Books

Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018

Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018 features essays written by the jurors that explore how each artist has used their chosen media to contribute beyond the confines of the art world.

The Civil War and American Art

The Civil War redefined America and forever changed American art. The war’s grim reality, captured through the new medium of photography, was laid bare. American artists could not glamorize the hero on the battlefield.

The Great American Hall of Wonders

The Great American Hall of Wonders is a vividly illustrated survey of the American ingenuity that energized all aspects of nineteenth-century society, from the painting of landscapes and scenes of everyday life to the planning of scientific expedition and the development of new mechanica

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.

George Catlin’s American Buffalo

Artist George Catlin journeyed west five times in the 1830s, traversing the Great Plains and visiting more than 140 American Indian tribes. In hundreds of canvases, Catlin recorded the lifeways of Plains Indians, including illustrating massive herds of buffalo and their importance in daily life.

A Measure of the Earth

A Measure of the Earth provides an window into the traditional basketry revival of the past fifty years.

Spanish Harlem ("American Scene" series, No. 3)

Joseph Rodriguez’s color photographs bring the reader inside Spanish Harlem, where he documents not only the grim realities of drug abuse, AIDS, and crime in New York’s oldest barrio, but also its vibrant street life.

WONDER

WONDER celebrates the renovation and reopening of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery with an immersive web of magic.

American Louvre

Designed by James Renwick Jr. in 1858, the building that houses the Renwick Gallery was the first in the United States conceived expressly as a public art museum.

Modern Masters: American Abstraction at Midcentury

Modern Masters: American Abstraction at Midcentury features more than thirty artists who transformed American art in the years after World War II. Seventy artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, reproduced in full color, convey the dynamism and raw energy of the period.

Harlem Heroes: Photographs by Carl Van Vechten

Author Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) began making portraits in 1932. Over the next three decades, he asked writers, musicians, athletes, politicians, and others to sit for him—many of them central figures in the Harlem Renaissance.