Permanent Collection — Museum Books

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Remembering the Running Fence

The dynamic partnership of Christo and Jeanne-Claude spans more than four decades, and their enormous outdoor art installations are known the world over. From 1972 to 1976, Christo and Jeanne-Claude conceived, planned, and created the Running Fence, an eighteen-foot-high white nylon fence that stretched more than twenty-four miles across privately owned lands in Marin and Sonoma counties in northern California. Four years in the planning, the Fence was on view for just two weeks, but it remains a landmark event in contemporary art.

Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano

Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano presents a broad exploration of American engagement with Venice’s art world in the late nineteenth century. During this time, Americans in Venice not only encountered a floating city of palaces, museums, and churches, but also countless shop windows filled with dazzling specimens of brightly colored glass. This lavishly illustrated book examines exquisitely crafted glass pieces alongside paintings, watercolors, and prints of the same era by American artists who found inspiration in Venice, including Frank Duveneck, Ellen Day Hale, Thomas Moran, Maria Oakey Dewing, Robert Frederick Blum, Charles Caryl Coleman, Louise Cox, Maurice Prendergast, and Maxfield Parrish, in addition to John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler.

¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now

Beginning in the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements, and channeled the period’s social activism into assertive aesthetic statements that announced a new political and cultural consciousness among people of Mexican descent in the United States. The exhibition ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now presents, for the first time, historical civil rights-era prints by Chicano artists alongside works by graphic artists working from the 1980s to today.

American Impressionism: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

American Impressionism: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum commemorates Treasures to Go, a series of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and recalibrated key themes in American art and culture. This beautifully illustrated volume presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. Our America includes works by artists who participated in all the various artistic styles and movements, including abstract expressionism; activist, conceptual, and performance art; and classic American genres such as landscape, portraiture, and scenes of everyday life. 

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and Beyond

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond offers a rich vision of twentieth-century visual culture. An essay by Richard Powell sets the stage: his analyses of works by Sargent Johnson, Renée Stout, Eldzier Cortor, and Alma Thomas give the reader a rubric for considering other works that range from the Harlem Renaissance to the decades beyond the civil rights era, a period that saw tremendous social and political change. The forty-three artists included here worked in every style current during those decades, from documentary realism to abstraction, from expressionism to postmodern assemblage. They consistently touch universal themes, but they also evoke specific aspects of the African American experience—the African Diaspora, jazz, and the persistent power of religion.

Temple of Invention: History of a National Landmark

This lavishly illustrated history of America’s Patent Office Building illuminates the importance of a treasured national landmark. Today the building is home to two Smithsonian museums, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The book’s rich historical details from the 1830s to the present will be of particular interest to architectural historians and urban planners and to anyone who loves our nation's capital.

America's Art: Smithsonian American Art Museum

From its earliest stirrings as a republic to the information age, America has been a country of triumph and struggle, imagination and innovation. And for nearly three centuries the country’s artists, witnesses to the nation’s extraordinary arc of development, have created a rich visual record that offers insights into our beginnings and growth as a nation.

Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection

This in-depth look at a renowned collection, ranging from bottlecap giraffes and wood carvings to hand-sewn quilts, provides a new understanding of folk art, recognizing its achievements as an essential part of America’s visual heritage. Lynda Roscoe Hartigan’s essay discusses the man behind the collection and its development over four decades.

Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Arte Latino highlights more than 200 years of Latino art from the United States and Puerto Rico. Of the fifty artworks depicted in this book, the earliest are from Puerto Rico, which became a U.S. territory in 1898. Others reflect the heritage of the Hispanic Southwest, from eighteenth-century religious carvings to recent works. The Chicano movement of the 1960s inspired artists to address social and political issues. Many Cuban American artists and other immigrants express a divided identity, having left family and a past behind them.

Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum commemorates Treasures to Go, a series of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.

Craft for a Modern World

Craft for a Modern World presents 150 of the Renwick Gallery’s 2,000 artworks in a new light, celebrating the restoration and reopening of its historic landmark home. Encouraging readers to find their own connections—as they have come to expect in today’s hyperlinked world—curator Nora Atkinson describes some of her associations among these artifacts of makers, both contemporary and pioneer. Readers can engage the artworks through subtle linkages in the color plates, which introduce related works in black and white. According to Atkinson, the artworks in this catalogue, many of them newly photographed, “are a playground for the mind.”

The Gilded Age: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Gilded Age: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum commemorates Treasures to Go, a series of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.

Young America: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Young America: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum commemorates “Treasures to Go,” a series of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which toured the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.

Scenes of American Life: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Prelinger
Scenes of American Life: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum commemorates Treasures to Go, a series of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.

Contemporary Folk Art: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Contemporary Folk Art: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum commemorates “Treasures to Go,” a series of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which toured the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.