Seeing Things (13): Snowflake

Media - 1971.29 - SAAM-1971.29_1 - 57474
Robert Budd, (Snowflake), 1970, screenprint, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 1971.29
March 4, 2014

This is the thirteenth in a series of personal observations about how people experience and explore museums. Take a look at Howard's other blog posts about seeing things.

This little guy, this little fellow here, and about a gazillion of his friends wreaked havoc on our fair city yesterday; Washington, D.C., was up to its monuments in snow.

Each snowflake is beautiful, no doubt. And no two are alike, or so we're taught in school. That's an amazing feat. Robert Budd's seriograph—a print made by the silkscreen process—could be the new emblem of the city, at least in this season of the polar vortex, and our regularly scheduled snow storms. The print gives the humble snowflake both dignity and mystery. It helps us to see the patterns of the snowflake yet it also feels symbolic, somehow connecting us to something deeper.

Plus, seeing one is a good thing. Having a whole mess of them is just...well, a mess. The museum is back open today. Today's score is artworks "one," snowflakes "zero." Enjoy!


Recent Posts

Detail of Phoebe Kline. She is sitting in front of orchids and smiling.
Docent Phoebe Kline began at SAAM in 1974 and she's still going strong
A photograph of a woman in front of artwork
More visitors and new exhibitions highlight a season of change.
 Stephanie Stebich, SAAM's Margaret and Terry Stent Direction in the museum's Lincoln Gallery. Photo by Gene Young. 
Stephanie Stebich
The Margaret and Terry Stent Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery
Marian Anderson and symbols that surround her life
William H. Johnson portrayed the singer in multiple paintings, including in his Fighters for Freedom series.