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American Art Here

Computers and Art

March 23, 2015

This blog post is adapted from an essay written by Michael Mansfield, associate curator of film and media arts, to accompany the exhibition, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art, opening April 24 and running through September 7.


3D Scanning: The 21st-Century Equivalent to a 19th-Century Process

March 6, 2015

Karen Lemming, American Art's sculpture curator is organizing an installation that will include Hiram Power's Greek Slave, one of the most popular sculptures of the 19th century. As part of her preparation, she is working with Smithsonian X3D, part of the Institution's Digitization program, to create a 3D model of the Greek Slave. Karen, fills us in on the process.


Mingering Mike is in the House

February 26, 2015

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.


Take the Richard Estes Challenge

February 4, 2015

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.


Picture This: An Iconic Artwork by Alfredo Jaar

January 21, 2015

A few days ago, The Washington Post published an article about an iconic artwork by Alfredo Jaar: Life Magazine April 19, 1968. Jaar took a photograph of Martin Luther King's funeral from an issue of Life magazine and graphically depicted African Americans walking in the crowd behind King's coffin. You can see Jaar's artwork at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.