SAAM Stories

A black and white illustration of a African American woman. She is shown in 3/4 profile.
In addition to her own success, Harlem Renaissance sculptor Augusta Savage dedicated her career to creating opportunities for Black artists.
A white Christmas with a homemade box.
Joseph Cornell, who was born in 1903 on Christmas Eve, often created handmade objects to give as gifts during the holidays.
A black and white photo of a man sitting looking away from the camera, his artwork in front of him
An archivist looks at the important art and objects in the Joseph Cornell Study Center
Anna Rimel
Artist Joseph Cornell standing at worktable with materials for his artworks around him
A closer look at Joseph Cornell's work and his continuing influence, even 50 years after his death
Detail of quilted portrait showing three African American soldiers
SAAM’s video series, American Art Moments, takes a closer look at the monumental quilt The Harlem Hellfighters by Bisa Butler
A explosion of yellows and reds in a scene from WWI
Taking a closer look at Claggett Wilson’s watercolor paintings that depict his experiences as a combat marine in World War I 
Kelly Skeen
Ceramic bowl with ceramic spoons hanging all around its perimeter.
Artist gwendolyn yoppolo focuses on creating meaningful relationships through a shared dining experience
A tight crop of an illustration showing a girl with her hands on the face of a horse. She is smiling.
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation) was born on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana in 1940. Throughout her long and distinguished career she has used her art to powerfully express her support for Native American communities
A view of the tree-lined Kogod courtyard
For centuries humans have been bringing the outside in, brightening up interior spaces by incorporating plants into homes and offices. Twice a year, horticulturists at the Smithsonian mimic rain and wind to help keep the trees in the Kogod Courtyard happy and thriving.
Virginia Thaxton
Two conservators, both wearing masks, re-dress the Gladys doll.
SAAM’s conservators find the delicate balance between original work and restoration through two dolls
Leah Bright
Detail of a mixed media artwork using a flag and military blanket
Marie Watt honors veterans and Indigenous communities through simple objects that hold powerful stories
A close up detail of a drawn bat
A look into the hilarious vampire mockumentary series that now appears to be haunting the museum halls.
A painting of a skull.
Chicano artists and activists blended cultural and visual traditions to create modern Day of the Dead celebrations in the U.S.
Marian Anderson and symbols that surround her life
SAAM educator Phoebe Hillemann reflects on creating resources to spark curiosity for learners of all ages who view William H. Johnson’s Fighters for Freedom series
A woman stands in front of a black sculpture
Stephanie Stebich, SAAM's director, takes a look at exhibitions and programs and welcomes a new head curator to the museum.
Conservator wearing a head lamp, shines light on a mural.
A behind-the-scenes look at how 3D imaging helps a mural conservator preserve Judy Baca's Uprising of the Mujeres.
Wendy Rose
An illustration of a woman drawing at a table and a group of men behind her, looking on.
Judith Baca is a Chicana artist, professor, arts administrator, community leader, and social and cultural activist, whose murals and paintings give voice to underrepresented communities.