A photograph of Howard Kaplan on a plane.

Howard Kaplan


Blog Posts

  • Media - 1968.52.17 - SAAM-1968.52.17_2 - 127723
    Sam Francis
    With the Color as Field exhibition in full swing, I went back to take another look, and found myself returning to Sam Francis's painting, Blue Balls from 1960.
  • Laurie Anderson
    Laurie Anderson Here: Welcome to Andy’s World
    Eye Level had a chance to catch up with performance artist (that's short for singer, composer, poet, filmmaker, inventor of unusual instruments, instrumentalist, and photographer) Laurie Anderson ahead of her scheduled talk on March 15 at 4:30 pm in the McEvoy Auditorium at SAAM/NPG (8th and F Streets NW). Anderson will be speaking about Andy Warhol's iconic image Little Electric Chair as part of the American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series.
  • Media - 1989.35 - SAAM-1989.35_1 - 10714
    The President
    In an election year I thought it might be good to take another look (or two) at photographer Nancy Burson's image The President (second version), in which the likenesses of five of our most recent heads of state merge into one, well....larger head.
  • Media - 1966.84.1 - SAAM-1966.84.1_1 - 2415
    Different Strokes: Hans Hofmann
    Fermented Soil (1965) by Hans Hofmann contains such fresh joy and vigor it is hard to believe it was painted by a man in his mid-eighties. It swings like a jazz sextet. Hofmann was right in the swim of what was going on in painting at that moment, and Color Field painting would have been impossible without his contribution.
  • Kasner Pollack Photo
    Drawing on Love: Artists’ Love Letters
    I always wanted to know more stories about artists in love, and now, the Archives of American Art has an exhibition in its Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery at the Reynolds Center titled A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art. It's a relatively small exhibition, but one that is full of endearing and enduring charm.
  • John Alexander
    John Alexander in Conversation
    Texas-born John Alexander, whose thirty-year retrospective fills the main galleries at SAAM, lived up to his introduction by chief curator Eleanor Harvey as an "incisive, witty, and irreverent" artist. The SRO crowd at Alexander's recent talk appreciated the artist's personal reflections on art as well as his professional advice and inside look at a thirty-year career in the American art world.
  • Media - 1909.10.2 - SAAM-1909.10.2_1 - 64659
    The Ryder Moon
    It was very late, the sky was as dark as the water. It was summer but there was a chill in the air. Hilda tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Look behind you, the Ryder moon." I turned and there it was, a beautiful yellow-white disk against a blue-black sky.
  • Colbert Portrait
    Stephen Colbert Hung at the National Portrait Gallery!
    Washington... Lincoln... Kennedy... and now Colbert. Just in case a writers' strike and a presidential campaign in full swing weren't enough to keep him busy, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert was determined to have his portrait hang in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG).
  • People Looking at Art
    Seeing Things (2): Art and Love
    Sometimes I wonder if it’s the art-watching or the people-watching I seek out in museums.
  • Tie Quilt
    Family Ties at the Renwick Gallery
    I visited the tie quilt on no ordinary day in its own life or in the life of the Holen family. On that day in late December all ninety-two of the Holens, who planned their annual family reunion in D.C., to coincide with the exhibition of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century quilts, Going West! Quilts and Community. In 1935, their relative Ellen Holen of Nebraska decided to collect ties from the men in her family—her six sons and her husband—and make a quilt.
  • Cellphone photo at SAAM
    Seeing Things (1)
    In the museum, I like to take some time away from looking at the art to look at people, especially people when they’re looking at art. Almost everybody today seems to have a cell phone camera with them as they wander the galleries, looking for something that catches the eye.
  • Media - 1967.129 - SAAM-1967.129_1 - 65164
    Transcending Time
    Frank O’Hara was a poet near and dear to my heart. Born in Baltimore in 1926, he died tragically forty years later in an accident on Fire Island. The death of a poet is never a pretty thing, and this one was especially ugly: he was run over by a jeep one evening on the dunes.
  • Media - 1991.176 - SAAM-1991.176_1 - 67573
    Ann Truitt: Poetry in Stillness
    The other day I went searching for a painting on the third floor of the museum—nothing in particular, but something to quench my visual thirst, as it were. I walked into a room with a Helen Frankenthaler and a Morris Louis, and was immediately drawn to the three-dimensional piece that stood out from the other artwork in the room.
  • Media - 1975.32 - SAAM-1975.32_1 - 88311
    Gertrude Was Right: Look for a Window
    "I have always enjoyed going to museums," said Gertrude Stein, "because the view from museum windows is usually very pleasant.”
  • James Rosenquist
    Pop Goes the Artist: James Rosenquist at SAAM
    Interesting what happens when an artist speaks about his/her life and work: you get to see the other side of the canvas. As part of the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art, James Rosenquist, an artist on the Pop scene since the 1960s, spoke to an standing-room only house at SAAM on 11.28.
  • Media - 1967.121 - SAAM-1967.121_2 - 128189
    Different Strokes: Helen Frankenthaler
    I plan to make this post the first in a series on technique and medium. Paint. The stuff that gets under the artist’s fingernails, and can barely be scrubbed away. I love paint. I love color. I love walking up to a painting and trying to decipher its DNA.
  • Kogod at Night
    With the new glass canopy in place, the courtyard itself becomes a place of changing light, in a sense, alive.
  • Warhol people in the Kogod Courtyard
    Fifteen Minutes…Going on Sixteen
    Today, during the family festival in the new courtyard you'll be able to make Andy Warhol-like collages using cool, vibrant, colorful materials.
  • Courtyard Hats
    Hats Off, Hands On
    One of the coolest things going on this afternoon is the area where you can make your own hats. You begin by working with a basic shape of a hat but whatever else you add is really up to your own imagination.
  • Courtyard Visitor Documents Canopy
    Courtyard Officially Opens!
    It's a little after noon on Sunday and the Kogod Courtyard is now open. The sun is shining through the beautiful new glass canopy, and it's the perfect day to spend some time listening to music or create a hands-on project with friends and/or members of your family.