Smithsonian

Post image for Rare Portraits of Kings and Commoners from 20th-Century Nigeria

For over five decades Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge photographed the royal court and everyday life of Benin, Nigeria. Drawing on their collection of over 2,000 glass plate and large format film negatives, as well as around 100 prints, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art is exhibiting some of his rarely seen photographs.

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A Day in the Life: Artists' Diaries from the Archives of American Art

From Vincent Van Gogh to Joseph Cornell, writing has always been a crucial part of the artist’s life.

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Post image for The Arrows of the Last Yahi Indian, Who Chose to Live Out His Final Days in a Museum

It’s just a couple of arrows, but the pair of slender wood weapons are a reminder of a man who chose to live the rest of his life in museum rather than a reservation.

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Post image for What It Is to Be Cool in America

What is cool and why do Americans care so much? That’s the hinge on which the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has fixed American Cool — an exhibition of portraiture that opened in February — and its accompanying catalogue.

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Post image for Thunderbirds and Underwater Panthers in an Overlooked American Indian Art History

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York is holding the first major survey of art by Anishinaabe artists in the Great Lakes region, with over a hundred works from artists both contemporary and ancient, all linked by the 10,000-year history of human settlement in the area.

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Post image for Smithsonian Joins MoMA in Expanding Video Game Effort

As the Smithsonian American Art Museum continues to expand its video game collection (two acquisitions were announced today), so too does the Washington, DC-based institution find itself increasingly dedicated to documenting the broader culture of video game production.

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Post image for How the Looming US Government Shutdown Will Affect the World of Art

By midnight this evening, we’ll finally know whether the government will be shut down — that’s the silver lining to be found in the otherwise bleak congressional budget debate.

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Post image for The First Code Acquired by Smithsonian’s Design Museum Is Released to the World

The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is getting onboard with digital acquisitions, this week announcing their first code addition to their collection.

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Post image for See the Studios of Artists Past

The Smithsonian Institution has an awesome online archive of old photographs of artists, many in their studios, where sculptors pose midway through work and painters cradle their palettes at their easels. Some have their clothes stained with paint, others obviously spruced up for the portrait occasion. Some are comfortable and confident, others somewhat awkward. Basically, like the cluttered studios, artists haven’t changed.

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Post image for Contract Workers at Smithsonian Protest Low Wages

Some 50 food service workers at the Smithsonian museums went on strike yesterday, in protest of their less-than-livable wages, but the institution tried to spin the story.

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