Great Washington Museums: The Art Museum of the Americas

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the Art Museum of the Americas’s signature works by a woman artist, Amelia Pelaez’s Blue Angel. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Amelia Pelaez, Blue Angel, 1945; Gouache on paper, 32 x 28 ½ in.; Collection Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of American States; Gift of Joseph Cantor

Amelia Pelaez, Blue Angel, 1945; Gouache on paper, 32 x 28 ½ in.; Collection Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of American States; Gift of Joseph Cantor

Amelia Pelaez (Cuban, 1896–1968) studied at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts of Havana, then went to Paris to continue her studies. Upon her return to Cuba, Pelaez became an active member of the Cuban modern art movement, influencing the break from the traditional painting styles. She participated in the 1944 Modern Cuban Painters exhibition at MoMA in New York, the 1951 and 1957 Sao Paulo Biennials, and the 1952 Venice Biennial. In 1968 Cuba awarded her the Orden nacional “30 aiios dedicados al arte.” On view January 9–December 9, 2012. Palaez’s work will be surrounding by three other paintings by iconic Latin American women artists.

Art Museum of the Americas, 1889 F St., NW; http://museum.oas.org

Great Washington Museums: Smithsonian American Art Museum

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s signature works by a woman artist, Pat Steir’s Looking for the Mountain. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Pat Steir, Looking for the Mountain, 1971; Oil, pencil, crayon, and ink on canvas; 92 3/8 x 75 ¼ in.; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Richard M. Hollander in honor of Jean S. Lighton, 1984.137

Pat Steir, Looking for the Mountain, 1971; Oil, pencil, crayon, and ink on canvas; 92 3/8 x 75 ¼ in.; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Richard M. Hollander in honor of Jean S. Lighton, 1984.137

Throughout her career, Pat Steir has been equally fascinated by painting, drawing, and printmaking. Her images from the early 1970s recalled maps, with journalistic notations and diagrams of personal experiences, as well as actual directions for making the art. Her first major public exposure came in 1972, when one of her paintings was reproduced in Time magazine’s issue on the women’s movement, with which Steir was closely associated. Her most recent paintings and prints continue to explore the evocative effect of marks as a means of communication. On view indefinitely.

Smithsonian American Art Museum, 7th & F Streets NW; http://AmericanArt.si.edu

Great Washington Museums: The Walters Art Museum

Sofonisba Anguissola, Portrait of Marquess Massimiliano Stampa, 1557; Oil on canvas; Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD.; bequest of Henry Walters, 1931

Sofonisba Anguissola, Portrait of Marquess Massimiliano Stampa, 1557; Oil on canvas; Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD.; bequest of Henry Walters, 1931

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative area-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of The Walters Art Museum’s signature works by a woman artist, Sofonisba Anguissola’s Portrait of Marquess Massimiliano Stampa, 1557. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

The boy can be identified as the nine-year-old Massimiliano Stampa, third marquis of the small northern Italian city of Soncin, on the basis of a contemporary annotation on the back of the canvas. This is Sofonisba Anguissola’s first major commission. The family commissioned it to commemorate the boy’s inheritance of his title in 1557, at his father’s death. Anguissola was a sympathetic observer of children: here she leavens the stern, very “adult,” impression of the full-length portrait in the traditional black clothing of the Italian courts during the 16th century with the appeal of child’s hesitant expression.

The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Maryland

Great Washington Museums: The Phillips Collection

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists.During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the The Phillips Collection’s signature works by a woman artist, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the White Place. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Georgia O’Keeffe, From the White Place, 1940; Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in.; The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Acquired 1941

Georgia O’Keeffe, From the White Place, 1940; Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in.; The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Acquired 1941

The impact of Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1929 visit to New Mexico was so great that the artist returned to the area almost every summer until she settled there permanently in 1949. For O’Keeffe, the stark beauty of the desert inspired her to create intensely mystical versions of landforms such as those in From the White Place, depicting a white rock formation near her home in Abiquiu. Duncan Phillips began purchasing O’Keeffe’s paintings in 1926, making The Phillips Collection the first museum to acquire her work. On view January 1–December 31, 2012.

Great Washington Museums: National Museum of the American Indian

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the National Museum of the American Indian’s signature works by a woman artist, Nora Naranjo-Morse’s Always Becoming. Visit nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Nora Naranjo-Morse, Always Becoming, 2007; Mixed media site-specific sculpture, dimensions variable; Courtesy the National Museum of the American Indian

Nora Naranjo-Morse, Always Becoming, 2007; Mixed media site-specific sculpture, dimensions variable; Courtesy the National Museum of the American Indian

When acclaimed Santa Clara Pueblo artist Nora Naranjo-Morse created Always Becoming, it was with the intention that it erode over time. Composed of organic materials, the five sculptural forms, ranging from seven to 16 feet high, are nestled within the museum’s southern landscape, surrounded by indigenous plant life. According to the artist, the shapes are inspired by Native American architectural forms and familial relationships: “The natural materials…used to make Always Becoming symbolize the unique relationship indigenous peoples established with their environment.” On view outside the museum’s south entrance indefinitely.

National Museum of the American Indian, 4th St. and Independence Ave.

