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Stories for October 2016

Conversation Pieces: The Value of Dialogue in Art Museums

October 26, 2016

Joanna Marsh, Senior Curator of Contemporary Interpretation, fills us in on the theory behind Conversation Pieces, a discussion-based public program that takes place monthly in SAAM's galleries.


Luce Unplugged: Five Questions + Two with Hand Grenade Job

October 25, 2016

On November 4, Hand Grenade Job (HGJ) performs at our Fall Luce Unplugged Community Showcase in the Luce Foundation Center. We teamed up with Washington City Paper to present this experimental post-Americana duo from the D.C. DIY punk scene. With Beck Levy playing guitar and Erin McCarley on percussion, both women are vocalists and multi-instrumentalists.


Reenvisioned Galleries of Folk and Self-Taught Art

October 21, 2016

The Smithsonian American Art Museum's ground floor galleries of Folk and Self-Taught Art reopen today with a compelling, new installation that features more than 120 objects, including 59 new acquisitions. These include works by artists such as Emery Blagdon, Ralph Fasanella, Clementine Hunter, Eddy Mumma, and Achilles Rizzoli. These join visitor favorites by Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Martín Ramírez and Jon Serl.


Throwback Thursday: Art Critic Adam Gopnik on What Makes American Art American

October 20, 2016

During this election season, Americans have been debating what it means to be American. So, it's fitting to consider what is American about American art. In October 2012, Adam Gopnik, writer for The New Yorker, spoke about this as part of SAAM's Clarice Smith Lecture series.


Knock Wood: The Future of Furniture is in their Hands

October 14, 2016

Furniture "affects every single aspect of who we are and what we do though we don't always acknowledge that," said Nora Atkinson, the Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft at the Renwick Gallery, in her introductory remarks at the recent Maloof Symposium, Furniture and the Future. A stellar group of experts, designers, artists, and makers looked closely at the changing role of studio furniture, in light of the brave new world of digital technologies and marketplaces.