Artists Unframed: Snapshots from the Smithsonian's Archives by Merry Forresta

By Merry Forresta

Tucked away one of the letters, diaries, and different ephemera within the Smithsonian's records lies a trove of infrequently obvious snapshots of a few of the 20th century's such a lot celebrated artists. not like the commonplace reliable pictures and genius-at-work photographs, those humble snaps seize inventive giants with their protect down, within the second, dwelling lifestyles.

Pablo Picasso stands proudly on a balcony with younger daughter Maya—a tiny, meticulously inked annotation penned by means of an unknown hand announces that "he's greatly in love." Jackson Pollock morosely carves a turkey whereas his mom, Stella, and spouse, Lee Krasner, glance on. a tender Andy Warhol clowns for the digital camera with collage good friend Philip Pearlstein, and in a later shot extra heavily resembles his famously enigmatic public self at a gallery establishing with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

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Extra resources for Artists Unframed: Snapshots from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

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At the turn of the last century, the northern New Jersey towns of Fort Lee, Coytesville, and Ridgefield could all boast art colonies with a mix of artists, illustrators, and musicians. Pop Hart (1868–1933), dancing the imaginative bolero and playing bones, Walt Kuhn, playing the guitar, and Gus Mager (1878–1956), playing the banjo, had previously lived in Fort Lee, each individually and sometimes together. Perhaps it was cartoonist Mager, who lived in nearby Newark, who got them together for a day on the Coytesville boardwalk.

Likely, Kuhn, famous as one of the organizers of the Armory Show, was the guest of honor. 52 — ca. 1915 — Pop Hart, Walt Kuhn, and Gus Mager Walt Kuhn, Kuhn Fa mily Papers a nd Armory Show R ecords, 1859 – 1978 53 N ow collected at the Archives of American Art, the papers of Rockwell Kent (1882–1971) are a testament to the many aspects of his life. He was variously an architect, draftsman, carpenter, unskilled laborer, painter, illustrator, printmaker, commercial artist, designer, writer, professional lecturer, dairy farmer, and political activist.

Agnes Rindge Claflin (1900–1977), the author of an authoritative book on sculpture published in 1929, was an art historian at Vassar College and had just been named director of the Vassar College Art Gallery when she visited her friend Alexander Calder (1898–1976) in his studio at the Calder farmhouse in Roxbury, Connecticut. The mid-1940s were an important time for both the scholar and the artist. In 1943 Claflin became an assistant executive vice president of the Museum of Modern Art. In the same year the museum organized an exhibition of Calder’s sculpture, a project that included a film, Alexander Calder: Sculpture and Constructions, written and narrated by Claflin.

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