DYK that Ad Reinhardt helped pay the bills by working as the art director for the trade magazine Ice Cream Field? This image that he designed for their July 1939 cover makes us want a cone reeallllllll bad.

Ad Reinhardt cover of Ice cream field magazine, 1939 July. Ad Reinhardt papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

21 hours ago 37 notes

Our interns are hard at work this summer. They have a hand in all sorts of projects including oral histories, digital asset management, collections management, exhibitions, development, and archival processing. Case in point, our Dorothy Varian papers just got a brand new finding aid thanks to intern Dominique Luster. Thanks to all of the intern class of ‘14 for your great work!

Dorothy Varian, 1934 / Peter A. Juley & Son, photographer. Dorothy Varian papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

1 day ago 24 notes


Obviously, helicopters are ALWAYS the answer. Charles Burchfield was seeking ways to explore mountain peaks while traveling, and his lifegoals are perfect for this week’s Transcribe Tuesday.

Each week, on #TranscribeTuesday, we share work created by digital volunteers in the Transcription Center. Actually, with these lofty goals, Charles, we think you should go big, go bold, go for the the JETPACK!!

Charles E. Burchfield's letters are part of The Art of Handwriting project, newly added to the Transcription Center by archivesofamericanart. A 2013 exhibit, the Art of Handwriting explores the relationship of artists’ handwriting to their practice, lives, and activities. When you join us in transcribing, you’ll be creating transcripts that will be featured in a 2015 published volume about the exhibit and artists like Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keefe, Oscar Bleumner, and Charles Burchfield. 

Learn more about the project or visit the Archives of American Art exhibit online.

2 days ago 18 notes

Bibliophiles and print enthusiasts, take note. We have a new blog post owl about bookplates. Ahem, all about bookplates.

Lynd Ward bookplate with owl design, 194-. Lynd Ward bookplates, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

2 days ago 269 notes

What do you think - is Mary Cassatt’s handwriting as fancy as her hat? We hope you’ll evaluate this important question and admire the penmanship of many other artists while participating in our BRAND NEW TRANSCRIPTION PROJECT, The Art of Handwriting. In a first for the smithsoniantranscriptioncenter, your transcriptions will be featured in a forthcoming book on handwriting to be published in 2015 by Princeton Architectural Press. If you’ve transcribed before, this is your chance for the limelight! And if you haven’t, there’s no better time to start than today!

Mary Cassatt, 1914 / unidentified photographer. Frederick A. Sweet research material on Mary Cassatt and James A. McNeill Whistler, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Mary Cassatt letter to John Wesley Beatty, 1905 Sept. 5. Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Transcribe this letter here!

3 days ago 69 notes

This photo of Hugo Robus shows a fascinating stage of the sculptural process - he is touching up his sculpture in wax before it is cast into something more solid. The array of wooden stakes help the soft material from collapsing in on itself.

Hugo Robus working on a sculpture, 193-? / Pinchos Horn, photographer. Sculptors Guild records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

6 days ago 89 notes

We love Ray Yoshida’s source photos of Chicago signs and storefronts, and it being National Ice Cream Month and all, seemed like a good time to share this one. Mmm, soft serve.

Detail of a storefront sign in Chicago, between 1972 and 1981 / Ray Yoshida, photographer. Ray Yoshida papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

1 week ago 56 notes

Wilna Hervey and Nan Mason, chillin’ on the Grand Canal in 1927. What vacation pics will you be sharing this summer?

Wilna Hervey in a gondola on the Grand Canal in Venice, 1927 / unidentified photographer.

Nan Mason in a gondola on the Grand Canal in Venice, 1927 / unidentified photographer.

both from: Wilna Hervey and Nan Mason papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

1 week ago 34 notes


Visit hirshhorn.si.edu for all up-to-date information on the opening event!

We’re excited about this, and not only because of the barbecue and beer. We loaned several photos and documents from the Leo Castelli Gallery records (Castelli represented Scarpitta) to be included in this exhibit - can’t wait to see them in context with the artworks!

1 week ago 18 notes

DYK we have an instagram account? Indeed we do, and we just posted our 100th ‘gram today. If you like the collection highlights you see here on tumblr but also want more behind-the-scenes archival action, follow us @: instagram.com/archivesamerart.

1 week ago 24 notes