SAAM Stories

Working on Paik's Electronic Superhighway
Somebody was working on Nam June Paik's Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii yesterday. Those are sections of the lower Mississippi river attached to the gray plywood crate on the floor.
Michael Edson
Maxfield Parrish, Daybreak
In your hurry to cut out of work early before Memorial Day, fill up the cooler, and head toward sunnier climes, you might have missed the news about the rather extraordinary sale of Maxfield Parrish’s Daybreak at Christie’s Important American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture auction.
Sculptures being installed
The last time I looked around the first floor this room was empty and dark. Now the lights are up and these little tykes have rolled in.
Michael Edson
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What can paint on canvas do better than a photograph?
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A few weeks ago, I wrote about a special project here at SAAM in which Advanced Placement Art History students from the Holton-Arms and Landon Schools here in Washington, D.C. visited our Renwick Gallery of American Craft. Their assignment was to research one of our artworks and produce a podcast about the piece they chose.
Construction of our canopy
One fine, crisp morning last week, as you were comfy at home reading Time Magazine’s feature on architect Sir Norman Foster, I was outside the museum in my hard hat and steel-toed boots shivering through a stakeout of our own Foster project.
Chrysler Building
“Pushing out my old large-format camera’s focal length to twice-infinity,” Hiroshi Sugimoto writes, ". . . I discovered that superlative architecture survives the onslaught of blurred photography.”
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Last month I picked up on an item from the American Art collection highlighted by MAN-scribe Tyler Green: a curious painting of an electric chair by Pop confection artist Wayne Thiebaud. As it happens, I’ve been thinking about Thiebaud since I attended the Nova Art Fair in Chicago, where a number of artworks referenced him directly, and more did so inadvertently. He seems to be on a lot of artists’ radar.
American Art's Meet Me at Midnight
Today we are launching Meet Me at Midnight, an interactive art mystery Web site for kids. It's perfect for eight- to ten-year-olds and is meant to be a fun intro to visiting the museum and seeing some cool artwork. Of course, we hope to teach a little something along the way.
Before and after renovation Lincoln Gallery
Last week Kriston posted his impressions of the newly renovated Old Patent Office building which will house SAAM and the National Portrait Gallery come July 1.
Muse Award
Eye Level has won a MUSE Award from the American Association of Museums—we took home a silver in “Two-Way Communication Projects.”
cave entrance
Congratulations are in order for Matthew Coolidge, director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) and winner of the 2006 SAAM Lucelia Artist Award.
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Check out SAAM’s new Interact feature—Speaking of Pictures—which allows you to roll over an art image to find hidden meanings.
Old Patent Office Building in the 1950s
Last week All Things Considered ran a feature by Lynn Neary about the restoration of the Old Patent Office building, which houses the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
Students looking at artwork
There’s nothing like looking at artworks with fresh eyes—or, at least, watching others look with fresh eyes.
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If you don't know the name, you know her work. She is the incredible Dorothy Draper (1889-1969), and she is having a banner year.
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In person, Hiroshi Sugimoto resists the descriptions that apply to his photography; he is not dour or somber but affable, even irreverent.