Eye Level

Eye Level is the blog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery. Publishing behind-the-scenes museum stories since 2005.

On Lava Thomas's Requiem for Charleston

The other day, my colleague, Libby, and I walked through the museum in search of an artwork we could talk about. And though each artwork has a story to tell, Lava Thomas's "Requiem for Charleston," the artist's response to the church massacre at Mother Emanuel in 2015, spoke the most to us, in a quietly powerful way (if such a thing is possible).

Luce Unplugged: Five Questions for Bat Fangs

On Thursday, April 26th, the Luce Foundation Center hosts another installment of Luce Unplugged from 6-8 p.m. Thursday shows, presented with D.C. Music Download, are a tribute to a Luce Center artwork selected by the performer. This installment of Luce Unplugged features DC rock duo, Bat Fangs, whose music recalls the rock icons of the 80s with their catchy lyrics and raucous guitar riffs. 

The Renwick's (David) Best Temple

David Best creates temples for Burning Man that are made of recycled wood that are ritually burned at the end of the annual festival. In this video Best discusses the Temple he created for the Renwick Gallery’s Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon, as a sacred space for people to reflect on loss.

Diane Arbus: a box of ten photographs Opens April 6

In 1972, Diane Arbus became the first photographer to have her work exhibited at the Venice Biennale. These pivotal works will be featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibition, Diane Arbus: a box of ten photographs, opening at SAAM on Friday, April 6, and remaining on view through January 21, 2019

Perhaps a Pose with a Panda?

Even if you're not familiar with her name, you’ve probably seen muralist Kelsey Montague's art. Kelsey’s interactive street murals can be found throughout the country and around the globe, as well as on the Instagram accounts of multiple celebrities.