Great Washington Museums: The Textile Museum

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the Textile Museum’s signature works by a woman artist, Polly Barton’s Arab Spring. Visit NMWA and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Polly Barton; Arab Spring, 2011; Woven silk (double ikat technique), 92 x 16 ½ in., Courtesy of the artist; Photograph by Wendy McEahern

Polly Barton; Arab Spring, 2011; Woven silk (double ikat technique), 92 x 16 ½ in., Courtesy of the artist; Photograph by Wendy McEahern

Trained in Japan, Barton uses delicate silk threads, traditional dyeing techniques, and a narrow kimono loom to create luminous works of textile art. She painstakingly resist-dyes yarns prior to weaving, a technique known as ikat. Arab Spring was inspired by a Mamluk carpet woven in late-15th century Egypt, now in The Textile Museum collection. Barton felt “transported and displaced” by the carpet’s sensuous and refined color palette, as though she were “falling through the threads.” Woven of sheer, lustrous silk dyed in jewel colors, Arab Spring reveals varying patterns in different lights, carrying forward the idea of movement, travel, and the gesture of the artist’s journey. On view March 23–August 12, 2012.

The Textile Museum, 2320 S  St., NW;

Lisa Montag Brotman: A Great Woman Artist at the Katzen Center

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of American University’s Katzen Arts Center’s signature works by a woman artist, Lisa Montag Brotman’s Cherry Wallpaper. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Lisa Montag Brotman, Cherry Wallpaper, 1981; Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in.; American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Private Collection

Lisa Montag Brotman, Cherry Wallpaper, 1981; Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in.; American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Private Collection

For more than three decades, Brotman’s paintings have been dominated by female figures in pursuit of self-examination and critical inquiry. Borrowing its pose from a vintage postcard, Cherry Wallpaper features a masked nude, her back turned toward the viewer. She is positioned contrapposto, foot balanced on a pillow-covered ball, arm resting on an impossible one-legged chair before a red curtain with flesh-like red tassels. Cherries adorn a cloudy blue wallpaper sky, juxtaposing power and vulnerability. On view June 9–August 12, 2012.

American University at the Katzen Arts Center,4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW; Website: www.american.edu/museum.

NMWA: Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists.

 

Great Washington Museums: The United States Capitol

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the the U.S. Capitol’s signature works by a woman artist, Vinnie Ream’s statue of Abraham Lincoln. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Vinnie Ream, Abraham Lincoln, 1870; Marble, statue 83 x 29 ¾ x 29 in.; United States Congress; Photograph courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

Vinnie Ream, Abraham Lincoln, 1870; Marble, statue 83 x 29 ¾ x 29 in.; United States Congress; Photograph courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

Vinnie Ream’s statue of Abraham Lincoln is the first work of art commissioned by the United States government from a woman artist. Ream (later Vinnie Ream Hoxie) was only 18 years old when the Congress commissioned it in 1866. She had previously sculpted a bust of Lincoln. After making a full-size model for the statue in her Capitol studio, she took it to Italy for carving. The statue, completed in 1870, was installed in the Capitol in 1871. Lincoln is shown looking pensively at the Emancipation Proclamation in his right hand. Later, the sculptor created two statues for the National Statuary Hall Collection. On permanent display in the Capitol Rotunda.

Architect of the Capitol; Website: www.aoc.gov

Great Washington Museums: Dalya Luttwak and Martha Jackson-Jarvis at the Kreeger

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores two works works by women in view at the Kreeger Museum, Martha Jackson-Jarvis’s Markings and Dalya Luttwak’s When Nature Takes Over.

Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Markings, 2000; Concrete and steel, dimensions variable; Photo by Greg Staley, 2011

Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Markings, 2000; Concrete and steel, dimensions variable; Photo by Greg Staley, 2011

Jackson-Jarvis’s sculpture, created for an exhibition inspired by Thomas Jefferson, pays homage to enduring stories embedded in the landscape with Markings, a narrative of the antebellum south, incorporating proportions of vernacular architecture and chicken feet. Dalya Luttwak created a site-specific sculpture on the museum’s tennis court, out of use since 1994. By painting existing roots and vines bright red and adding steel sculptures of roots, she concentrated her attention on what was there and no longer is, When Nature Takes Over. Both sculptures are on view in the Kreeger Museum Sculpture Garden through July 2013.

Dalya Luttwak, When Nature Takes Over, 2011, Painted steel, roots, and vines, dimensions variable; Photo by Greg Staley, 2011

Dalya Luttwak, When Nature Takes Over, 2011, Painted steel, roots, and vines, dimensions variable; Photo by Greg Staley, 2011

The Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Rd., NW; Website: www.kreegermuseum.org.

Great Washington Museums: Dumbarton Oaks and Maria Sibylla Merian

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection’s signature works by a woman artist, an illustration by Maria Sibylla Merian. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Maria Sibylla Merian, Plate 20, Arbre de Gomme gutte (Gummi Guttae Tree with White Witch, Cocoon, and Caterpillar of Hawk Moth and Drops of Resin), from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, 1719; Hand-colored etching, 19 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.; © Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Rare Book Collection, Washington, D.C.

Maria Sibylla Merian, Plate 20, Arbre de Gomme gutte (Gummi Guttae Tree with White Witch, Cocoon, and Caterpillar of Hawk Moth and Drops of Resin), from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, 1719; Hand-colored etching, 19 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.; © Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Rare Book Collection, Washington, D.C.

The exquisitely detailed plates of Maria Sibylla Merian’s Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium depict the flora and fauna of Suriname, with a particular emphasis on the process of metamorphosis. Merian (1647–1717) sailed from Amsterdam to Suriname in 1699 and remained there until 1701, studying and drawing plants and insects that had not previously been seen or described in Europe. This book impacted European perceptions of the tropical New World, the life cycles of insects, and the manner in which illustrations could indicate natural context. On display January 2012-December 2012 in the Rare Book Exhibit Gallery outside the Rare Book Collection, in the Dumbarton Oaks Museum.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1703 32nd St. NW; www.doaks.org