A photograph of Howard Kaplan on a plane.

Howard Kaplan


Blog Posts

  • Splash Image - Eye Wonder: Ten Years of Blogging at SAAM
    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.
  • A photograph of colorful mesh hung from the ceiling inside the Grand Salon at the Renwick Gallery.
    Renwick Gallery: The United States of WONDER
    After extensive renovations to the galleries and behind-the-scenes mechanicals, the Renwick Gallery of Art reopens to the public today with WONDER.
  • Blog Image 301 - Art Matters with Lawrence Weschler
    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.
  • Splash Image - The Renwick Gallery Reopens in a Whole New Light
    The Renwick Gallery Reopens in a Whole New Light
    hough billed as a renovation, I like to think of the reopening of the Renwick Gallery as a reimagining as well. The newly spiffed up Renwick is in mint condition, ready for the next fifty years, or more. In addition to the physical updates that include preserving numerous historical elements with new state-of-the-art infrastructure, the gallery reopens on November 13 with it's inaugural exhibition in our new space, Wonder.
  • Splash Image - From Paris to Brooklyn: Crosscurrents Between Picasso and Smith
    From Paris to Brooklyn: Crosscurrents Between Picasso and Smith
    One word that comes to mind when visiting the newly opened exhibition, Crosscurrents: Modern Art from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection, is liberation. It's not just one generation breaking from the one before, it's a sense that the modern twentieth century opened a world never before imagined.
  • Blog Image 42 - Irving Penn Retrospective: Everything Clicks
    Irving Penn Retrospective: Everything Clicks
    "Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty" is the first museum retrospective of Penn's work in more than twenty years. It opens Friday, October 23 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and runs until March 20, 2016.
  • Blog Image 245 - Pop Goes the Critic: Christopher Knight on Andy Warhol
    Pop Goes the Critic: Christopher Knight on Andy Warhol
    Art critic of the Los Angeles Times since 1989, Christopher Knight, the second speaker in this year's Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture series, illuminated the life, work—and hair pieces—of Andy Warhol.
  • Trevor Plagan
    Trevor Paglen: Surveillance in Life and Art
    Artist Trevor Paglen spoke last week in the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture Series, and said his goal as an artist is to “help us see the historical moment we live in.” Paglen made a case that this is true for all art over time, no matter the time period, and showed examples from Turner to Rothko, leading up to present times.
  • Splash Image - Watch This: Write as Rain
    Watch This: Write as Rain
    Text Rain, the video work from 1999, by Romy Achituv and Camille Utterback is featured in the current exhibition, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art, which remains on view at SAAM through September 7.
  • Splash Image - Cloudy, with a Chance of Music
    Cloudy, with a Chance of Music
    The best place to watch afternoon thunderstorms in D.C.? Hands down, it's the third floor of American Art, a special corner in the current exhibition, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art. Cloud Music, created between 1974-1979 by artists Robert Watts, David Berhman, and Bob Diamond is a weather-driven audio/visual installation that reads the sky like it's a musical score.
  • Splash Image - Watch This: Ghosts of New York
    Watch This: Ghosts of New York
    The ghosts, the commuters, the visitors, the stories...they all pass across the screen in Jim Campbell's Grand Central Station #2, a poetic meditation on movement and memory. On view in the exhibition, Watch This: Revelations in Media Art, Campbell's LED-based work features shadows that move across the floor of New York's Grand Central Station.
  • Media - NJP.1.VID.1 - NJP.1.VID.1_3a.jpg - 74134
    Close Encounters with Nam June Paik
    Russell Connor was an abstract painter, happily minding his own business, when in Boston in 1969, he met media visionary, Nam June Paik. As Connor told us the other night at a program in honor of Paik's birthday.
  • Splash Image - Seeing Things (14): Christo at 80
    Seeing Things (14): Christo at 80
    This is the fourteenth in a series of personal observations about how people experience and explore museums. Take a look at Howard's other blog posts about seeing things. Today, celebrating Christo's 80th birthday and a look at his Running Fence.
  • Splash Image - Artist Talk: Mark Bradford, Artist and Maker
    Artist Talk: Mark Bradford, Artist and Maker
    On Monday, April 20, at 6pm in American Art's McEvoy Auditorium, artist Mark Bradford will be discussing his Amendment series in the third annual James Dicke Contemporary Artist Lecture.
  • Image Not Available
    Yasuo Kuniyoshi: Bearing the Weight
    Opening today, the exhibition, The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, looks at the evolution of the artist's work, and is the first comprehensive exhibition about the artist in the U.S. since 1948. It remains on view through August 30, 2015.
  • Splash Image - Mingering Mike is in the House
    Mingering Mike is in the House
    Billed on his website as "the Soul Superstar You've Never Heard Of," Mingering Mike is an enigma, wrapped in faux vinyl, and carefully packaged in cardboard. The artist, who wishes to remain anonymous but for his sobriquet, is a DC native, who, caught up in the sounds and images of his hometown in the 1960s and 1970s, dreamed of joining the ranks of singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye who was transforming the soundscape of the city and the nation.
  • Blog Image 498 - Take the Richard Estes Challenge
    Take the Richard Estes Challenge
    At the museum, some of us have become a bit obsessed not only with the paintings of Richard Estes, but in locating his signature (or name, really) in each of his paintings. Estes usually signs his work, but often in ways that make it nearly impossible to discover.
  • Image Not Available
    Wing and a Prayer: Birds in Contemporary Art
    Eye Level had a chance to catch up with Joanna Marsh, the James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at American Art, for a conversation about our current exhibition, The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art, which is currently on view through February 22, 2015.
  • Splash Image - Rescue Me: Kathleen A. Foster on Winslow Homer's The Life Line
    Rescue Me: Kathleen A. Foster on Winslow Homer’s The Life Line 
    Kathleen A. Foster spoke the other evening at the McEvoy Auditorium, the third and final speaker in this year's Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture in American Art series. Her focused talk concerned Winslow Homer's iconic painting from 1884, The Life Line.
  • Blog Image 499 - Create a World: An Evening with Art Critic Jerry Saltz
    Create a World: An Evening with Art Critic Jerry Saltz
    In an appearance worthy of a TED talk, critic Jerry Saltz delivered a spirited address the other evening at American Art's McEvoy Auditorium, as part of the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art series.