Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Comics Section Visits the American Art Museum

Where: Archives of American Art

When: through August 21, 2016

The Archives has a new show on; I suppose it isn't really new, since it opened in April, but this was my first opportunity to see it, so it was new to me.  It runs through most of August, so if you're planning a trip to the SAAM/Portrait Gallery, you've got time to give this a glance.

The wall notes tell us that, "Artists find inspiration everywhere," and this show is an attempt to document some of that inspiration.  One of the artists featured was Ben Shahn, who worked for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression.  His work was the inspiration for the photographers featured in the "No Mountains in the Way" show I saw last week.

Ray Yoshida collected newspaper comic "specimens" - pictured at left, they're not full comics, but pieces of strips.  I had a lot of fun picking out images I recognize from the paper - I'm a big fan of the comics, and read almost all of them every day.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who loves the funnies; the side wall is a large reproduction of these cut-outs, and the Smithsonian is using this image on their website.

Verdict: It's not a terribly exciting show, but it's interesting.  Worth a glance if you're in the building anyway.

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