Behind the Scenes
- Karen Lemmey, SAAM's sculpture curator, has organized an installation entitled Measured Perfection: Hiram Powers' Greek Slave. Powers' Greek Slave was one of the most popular sculptures of the 19th century. As part of her preparation, Karen worked with Smithsonian X 3D, part of the Institution's Digitization program, to create a 3D model of the this sculpture. Karen continues to explain the process. You may also read her first post on creating a 3D model of the sculpture, as well as a piece about conserving the Greek Slave.
Melanie Pyle and Joel Lemp are horticulturists with Smithsonian Gardens, and they lead tours through the garden growing in American Art's Kogod Courtyard. The natural beauty of the plants complements the art in our museum so well.
- You currently can see Constantino Brumidi's Study for the Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol Building on the second floor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, near the sculpture of George Washington Resigning his Commission by Ferdinand Pettrich. This was the final study that Brumidi completed before beginning work on the interior of the U.S. Capitol dome, and the painting reveals a great deal about the artist's process.
The Renwick Gallery is about to undergo a major ren
- he exhibition Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color opened last month at the Renwick Gallery. Georgina Goodlander chatted with Jim Baxter, an exhibits specialist at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, who created architectural components inspired by Day's work to complement the pieces of furniture on view.
- This one does because it's going outside!
- The American Art Museum building used to be the U.S. Patent Office Building. During the Civil War, it also served as a barracks, a hospital, and the location of President Lincoln's second Inaugural Ball.Before the museum opened to the public, staff moved our sculpture, The Dying Tecumseh by Ferdinand Pettrich, from its usual home in American Art's permanent collection galleries in the east wing of the second floor, to be part of 1812: A Nation EmergesConservators must use a variety of techniques when treating mixed media artworks, each suited to a particular material in that piece. Read on to learn about the different treatments that Paintings Conservator Amber Kerr-Allison used to prepare Löis Mailou Jones's mixed media painting Moon Masque for display in our exhibition African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, now on display through September 3.
Sarah Gowen, American Art's Paintings Conservation Intern, gives us a behind the scenes look at how we solved a painting mystery.