Art & Artists

This year's Craft2Wear Show features over 60 premier jewelry, leather and wearables artisans from across the country.

The Art of Wearing Works of Art

From Japanese kimono silks to Navajo jewelry, Smithsonian’s 2022 Craft2Wear brings shoppers into a world of wearable craft and design

“This room is one of the masterworks of late 19th-century art and design, says the museum’s curator of American Art Diana Greenwold.

Whistler’s 'Peacock Room' Open After Weeks of Restoration

The story behind the Smithsonian’s showstopper is one of a major dust-up between the artist and his patron

Lost by Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 2015. The acrylic and oil work is from a series on the Mangbetu people of Congo, whose distinctive traditions, such as skull-elongation, are on the brink of disappearing.

How Artist Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga Connects the Past and the Present

In bold, symbolic canvasses, the painter was inspired by a broken iPhone

Detail of the Chief Johnson totem pole

Alaska

The World's Largest Collection of Standing Totem Poles Keeps Getting Bigger

Eighty sculptures in and around Ketchikan, Alaska, tell the ancestral stories of Indigenous clans

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty (1970). Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA. Mud, precipitated salt crystals, rocks, water. 1,500 ft. (457.2 m) long and 15 ft. (4.6 m) wide. Collection Dia Art Foundation. Photograph: William T. Carson, 2020

How Utah's 'Spiral Jetty' Is Drawing Attention to the Climate Crisis

Years of drought have exposed Robert Smithson's massive earthwork in the Great Salt Lake

Septima Poinsette Clark by Brian Lanker, 1987

Women Who Shaped History

These Black Women Changed America

Thirty years ago, photographer Brian Lanker made indelible images of historical lives; a new exhibition says their stories have never seemed more relevant

Head of a Negro Woman, 1946, by Elizabeth Catlett.

Women Who Shaped History

How Elizabeth Catlett Lifted Up Black Women Through Art

The pioneering sculptor defied trends to honor the daily lives of her subjects

Red, Green, and Blue Twisted Curves, 1979. The “spectator who looks at my work is part of the work itself,” Riley has said.

A New Exhibit Showcases the Mind-Bending Art of Bridget Riley

Six decades after she arrived on the scene, the British artist still makes waves

The Guna, an Indigenous group residing in Panama and parts of neighboring Colombia, have been creating colorfully embroidered clothing for centuries.

Panama

The Colorful History Behind Panama's Mola

Made by hand, this clothing staple is an important piece of the country's rich culture

The pinta’o originated in the province of Coclé southwest of Panama City, where the hats are still made today.

Panama

The Real Panama Hat

For centuries, Panamanian artists have been weaving "pinta'o" from natural fibers

At the world's largest arms fair held every two years in London, a group of artists in 2016 organized the "Art the Arms Fair," to voice opposition to the war industry and the international arms trade (above: Pattern Tank by Tristan Oliver, 2019).

Designers Build a Provocative Road Map for World Peace

Cooper Hewitt’s new show taps into the collective consciousness of activists, app developers, artists and architects to envision a way forward

Albert “Kid” Mertz (above: Untitled, c. 1980) painted hundreds, possibly thousands of railroad spikes he had collected from tracks near his property, giving each spike a cheerful face.

The Allure of Self-Taught Art

SAAM’s new show “We Are Made of Stories” examines the 20th-century rise and creative vision of artists who make art without formal training

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) recently acquired David Hammons' iconic African American Flag, which is now on view in the exhibition "Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience."

How a Celebrated Artist Redesigned the Stars and Stripes to Mark His Pride in Black America

David Hammons' 'African American Flag' is newly acquired and on view at NMAAHC

Many of this year’s 42 finalists (above: Customer Service Representative by Marianna Olague, 2020) delve into the American psyche, depicting life during the Covid era.

These Are the New Faces of American Portraiture

In its 16th year, the Outwin Portrait Competition reflects the stunning vision of contemporary portrait-based art

None

The Story Behind One of the Most-Mocked Paintings in U.S. History

Long ridiculed, the Howard Chandler Christy artwork of the signing of the U.S. Constitution shows democracy at its most realistic

Mujer con gallo (Woman With Rooster), 1941.

What Made Mariano Rodríguez' Art Uniquely Cuban

A mid-century modernist and native son elevated ordinary Cuban life

Gilliam, 88, died June 25 in his studio, just miles from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which recently opened a captivating new show, “Sam Gilliam: Full Circle.”

Abstractionist Sam Gilliam Dies at 88, Hirshhorn Hosts His Final Show

The beloved Washington, D.C. artist went full circle with a bold new series of round paintings

Desert Breath is a one-million-square-foot artwork smack dab in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Good News

Eight Works of Art in Unlikely Places

In a new art atlas, author Grace Banks takes readers on a journey to some of the most fascinating artworks found outside of museums and galleries

"This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World," featuring Alicia Eggert's stunning 2019-2020 neon sculpture, is on view at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Craft World Is Undergoing a Democratization

In a new show at the Renwick Gallery, maker’s art is having a renaissance moment, with works that reveal powerful persistence and resilience

On May 20, the artist KAWS, also known as Brian Donnelly (above at Rockefeller Center in August 2021), received from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden an award for "his contributions to art and popular culture."

Is a KAWS Celeb Sighting Cause for Speculation?

The ex-street artist turned art-world sensation receives a warm reception and an award from the Hirshhorn

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