Seeing Star Wars

A photograph of Sara Snyder
Sara Snyder
Head of External Affairs & Digital Strategies
December 15, 2017

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...some museum nerds found themselves so excited about the latest installment of a certain epic space opera that they began to see connections to it everywhere they turned, even in the artworks in their museum’s collection.

If there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from

Media - 1984.124.274 - SAAM-1984.124.274_3 - 134511
Sandro Somare, "Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present."--Albert Camus, The Rebel, 1951. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man., 1967, oil and pencil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Container Corporation of America, 1984.124.274

Sandro Somare, “Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”–Albert Camus, The Rebel, 1951. From the series Great Ideas of Western Man., 1967

 

She’s fast enough for you, old man

Media - 1978.29 - SAAM-1978.29_1 - 5074
George L. K. Morris, Ascending Space, 1946, gilded bronze on stone base, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1978.29, © 1978, Frelinghuysen Morris Foundation

George L. K. Morris, Ascending Space, 1946, gilded bronze on stone base, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1978, Frelinghuysen Morris Foundation, Museum purchase, 1978.29

 

How long before you make the jump to lightspeed?

Media - 2012.9.2 - SAAM-2012.9.2_1 - 82536
Trevor Paglen, NEMESIS Rocket Body in Orion (Discarded rocket from Satellite Data System Spacecraft; USA 179rb), 2009, chromogenic print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Nion McEvoy, 2012.9.2, © 2009, Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen, NEMESIS Rocket Body in Orion (Discarded rocket from Satellite Data System Spacecraft; USA 179rb), 2009

 

That’s no moon

Media - 1989.36.2 - SAAM-1989.36.2_4 - 133525
Toshiko Takaezu, Full Moon, 1978, stoneware and glaze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase and gift of the James Renwick Alliance, 1989.36.2

Toshiko Takaezu, Full Moon, 1978

 

I find your lack of faith disturbing

Media - 1988.32.1 - SAAM-1988.32.1_1 - 123967
John Himmelfarb, Lava Flow (Meeting) Red, 1986, color lift ground etching on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by Nathan Appleton, 1988.32.1, ©, John Himmelfarb

John Himmelfarb, Lava Flow (Meeting) Red, 1986

 

Oh, my dear friend, how I’ve missed you

Media - 1980.137.48 - SAAM-1980.137.48_1 - 6446
John Hultberg, The General, 1966, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection, 1980.137.48

John Hultberg, The General, 1966

 

Let the hate flow through you

Media - 1984.124.168 - SAAM-1984.124.168_1 - 84412
Jacob Landau, Human nature is originally good. Any evil in it results from the changes made upon it by external things. Of man's first disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the world for all our woe. --Lu Wang (1139-1192), Chinese Philosopher and John Milton's Paradise Lost. From the series Great Ideas., 1960, watercolor on paperboard mounted on board, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Container Corporation of America, 1984.124.168

Jacob Landau, Human nature is originally good. Any evil in it results from the..., 1960

Fulfill your destiny

Media - 1952.13.66 - SAAM-1952.13.66_1 - 65906
Alice Pike Barney, Woman with Red Hood, n.d., oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Laura Dreyfus Barney and Natalie Clifford Barney in memory of their mother, Alice Pike Barney, 1952.13.66

Alice Pike Barney, Woman with Red Hood, n.d.

 

May the Force be with you, always!

 

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