A photograph of Howard Kaplan on a plane.

Howard Kaplan

Writer

Blog Posts

  • A woman standing in a black suit with a black hat.
    Penn on Paper: Acquiring 100 Masterworks by Irving Penn
    Visual storyteller and insider into the worlds of high art and everyday objects, stage and street, Irving Penn is one of the most renowned photographers of the last century. He is perhaps best recognized for his fashion work for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue that helped to transform the images from magazine portraits into fine art.
  • Splash Image - Cloudsourcing
    Cloudsourcing
    With the recent acquisition of Cloud Music, a collaboration between Robert Watts, David Behrman, and Bob Diamond, one window-lit corner of the Lincoln Gallery has been turned into a sky-driven audio/video installation.
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    Seeing Things (11): Model Drinking Coffee
    This is the eleventh 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.
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    Thomas Day: Man, Maker, Mogul
    The elegant Grand Salon was the setting for a panel discussion on the many lives and interests of Thomas Day, the subject of the Renwick Gallery’s, Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color.
  • Splash Image - Walt Whitman's Specimen Days
    Walt Whitman’s Specimen Days
    April is National Poetry Month.
  • Splash Image - Harvard's Drew Gilpin Faust on the Language of War
    Harvard’s Drew Gilpin Faust on the Language of War
    The Civil War was anything but civil, as Harvard president and noted historian Drew Gilpin Faust reminded us the other evening when she spoke at American Art in conjunction with the current exhibition, The Civil War and American Art.
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    Mingering Mike: Just for the Record
    Eye Level had a chance to speak with Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art, about the museum's recent acquisition of the Mingering Mike collection, comprised of well over one hundred pieces of musical ephemera made between 1965 and 1979 by a self-taught Washington, D.C. artist who has consistently chosen to conceal his true identity.
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    Seeing Things (10): Woman With Red Mouth
    This is the tenth in a series of personal observations about how people experience and explore museums. Take a look at Howard's other blog posts on the subject.
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    Nam June Paik from A to Zen
    Nam June Paik was more than a guy who made sculptural work with televisions. He was a thoughtful, prescient artist who turned ideas about communication on its head in the middle of the twentieth century.
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    Seeing Things (9): Flowers in December
    This is the ninth in a series of personal observations about how people experience and explore museums. Take a look at Howard's other blog posts on the subject.
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    Seen and Not Heard: Kerry James Marshall
    Kerry James Marshall, whose work "Sob Sob" is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection, chronicles the African American experience in his paintings.
  • Blog Image 123 - Art Critic Adam Gopnik on What Makes American Art American
    Art Critic Adam Gopnik on What Makes American Art American
    "Like most of you in this audience , I suspect, I am a museum goer, a gallery goer. I get no thrill as large as I do from simply setting foot in a museum and beginning to look,"
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    Through a Glass, Clearly: Art Glass @50
    "I'll be talking about the entire history of studio glass, all 3500 years of it, in about twelve minutes. That's 300 years per minute but I'm going to skip some centuries entirely," William Warmus, independent curator and studio glass expert said at the beginning of the recent program at the Renwick Gallery titled "Art Glass @50," that also featured the artists Toots Zynsky and Matthew Szösz.
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    Edward Hopper: Mapping the Light
    "Is there anything left to be said about Edward Hopper? Poet of light, documentarian of alienation, isolation, angst, stasis, human disconnection and impotence?" art historian Kevin Salatino asked at the start of his talk, Edward Hopper and the Burden of (Un)Certainty the first of this year's annual Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Art.
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    Heat
    These warm August afternoons often make me step inside of American Art not just to cool off, but to have an ah-ha moment with something that strikes me inside the museum: person or painting. Maybe it was the heat but the image that grabbed me today, Bar and Grill by Jacob Lawrence, was about quenching one's thirst while struggling with a deeper need: freedom.
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    The Moon is a Television: On Nam June Paik’s 80th
    Long before there was YouTube and social media, there was Nam June Paik who said, "Someday everybody will have his own TV channel."
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    Yes, But is it Art?
    About two dozen art enthusiasts gathered at American Art's Lincoln Gallery on Tuesday evening to take part in a conversation titled, "Is This Art?"
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    No Crystal Stair: African American Art
    In a poem titled, "Mother to Son," Langston Hughes wrote of an African American woman's hardships, as she advises her son to never give up: "Well, son, I'll tell you:/Life for me ain't been no crystal stair..." Far from it. These steps have tacks, splinters and torn up boards. Sometimes the stairs are bare. It is these steps I was reminded of when I visited American Art's new exhibition, African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights, and Beyond, on view through September 3, 2012.
  • Blog Image 54 - The Moving Image: Watch This 2.0
    The Moving Image: Watch This 2.0
    Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image, the dynamic exhibition of time-based media has been reinstalled, with new examples of video art that span the last fifty years. It has its own dedicated gallery on the third floor of the museum and is a welcoming space filled with works that fascinate, stimulate, and resonate.
  • Blog Image 105 - Throwback Thursday: Seats of Power (and an Occasional Settee)
    Seats of Power (and an Occasional Settee)
    Behind every good sunrise lurks an inevitable sunset. This Sunday, May 6, Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House closes at American Art's Renwick Gallery after a near seven-month run.