Eye Level

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

Video Games: SAAM's Indie Arcade

Chris Totten, a professor at American University's Game Lab, coordinator for January 16th's Indie Coast to Coast Competition as part of SAAM's Indie Arcade, and head of the Independent Game Developer's Association (IGDA's) D.C. chapter, recently wrote about the intersection of video games and art.

Irving Penn: The Painter's Eye

Photographer Irving Penn, who died in 2009, and whose work is featured in the current exhibition, Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, combined fashion, art, and photography to create a style uniquely his own. He not only walked the line between the artistic and the commercial worlds, he led the way.

Luce Unplugged: 5 Questions with Stronger Sex

Join us for the first Luce Unplugged of the year next Thursday, January 14th at 5:30 p.m. Stronger Sex, a beloved local experimental noise-pop band, will kick of the concert series' first show of the year.
Amelia on January 5, 2016

Picture This: A 360 Degree Wonder

After a two year renovation, the opening of the Renwick Gallery and its inaugural exhibition, WONDER, have been a major success. The building has been updated to a 21st century elegance allowing the art within to shine.

Jeff on December 29, 2015

Chakaia Booker: This is How I Roll

On Saturday afternoon, artist Chakaia Booker and curator E. Carmen Ramos spoke in the Renwick Gallery's Grand Salon about Booker's work, process, and Anonymous Donor her sculpture/installation in the current exhibition, WONDER.

New Acquisitions: David Smith Sculpture

SAAM has just announced it is acquiring David Smith’s Agricola IV, a ground-breaking sculpture by one of the country’s most important artists. Agricola IV is a major addition to the museum’s presentation of American art in the twentieth century.
Jeff on December 21, 2015

Luce Unplugged: Five Questions (Plus One) with Nag Champa

Before you leave town for the holidays, get your fix of D.C. music and culture at the next Luce Unplugged, our free local concert series, coming up with Nag Champa on Thursday, December 10th, 6 p.m. Nag Champa are a progressive, beat-driven electronic jazz and R&B group.
Amelia on December 3, 2015

Eye Wonder: Ten Years of Blogging at SAAM

Ten years ago, November 29, 2005 to be exact, SAAM launched Eye Level, the first museum blog at the Smithsonian. It's given us the ability to tell stories and show people the museum from the inside out.

Luce Artist Talk with Britney Mongold

On Saturday, November 21, local theater prop designer Britney Mongold will visit the Luce Foundation Center to explain her career's trajectory in the latest installment of our Luce Artist Talk series. As a set and prop designer, Mongold works with several theaters across Washington, D.C., including Cultural D.C.'s Source Festival.
Adrienne on November 18, 2015

SAAM's Symposium Charts American Art’s “Shifting Terrain”

On October 16th-17th, over two hundred international participants gathered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum for the symposium "Shifting Terrain: Mapping a Transnational American Art History," to reflect upon the increasing globalization of American art history during the past decade and how this affects research on art practice here.
Jeff on November 12, 2015

Art Matters with Lawrence Weschler

As the final speaker in this year's Clarice Smith Lecture Series, noted scholar Lawrence Weschler presented a talk on race relations in the United States, using Ed Kienholz's Five Car Stud as the mirror in which this difficult history is reflected and refracted.

Handi-Hour Back at the Renwick!

Handi-hour on Friday, November 13th is SOLD OUT! For those who were unable to get tickets and those who want to get an idea of the crafts ahead of time, we have three different crafts that we'll be making that evening.