Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Note in Favor of the NEA

Where: National Portrait Gallery

When: through March 26, 2017

My apologies for my absence and the fact that I'm reviewing exhibits that have already closed.  I was under the weather last weekend and am only now getting back to blogging.

This was a fine display of photographs by Carl Van Vechten, who began making portraits in 1932.  He wanted to show the breadth of American culture and was proud of his depiction of African Americans.  His studio became a crossroads for those involved in the Harlem Renaissance.

These portraits were originally published with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, one of the cultural agencies under threat in the recently released Presidential budget.   This show serves as a reminder that the NEA does a great job of providing artists with the money they need to make their works known.  It would be wrong to put an end to our investment in American art.

Verdict: Another part of the Smithsonian's celebration of the opening of the African American Museum - a way to participate in the opening, even if you can't get tickets to see the museum itself.

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