Shadow Sites: Recent Work by Jananne al-Ani
Now - 2/10/2013
Inspired by archival archaeological and aerial photographs, as well as contemporary news reportage, artist al-Ani has created a new body of video works that examines enduring representations of the Middle Eastern landscape.
“Barbara Kruger: Belief and Doubt”
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Now - 12/2014 (late May)
See this site-specific installation by American artist Barbara Kruger, which wraps the entire lower-level lobby in text-printed white vinyl against fields of black and red. Covering the walls, floor and escalator sides, this immersive piece explores themes of democracy, doubt, and belief. The resulting environment is a visually spectacular hall of voices that envelops visitors as they descend from the ground level. Reading becomes a whole-body experience, with phrases revealing themselves only as the spectator circulates through the space.
As We Grow: Traditions, Toys, Games
National Museum of the American Indian
Now - Indefinitely
All children play. Native American children play like any others—competing in ball games, dressing up dolls, playing in the snow. But Native children’s toys and games are more than playthings. They are ways of learning about the lives of grown men and women. They are ways of learning the traditions of our families and our people. The toys, games, and clothing in these cases come from all over North, Central, and South America, representing many tribes and many time periods.
“When Time and Duty Permit: Collecting During World War II”
Natural History Museum
Now - 5/2013 (late May)
While serving in World War II, some soldiers also served the Smithsonian Institution. Aiding in the collection of specimens and materials from the Pacific, these soldiers were asked to complete their Smithsonian work “when time and duty permit.” The exhibit includes more than 100 artifacts, including stuffed birds and other wildlife specimens, as well as photographs and archival letters about the program that allowed soldiers to work with the Smithsonian.
“African Cosmos: Stellar Arts”
African Art Museum
Now - 12/9/2012
Explore the evolving relationship between African artists and the night sky, from the traditional arts to contemporary video projects. More than 90 objects complete the exhibit dedicated to showing the practical and creative applications of African artworks interpreting or depicting the sky. Though the pieces look to space for inspiration, each tells a personal story about our relationship to the cosmos. Artifacts include sculptures and videos.
American Art Museum
Now - 1/6/2013
Offering a new perspective on some of modern art’s most famous names, “Abstract Drawings,” invites viewers into the intimate landscape of sketches and small-scale works on paper. Pulling 46 lesser-known works from the museum’s permanent collections, the exhibit looks at the experimentation with abstraction uniting artists including Joseph Cornell, Willem de Kooning and Man Ray. From finished compositions to preparatory sketches, the exhibit allows viewers to see the artistic process evolve.
“The Six Degrees of Peggy Bacon”
Archives of American Art
Now - 9/4/2012
Her name is little known now but, at one point, artist Peggy Bacon united a web of artists, dealers and celebrities. Bacon’s network included Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp and Yoko Ono. The exhibit takes archival letters, photographs and sketches to trace a web around one woman, demonstrating the interconnected nature of not just the art world, but society at large. Named for the idea that we are all separated by six degrees (as in “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”), the show provides an intimate look at the lives of the famous, and the not-so-famous names.
The Art of Video Games
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Now – 09/09/2012
Video games use images, actions and player participation to tell stories and engage their audiences. Much in the way of film, animation, and performance, video games are a compelling and influential form of narrative art. This exhibition is the first to examine comprehensively the evolution of video games themselves as an artistic medium. From the Atari VSC to the Playstation 3, the show documents the development since the 1970s of visual effects and aesthetics, the emergence of games as a means for storytelling, the influence of world events and popular culture on game development, and the impact games can have on society. Multimedia presentations of video game footage, video interviews with developers and artists, large prints of in-game screen shots, historic video game consoles, and a selection of working video game systems for visitors to play are included.
National Postal Museum
Now — Permanent
On the battlefront and at home, mail provides a vital communication link between military service personnel, their communities and their loved ones. Mail call is a moment where the frontline and home front connect. This exhibition tells the history of military mail from the American Revolution to 2010. How does this mail reach its destination? What roles does it play? Why does it influence morale? The exhibition explores the great lengths taken to set up and operate postal services under extraordinary circumstances. Visitors can read the words of both personal messages and official letters that reveal the expressions, emotions and events of the time.
Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt
National Museum of Natural History
Now — TBD
This exhibit focuses on Egyptian burial ritual, its place within ancient Egyptian cosmology, and the insights that mummies, burial ritual, and cosmology provide about life in ancient Egypt. Learn how burial practices and associated religious beliefs serve as windows into world cultures. Visitors can explore the ways in which mummies, tombs and Egyptian mythology open new windows into the lives of ancient Egyptians as they navigated through the world of the living to achieve eternal life after death.
The Evolving Universe
National Museum of Natural History
Now — Jan. 20, 2013
This exhibit takes visitors on a journey from present-day Earth to the far reaches of space and the distant past—back to the beginning of the universe. How stars and galaxies, even the universe itself, change from birth to maturity to death, much like living things on Earth, is explored in full-color photographs that capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the cosmos, as seen through high-powered terrestrial and orbiting telescopes. This exhibition is a collaborative effort with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
Against All Odds: Rescue at the Chilean Mine Rescue
National Museum of Natural History
Now — Indefinite
Last fall, the world watched as rescuers in Chile ferried 33 miners to safety after spending nearly two months trapped in a collapsed mine. The actual rescue capsule is in a special temporary exhibit featuring the complex rescue effort and the miners’ story. New video footage, mementos from the miners and rock samples recall this dramatic event.