“Staging the self” is an annoying phrase, and an unfortunate title for an otherwise excellent exhibition devoted to Latino self-representation at the National Portrait Gallery. It makes the thing this exhibition explores — how artists present a sense of themselves to the world — seem more complicated and intellectually sexier than it really is.
Category Archives: George Washington
By 1982, when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened on the National Mall, something had shifted in the way we remember our wars. A national memorial, prominently placed on the nation’s most symbolically significant public space, came to seem like an essential dignity offered to veterans, and the families and memory of those who gave their lives.
The legal term for the high-stakes drama opening Monday in Courtroom 317 of D.C. Superior Court is “cy près,” and the English pronunciation seems apt:
The future of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Corcoran College of Art and Design is now in the hands of the lawyers and of Judge Robert Okun. Whether you’re a partisan of one of the two competing visions for Washington’s oldest private art institution or you just want whatever’s best, it’s a tense time.
Opponents of the deal to reorganize the Corcoran Gallery of Art won a major procedural victory in D.C. Superior Court on Monday afternoon, setting up a four-day hearing next week where clashing visions of what should become of Washington’s oldest art museum will be tested through witness testimony and documentary evidence.
The National Archives typically tells of the American journey through its extensive collection of documents. But in the new exhibition, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures,” the signatures that punctuated, authorized and bore witness to those American stories are put on full display. The signatures — by the famous, infamous, known and unknown — add layers of meaning to the letters, laws, petitions and historical accounts of American history and, in some cases, including the 56 signatures on the Declaration of Independence, constitute acts of revolution all their own. “They put you right there,” curator Jennifer N. Johnson says. “A signature gives you a window into an event you think you already know.”
In the end, two of the Washington region’s most prestigious institutions — the University of Maryland and the Corcoran Gallery of Art — each felt a bit ill-used by the other. And two others — George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art — swooped in to feast on the pieces of a courtship gone bad.
If the Corcoran Gallery of Art had to be swallowed up by a larger and healthier institution to survive, we might celebrate Wednesday’s announcement that its collection will be devoured by the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery is hands down the most prestigious and respected steward of fine art in Washington, and its reputation is international. But this is not a swallowing of the Corcoran — this is the end of the Corcoran and its final dismemberment.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington’s oldest private art museum, and its venerable college of art and design would cease to exist as an independent institution, and its key components — artwork, historic building and school program — would be taken over by the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University, under a plan announced Wednesday.
Nancy Wolf appreciates the clean lines and simple forms of Bauhaus-style architecture. But she’s an artist, not an architect, so she has to ask: Where do people and tradition feature in the International Style’s attempt to cleanse cities of their historic character?
The papers of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin are now online in easily searchable digitized form.