national museum of american history

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
“Lady Agnew of Lochna” (1892-1893)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Andrew Noel Agnew, a barrister who had inherited the baronetcy and estates of Lochnaw in Galloway, commissioned this painting of his young wife, Gertrude Vernon (1865-1932), in 1892. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1898 and put Sargent on the map. The sculptor Auguste Rodin described him as ‘the Van Dyck of our times.’ Portrait commissions poured in and Sargent enjoyed something of a cult following in Edwardian society. It also launched Lady Agnew as a society beauty.

anonymous asked:

Thoughts on stripped-classical architecture? Any great examples?

German Imperial Embassy 

Stripped Classicism (or “Starved Classicism” or “Grecian Moderne”) is primarily a 20th-century classicist architectural style stripped of most or all ornamentation, frequently employed by governments while designing official buildings. It was adapted by both totalitarian and democratic regimes. The style embraces a “simplified but recognizable” classicism in its overall massing and scale while eliminating traditional decorative detailing. The orders of architecture are only hinted at or are indirectly implicated in the form and structure.

I don’t have many thoughts on this particular style, the buildings look like Neoclassical designs after extended Value Engineering exercises.

Meštrović Pavilion

National Museum of American History

National Library of Australia


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For Women’s History Month, we’re joining our @nmaahc in sharing #HiddenHerstory, stories of women who have often been overlooked throughout history.

In this photo from the museum collection, Daisy Bates meets with seven members of the Little Rock Nine in her home. Bates played a significant role in the integration of the Little Rock Central High School in 1957, despite the death threats she received—one through the window of her home.

Bates, who was elected president of the Arkansas NAACP in 1952, was inspired by the Brown v. Board case to focus on education.

Patrick Stewart presents specially selected items from the “X-Men” films to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Item’s include costumes of Professor X, Storm, Wolverine, and Magneto, along with a final shooting script for “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

Tintype portrait of an unidentified man posing with a violin titled “yours if you want it,” c. 1800′s.

Source: National Museum of American History.

Naas shagi yeil s'aaxw (Raven at the Headwaters of Nass hat) from the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest.  Carved from maple; decorated with paint, shells, hair, and baleen.  Artist unknown; ca. 1810.  Now in the Seattle Art Museum.  Photo credit: Joe Mabel.


The building rises — bronze and “brooding,” in the words of architect David Adjaye — floating in a sea of white marble and limestone on the sprawling National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The mission of the National Museum of African American History and Culture — set to open to the public next week after a 100-year journey into existence — is to tell the story of America through the lens of black history and culture.

That mission is reflected in the exhibits and encapsulated in a Langston Hughes quote featured inside the museum: “I, too, am America.”

It’s also reflected in the location and design of the building itself.

Mission Of African-American Museum Writ Large In Its Very Design

Photos: Alan Karchmer for NMAAHC + Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Today is Sesame Street’s birthday. We might not have everything in the whole wide world, but Grover is welcome anytime.

This book, from an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of the show at our National Museum of American History, is now in Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Marian Anderson Sings at the Lincoln Memorial

Photo: American contralto Marian Anderson performs in front of 75,000 spectators in Potomac Park. Finnish accompanist Kosti Vehanen is on the piano.

“She carried herself in the way she wanted to be seen.“ - Dwandalyn Reece, Curator of Music and Performing Arts, NMAAHC 

Marian Anderson was the first African American soloist to sing at the New York Metropolitan Opera on January 7, 1955. During her long career, Anderson broke many barriers as an African American opera singer, and was often denied performance venues due to racial segregation during the mid-twentieth century. #OnThisDay in 1939, Anderson famously sung on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of over 75,000 people, when she was denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall.

Photo: Shantung silk jacket (redesigned in 1993) and black velvet skirt worn by Marian Anderson. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Ginette DePreist in memory of James DePreist.

Learn more about Anderson’s historic moment and the artifacts in our collection:  

Tintype portrait of an unidentified man posing with a dog and bird in a birdcage, c. 1800′s.

Source: National Museum of American History.