Lectures on American Art

SAAM's Symposium Charts American Art’s “Shifting Terrain”

November 12, 2015

On October 16th-17th, over two hundred international participants gathered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum for the symposium "Shifting Terrain: Mapping a Transnational American Art History," to reflect upon the increasing globalization of American art history during the past decade and how this affects research on art practice here.

Art Matters with Lawrence Weschler

November 10, 2015

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.

From Paris to Brooklyn: Crosscurrents Between Picasso and Smith

October 30, 2015

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.

Pop Goes the Critic: Christopher Knight on Andy Warhol

October 14, 2015

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 Paglen: Surveillance in Life and Art

September 17, 2015

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.