Barack Obama [Recent Acquisition of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery]

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-11 17:28Z by Steven

Barack Obama [Recent Acquisition of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery]

National Portrait Gallery
Washington, D.C.

Title: Obama “HOPE” Portrait
Artist: Shepard Fairey, born 1970
Copy After: Mannie Garcia, born 1953
Sitter: Barack Hussein Obama, born 4 Aug 1961
Date: 2008
Type: Collage
Medium: Hand-finished collage, stencil, and acrylic on heavy paper
Dimensions: Sheet: 176.7 x 117.5 cm (69 9/16 x 46 1/4″)
Frame: 187.3 x 127 x 5.1 cm (73 3/4 x 50 x 2″)
Credit Line: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection in honor of Mary K. Podesta
Rights: ©Shepard Fairey/
Object number: NPG.2008.52
Culture: Barack Hussein Obama: American\African American
Exhibition Label: Forty-fourth president
Shepard Fairey’s Barack Obama Hope poster became the iconic campaign image for the first African American president of the United States. Early in 2008, the Los Angeles–based graphic designer and street artist designed his first Obama portraits, with a stenciled face, visionary upward glance, and inspiring captions. The artist’s intention that the image be widely reproduced and “go viral” on the Internet exceeded his greatest expectations. Campaign supporters and grassroots organizations disseminated tens of thousands of T-shirts, posters, and small stickers; Fairey himself produced mural-sized versions; and a free, downloadable graphic generated countless more repetitions. In this fine-art version of that unprecedented and powerful campaign icon, Fairey incorporated the familiar heroic pose and patriotic color scheme. But he translated the portrait into a collage with a rich, elegant surface of decorative papers and old newsprint.
Data Source: National Portrait Gallery

For more information, click here.

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Henry Ossawa Tanner papers, 1860s-1978, bulk 1890-1937

Posted in Arts, Biography, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-03-06 21:14Z by Steven

Henry Ossawa Tanner papers, 1860s-1978, bulk 1890-1937

Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Washington, D.C.

Tanner, Henry Ossawa, 1859-1937
Painter, Photographer, Educator, Illustrator

The papers of Henry Ossawa Tanner in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 2,471 images.

The collection was fully digitized in 2007 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant…

For more information, click here.

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Oral history interview with Benny Andrews, 1968 June 30

Posted in Arts, Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-06-23 20:18Z by Steven

Oral history interview with Benny Andrews, 1968 June 30

Archives of American Art
Smithsonian Institution

Andrews, Benny, b. 1930 d. 2006
Active in New York, N.Y.

Size: Transcript: 29 pages

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformated in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 12 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of Benny Andrews conducted 1968 June 30, by Henri Ghent, for the Archives of American Art.

Andrews remembers his childhood on a sharecropping farm in Georgia, difficulties he faced being light-skinned, and his struggle to get an education. He speaks of the role of the 4-H Club in his escape from that life and his attempts at painting using improvised materials. Andrews describes how he worked his way to college and joined the Air Force. He recalls passing himself off as white in certain situations, the insights into race relations he was able to gain that way, and his consciousness of being black as it affects his art. He notes the importance of other artists who encouraged him, and ends with a general characterization of his work.

Biographical/Historical Note: Benny Andrews (1930-2006) was a painter and lecturer from New York, New York.

This interview is part of the Archives’ Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America’s Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

For more information, click here.

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The Black List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Posted in Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2012-01-10 06:26Z by Steven

The Black List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Eigth and F Streets, NW
Washington, D.C.
Open daily: 11:30-19:00 ET
2011-10-28 through 2012-04-22

Curator: Ann Shumard
Historian: David C. Ward

 Maya Rudolph, 2008 Slash [Saul Hudson], 2007 Angela Davis, 2008 Colin Powell, 2007
Portraits by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders — Individual prints are Epson inkjet prints, 147.3 x 111.8 cm (58 x 44 in.)

What is a “black list”? The dictionary defines it as “a list of persons who are disapproved of or are to be punished or boycotted.” But imagine if the black list were a roll call of distinction rather than of disenfranchisement? What if being on the black list was a point of pride rather than dread? What if the black list could shed its negative connotation to become a term of affirmation and empowerment like black pride, black power, or black is beautiful?

