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Opening Day
November 28, 2005

Eye miniature

Unidentified, Eye, circa 1900s, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1967.110.1

Welcome to Eye Level! I'm pleased to introduce the Smithsonian American Art Museum's blog, the first by the Smithsonian and one of just a handful of museum sites in the blogosphere.

So what's this museum blog all about? Here's the short version: Eye Level investigates American art—its history, evolution, and currents. The hope is that this blog hosts a vital conversation among artists, curators, collectors, and enthusiasts on a broad range of subjects related to American art. It's the kind of conversation you have in a museum—that unique social space that a museum provides—that Eye Level would like to bring to the blogosphere.

Over the long term, Eye Level will look at both art and museums, offering the kind of close examination that new media affords, in part simply to find out how new media can enhance the museum's role. Incidentally, you'll notice both below this entry and in the archives several posts from the last few weeks (the preseason, if you will). If you like, you can read a bit more about the blog in the entries "Introducing Eye Level" and "Art in America."

At its core, Eye Level is about art.  The image above joins the Stuart Davis in the banner as a mascot for the blog. It was once considered fashionable to carry a miniature portrait of a lover's eye; the trend dates to the 1820s. Photography eventually provided for more visually accurate reminders of loved ones. Today, of course, cellular technology allows your significant other not only to keep a metaphorical eye on you, but also track your precise coordinates—different accessories, but a similar concept.

Anyway, to cite the old cliché, the eye is the window to the soul. If art is a window to a culture, Eye Level is a way to take it in.

Posted by Kriston on November 28, 2005 in American Art Here


Bienvenido al mundo de los BLOGs!

Good-looking site, congratulations. Looking forward to seeing what develops.

awesomest job ever.

I'm looking forward to your posts.

Wow. This is very cool. Congrats and welcome to the neighborhood.

Beautiful new blog, Kriston.



Great idea!

Kriston!! Congrats and welcome to the big time!


and kudos for the Stuart Davis.

Way to go, looks great so far!

Congratulations. Added to my blogroll.

Well done, sir!


Kudos for a wonderful blog beginning (try saying that 5 times fast)!

I have you as one of my links to Authentic Art DC's Blog (feel free to come on over anytime).

I look forward to reading more!


The site looks fantastic. And Kriston, I don't know you, but I enjoyed your piece. A nice length. I've got an MFA in Art but never knew that about the eye portraits.

Looking forward to more.

Congratulations! I look forward to reading it.

A valuable addition to the blogosphere. I think this could lead to some very interesting discourse.

Great blog! Wish my American Art History classes in college were this interesting. Congrats Kriston.

Congratulations on your new blog.

This has great potential, Kriston, and I am excited to see what will develop! As a young artist in the midst of a college education, I am thrilled at the possibility to have discussion outside my immediate faculty and peers. I hope this becomes a format for the kind of discourse many of us find so rare (as you mentioned). Well done!

This looks to be intriguing and full of things to absorb. I think I'll need to bookmark it.

This looks good, I'll be checking it out in future.

Sounds like a great blog :D Funny enough I carry around a portrait of my fiance's eye, though I had no idea it was a tradition.

What a great piece of art to start the blog-off with! Intriguing. I agree with others, the blog looks like a great start. You've got my bookmark!

I am a digital artist and "eyes" show up in my work all the time, so I note with pleasure this new blog.

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