While you’re in D.C., don’t miss the opportunity to see what’s new at the Smithsonian! We know that it can be daunting to choose among all the museums and exhibitions, so here are a few suggestions, tailored to your time at the Affiliations conference.
A decadent ruin collapsing under the weight of its own creative excess, Filthy Lucre forms the centerpiece of an unprecedented exhibition that highlights the complicated tensions between art and money, ego and patronage, and acts of creative expression in the nineteenth century and today. It’s a way to see Whistler’s Peacock Room in a completely new light.
Tuesday, June 16, 5:30 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Head to the Smithsonian American Art Museum a little ahead of Congressional Night at the Smithsonian to catch a tour of the Mingering Mike’s Supersonic Greatest Hits exhibition. If you’ve seen the retrospective documentary Searching For Sugar Man, you will love Mingering Mike, the soul superstar nobody has ever heard of. Learn about him and his visionary collection of fabricated music ephemera with Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art. She will discuss the artist’s influences, share how the museum came to own the collection, and guide you through a collection of over 150 works of art.
Wednesday, June 17, 1 pm, Haupt Garden
Why not spend your lunch break learning “What Makes a Victorian Garden Victorian?” Join one of the Smithsonian Gardens’ knowledgeable horticulturists who will describe the various features of the Enid A. Haupt Garden, including its plants and flowers, the Asian-inspired moongate garden, and the Moorish-inspired fountain garden. Meet outside in the Haupt Garden, near the south entrance doors to the Smithsonian Castle. Click here for complete information.
And if you can, take a peek at these new and exciting exhibitions:
Hear My Voice: Alexander Graham Bell and the Origins of Recorded Sound, National Museum of American History
In this new exhibition, see documents, recordings, laboratory notes, and apparatus from the Volta Laboratory. Learn about the early history of sound recording in the United States. Hear some of the earliest sound recordings ever made including the only known example of Graham Bell’s own voice, thanks to sound recovery techniques developed by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Museum.
Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African American History and Culture gallery at the National Museum of American History
The much anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to officially open its doors in 2016. Check out what all the excitement is about right now! A new exhibition at the National Museum of American History offers a preview of the artifacts and moments chronicled in the collections.
The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, National Museum of African Art
Right down the hall from conference sessions in the Ripley Center, you will find The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists exhibition. A combination of new commissions and recently produced works of art come together in this exhibition to demonstrate the ongoing global relevance of the themes addressed in Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem, The Divine Comedy. Forty of the best known and emerging artists from 18 African nations and the African diaspora working in media as diverse as video projection, installation, painting, sculpture and textiles explore diverse issues of politics, identity, faith, and form. In so doing, they reveal that each person’s vision of heaven, purgatory, or hell is unique.
Shirin Neshat: Facing History, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Grab lunch nearby and walk to the Hirshorn Museum to stroll the gardens. Then, go upstairs to the second level to see the Shirin Neshat: Facing History exhibition. In her mesmerizing films and photographs, Shirin Neshat examines the nuances of
power and identity in the Islamic world—particularly in her native country of Iran. Shirin Neshat: Facing History presents an array of Neshat’s most compelling works, illuminating the points at which cultural and political events have impacted her artistic practice.
For a complete list of all the events and exhibitions at the Smithsonian, click here!