These are some of the questions that prompted photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (born 1952) to embark on a portrait project to create an entirely new kind of black list—a visual “who’s who” of African American men and women whose intelligence, talent, and determination have propelled them to prominence in disciplines as diverse as religion, performing arts, medicine, sports, art, literature, and politics.

Although these individuals have traveled different paths to success, all share a deep-seated activism that has carried them over daunting obstacles and continues to be a driving force in their lives. If the new black list represents a chronicle of African American achievement, the fifty men and women pictured here surely merit inclusion on its rolls.

Artist Statement

On February 24, 2005, Toni Morrison was having lunch in my East Village kitchen. The conversation turned to “divas,” as Toni described the extraordinarily talented performers she had auditioned for her opera, Margaret Garner. “Timothy, we should do a portrait book on these women. “Call it . . . Black Divas.”

It got me thinking about all the African Americans I knew and had photographed. I made a list: Toni of course, David Hammons, Bill T. Jones, and Colin Powell quickly came to mind…

Read the entire Artist Statement here.

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“IndiVisible” Discusses African–Native American Lives

Posted in Articles, Arts, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-01-09 01:19Z by Steven

“IndiVisible” Discusses African–Native American Lives

Newsdsesk: Newsroom of the Smithsonian Institution

“IndiVisible: African–Native American Lives in the Americas,” a 20-panel display that outlines the seldom-viewed history and complex lives of people of dual African American and Native American ancestry, will open at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center, Thursday, Feb. 9. The exhibit will be on view through Friday, Aug. 31, in the museum’s photo corridor gallery.

“Indivisible” addresses the racially motivated laws that have been forced on Native, African American and mixed-heritage peoples. Since pre-colonial times, Native and African American peoples have built strong communities through intermarriage, unified efforts to preserve their land and taking part in creative resistance. Over time, these communities developed constructive survival strategies, and several have regained economic sustainability through gaming in the 1980s. The daily cultural practices that define the African–Native American experience through food, language, writing, music, dance and the visual arts, will also be highlighted in the exhibition…

Read the entire article here.


IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science, United States on 2010-09-26 20:08Z by Steven

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas

Smithsonian Institution
256 pages
6 5/8 x 9 1/2 inches
115 color and black-and-white illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-58834-271-3

Twenty-seven passionate essays explore the complex history and contemporary lives of people with a dual heritage that is a little-known part of American culture. Authors from across the Americas share first-person accounts of struggle, adaptation, and survival and examine such diverse subjects as contemporary art, the Cherokee Freedmen issue, and the evolution of jazz and blues. This richly illustrated book brings to light an epic history that speaks to present-day struggles for racial identity and understanding.

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas accompanies the groundbreaking exhibition of the same title developed by the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Through the concepts of policy, community, creative resistance, and lifeways, the exhibition and publication examine the long overlooked history of Native American and African American intersections in the Americas.

The book features a foreword by NMAI Director Kevin Gover and NMAAHC Director Lonnie G. Bunch, III, essays by leading scholars, and approximately 100 object images, documents, and photographs. IndiVisible illuminates a history fraught with colonial oppression, racial antagonism, and the loss of culture and identity. Uncovered within that history, however, are stories of cultural resurgence and the need to know one’s roots. Guided by NMAI historian Gabrielle Tayac, five Native scholars served as curatorial advisors for the exhibition and contributors for the publication: Angela A. Gonzales, Robert K. Collins, Judy Kertész, Penny Gamble-Williams, and Thunder Williams. In addition to the curatorial advisors, esteemed authors Theda Perdue, Tiya Miles, Richard Hill, Sr., Herman J. Viola, and Ron Welburn—among the book’s many expert voices—discuss race relations in the Jim Crow South, creative resistance, the relationship between African Americans and the Haudenosaunee, the famed buffalo soldiers of the American West, and the roots of jazz and blues. Taken together, the book’s essays and images create a portrait of a vital American subculture.

Read the forward here.

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