in what has been our most ambitious project to date in the area of contemporary art.
Preliminary preparations for "American Kaleidoscope" began in the spring of 1993. Inevitably, a project of this length has built upon the efforts of many individuals, some within our institution and others associated with organizations outside. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, I must first express my gratitude to our director, Elizabeth Broun, who from the very beginning demonstrated nothing but enthusiasm and confidence in what has been our most ambitious project to date in the area of contemporary art. Our chief curator through most of the preparation period, Virginia Mecklenburg, was extremely supportive as well, devising strategies at crucial points in the planning that assured the project's viability.
Museum curators Andrew Connors, Gwendolyn Everett, and Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, who generously authored individual artists' entries despite the pressures of other urgent commitments, made an invaluable contribution to this endeavor. Jonathan Binstock, my research assistant for the last two years, has shown enormous dedication to his tasks, which have included both the routine responsibilities involved in the exhibition and publication, as well as the challenging assignment of writing three of the artists' entries.
Several museum interns contributed to the research for the exhibition and book. Their efforts provided the foundation on which to build the project. Ann Kenney was the first, followed by Megan Duffy, Amy Sweigert, Karen Glickman, Anne Samuel, and Angela Chang. As the text for the book began to take shape, Samuel and Chang provided invaluable support by tracking down references and making editorial suggestions. Staff secretaries Christine Donnelly-Moan and Sara Spees were extremely helpful during the proposal-writing stages of the project.
During the final stages of shaping the manuscript, outside readers Trinkett Clark, Steven Nash, and Nancy Grove went far beyond the call of duty in giving their very thoughtful and constructive advice. Their suggestions were invaluable in making the publication a worthy reflection of the art and artists featured in "American Kaleidoscope."
The support staff of the Smithsonian American Art Museum have demonstrated their usual dedication. Our registrar, Melissa Kroning, and others in her department, including Patti Hager and Michael Smallwood, have been enormously helpful in arranging the loans, transportation, and insurance for the works of art. Val Lewton, former chief of design and production, offered early, invaluable advice on the installation, while designer Linda McNamara envisioned and carried out the complicated and imaginative realization under the supervision of our new chief of design and production, John Zelenik.
With the most heartfelt gratitude, I wish to thank Dr. Tomás Ybarra Frausto and the Rockefeller Foundation for their faith and financial sponsorship of this exhibition and book. I also wish to express my deep gratitude to the Smithsonian American Art Museum commission member Gerald Pearson for his generous support of "American Kaleidoscope."
I am especially grateful to the lenders who have willingly sacrificed their private enjoyment of these treasures so that they could be shared with others. I want to thank the artists as well for their patience and cooperation, and for the wonderful works they have created.
Finally, I wish to thank my husband, Daniel, and
sons Jared and Adam. They remained unfailingly supportive of my
efforts, never showing the slightest doubt in the ultimate success
of this three-year endeavor.
Jacquelyn Days Serwer
Acting Chief Curator
Smithsonian American Art Museum