgery scheme ensnared Canada’s most famous Indigenous artist, a rock musician turned sleuth and several top museums. Here's how investigators unraveled the incredible scam

Gijon, an Aaron program that Cohen debuted in 2007, created jungle-like scenes—distinct from the figures created by the previous version of the software, Aaron KCAT.

The First A.I.-Generated Art Dates Back to the 1970s

A new show at the Whitney showcases the visionary who devised the art world’s first artificial intelligence

For years, independent artist and educator Erika Nelson has crisscrossed the country, visiting roadside behemoths, gathering the stories behind them and creating miniature handmade versions.

One Artist's Colossal Quest to Share Her Love of Roadside Americana

At her quirky outpost in Lucas, Kansas, Erika Nelson displays the world’s largest collection of the world’s smallest versions of the world’s largest things

This plate, depicting a banquet being prepared for Babur and his relatives, is one of 143 miniatures in a 1590 illustrated version of The Babur-nama.

Feast Your Eyes on the Stunning Islamic Art in This New Exhibition

A sumptuous new show in Los Angeles aims to leave museumgoers hungry for more

Ai Weiwei’s relocation to Portugal was largely practical, offering affordable land and access to European residency and travel visas. Visiting for the first time, he says, “There was no traffic on the road, a continuous empty landscape, just trees and grass. I thought it would be a nice place to settle.”

Ai Weiwei's Latest Work Is a Monument to His Past

The groundbreaking, exiled Chinese artist builds a hopeful new life—and a new studio, in the Portuguese countryside

“Whistler: Streetscapes, Urban Change” is on view through May 4, 2024, in the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, D.C. (above: The Steps by James McNeill Whistler, 1880).

How James McNeill Whistler Captured Life in the Big City

The painter’s streetscapes and neighborhood scenes mesmerize, but now he is being recognized for documenting a changing urban landscape

Leo Lionni with profile cut outs, c. 1970

How Children's Book Author Leo Lionni Urged His Readers to Be Change Makers

The multidisciplinary artist wanted us to imagine how we can shape society and uplift our communities

This year's list includes The Horses, Still Life, Believable: Traveling with My Ancestors, and more.

The Best Books of 2023

The Ten Best Photography Books of 2023

Our favorite titles this year will make readers feel the power of visual storytelling

Pressurized water shoots from the drill’s head to cool the marble and prevent excessive dust (detail).

Can Robots Replace Michelangelo?

In the birthplace of Italian sculpture, a powerful automated machine tries its hand at an ancient craft

Left, a 1932 self-portrait by Lee Miller. Right, a 1943 portrait of Miller by American photojournalist David Scherman.

Women Who Shaped History

How Lee Miller, a Magazine Model and Muse, Became a Daring World War II Photographer

The bold journalist, who made a splash on both sides of the lens, is the subject of a new biopic starring Kate Winslet

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents has been drawing commercial perfumers with a nose for aromas, gardeners, cooks and others since 2017.

This California Museum Is Home to Hundreds of Nature's Scents

Perfumer Mandy Aftel's spellbinding collection of rare essences and artifacts is on display at the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in Berkeley

Originally built in the 1500s, the grand Palazzo Priuli Manfrin in Venice, with its elaborate architecture and ornate frescoes, will eventually house Anish Kapoor’s foundation.

An Inside Look at Anish Kapoor's Next Act

The famed sculptor brings his incendiary style—and fiery palette—to the canvas in a new studio in Venice

John Akomfrah at his London studio, 2016

Artist John Akomfrah Is Having a Moment

The works of the recently knighted filmmaker address contemporary issues in two different Smithsonian museums

William Matthew Prior, a white abolitionist, painted both Nancy Lawson and her husband, William, as well as a few other African Americans. “Skin may differ, but affection dwells in white and black just the same,” he wrote.

These Portraits Made a Bold Statement in 19th-Century America

A new exhibition exploring artistic representation of Black subjects includes a work that subverted cultural expectations

Fountain With Butterflies in Periwinkle and Milk, 2022

Amber Cowan's Dioramas of Vintage Glass Will Transport You to Whimsical Worlds

The artist’s novel take on contemporary glasswork earned her the Smithsonian Women’s Committee 2023 Delphi Award

Nam June Paik’s 1995 Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii—a pulsing map of the 50 states lined with 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing, with each state defined by flickering video from 336 televisions and 50 DVD players—is one of the museum’s most popular pieces.

With Renovated Galleries, the Smithsonian Expands Its Approach to Contemporary American Art

The historic hall in the American Art Museum where President Abraham Lincoln held his second inaugural ball welcomes more diverse voices and visions

Alma Thomas, Autumn Leaves Fluttering in the Breeze, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of the artist, 1980.36.9

Alma Thomas' Signature Style Is Full of Color and Tiled Brushstrokes

After a career as a schoolteacher, the Washington, D.C.-based painter flourished, creating vibrant patterns inspired by nature, the cosmos and music

Installation view of Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2023. Acrylic and latex paint on wall.

The Painted Poetry of Jessica Diamond

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum hosts the artist’s largest installation yet

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