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Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
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We are delighted to announce that the Archives of American Art has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Don Tyson Prize from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art! The prize recognizes significant achievements in American art. s.si.edu/tyson-prize

Image credit: Troy Anderson "Forged from the Earth," 2016. Bronze 18 × 9 × 9 in. Courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photo by Jacob Slaton.
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DO NOT OPEN

So would you open this envelope? The curious missive was sent by mail artist Leonard Frank Duch to John Held, who never broke the seal (and neither have we!). What's inside? We'll never know!

Leonhard Frank Duch Mail Art to John Held, 1990, http://s.si.edu/2cxrxrq #MailArtMonday #OpenYourArchives
View the Image and Media Gallery item Leonhard Frank Duch Mail Art to John Held, with links to more digitized items from the John Held papers relating to Mail Art in the Archives of American Art.
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"Now I know that mail art is the dream of all my travelling" Guy Bleus (aka 42.292) http://s.si.edu/2bwsw63 #MailArtMonday #OpenYourArchive
View the Image and Media Gallery item Guy Bleus mail art to John Evans, with links to more digitized items from the John Evans papers in the Archives of American Art.
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Jackson Pollock & his brother Sande at the Grand Canyon, 1927. http://s.si.edu/2blViGD #NPS100 #NationalParks
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On this day in 1969, artist Ray Johnson slipped a note under the door of the Eva Lee Gallery http://s.si.edu/2cXAo7c

In our publication "Pen to Paper: Artists' Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art," Ray Johnson scholar Gillian Pistell writes that this note is "a chummy, handwritten hello, scripted in unpresumptuous, free-spiritied letters, hand-delivered toa new friend--as personal a communication as the written word will allow. One can picture Johnson's smile as he slide it under Lee's gallery door, anticipating his new friend's delighted response." http://s.si.edu/2d0uC0q
View the Image and Media Gallery item Ray Johnson note to Eva Lee, Great Neck, N.Y., with links to more digitized items from the Eva Lee Gallery records in the Archives of American Art.
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Happy Birthday to Grandma Moses (1860-1961). In 1943 she celebrated her 76th birthday with a beautiful birthday cake and artist Norman Rockwell! #BirthdayGoals

See this clipping and letters by Grandma Moses at http://s.si.edu/2c5MMhp
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DO NOT OPEN

So would you open this envelope? Mail artist Leonhard Frank Duch sent this curious missive to John Held, who never broke the seal (and neither have we!).

Leonhard Frank Duch Mail Art to John Held, 1990. http://s.si.edu/2cxrxrq #MailArtMonday #OpenYourArchives
View the Image and Media Gallery item Leonhard Frank Duch Mail Art to John Held, with links to more digitized items from the John Held papers relating to Mail Art in the Archives of American Art.
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This photograph of women pulling a plow in France is preserved in the papers of social realist artist Ben Shahn.

Shahn gathered a collection of photographs to use as source material for his paintings and prints. Many of the categories reflect Shahn's political engagement with workers. Browse Shahn's papers on our website at http://s.si.edu/2c2bhe8 #LaborDay
View the Image and Media Gallery item Women pulling a plow, with links to more digitized items from the Ben Shahn papers in the Archives of American Art.
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View the Image and Media Gallery item Louise Nevelson's hands at work, with links to more digitized items from the Louise Nevelson papers in the Archives of American Art.
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Celebrate Womens’ Equality Day with newly transcibed letters to Lucy Lippard from feminist artists at the Smithsonian Transcription Center at http://s.si.edu/2bl8NLp

This quote is from a letter from Nancy Spero to Lippard, 1976 February. View it at http://s.si.edu/2blXml4 #LetterstoLucy #WomensEqualityDay
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Happy Birthday, Smithsonian! 170 years ago today, the Smithsonian Institution was founded "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."

Image credit: Robert Motherwell, circa 1945 / unidentified photographer. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1905-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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The world's largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America.
Introduction

The Archives of American Art is the world’s pre-eminent and most widely used research center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America.

Our vast holdings—more than 16 million letters, diaries and scrapbooks of artists, dealers, and collectors; manuscripts of critics and scholars; business and financial records of museums, galleries, schools, and associations; photographs of art world figures and events; sketches and sketchbooks; rare printed material; film, audio and video recordings; and the largest collection of oral histories anywhere on the subject of art—are a vital resource to anyone interested in American culture over the past 200 years.

Explore and Search our Archival Research Collections

For comment policy and terms of use, see si.edu/termsofuse

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202-633-7940