Category Archives: Art

Frank Underwood Bares His Knuckles

It’s not like he threw me in front of the Metro train as he did poor Zoe Barnes. But I feel a little bit of what it’s like to be witheringly dismissed by Francis J. Underwood, the ruthless politician at the heart of Netflix’ hit “House of Cards.” It was at the unveiling of a [...]

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The Triumph of ‘The Beach’

The last official beach day of the summer is also the last day for “The Beach,” the terrifically popular installation at the National Building Museum by Snarkitecture, which I’m so proud to say is run in part by my stepson Alex Mustonen. I had heard of his idea of following up last year’s popular BiG [...]

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Scandinavian Art Standards: Slipping

“Art is anything you can get away with,” Marshall McLuhan once said. And I think of that quote every time I sense an artist is testing me, needling me, getting to that line. In Oslo recently at the shiny new Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, I got that feeling right away. Apart from the [...]

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When Business Writes History

I expected another benign array of American dates, names and artifacts when the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History opened its new Innovation Wing last week. Zippier display cases, sure. A greater emphasis on interactive materials, well, that’s just what the times demand to wrest kids from staring at their phones. But a wholesale change in [...]

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Other Things I’ve Written Lately

Here are some links to some other pieces I’ve written lately: Recalling a local legendary DJ who steered the Soul Train tracks to Annapolis gets some attention in the Smithsonian’s new permanent exhibit. An interview with the ever-sassy Kathy Griffin. Trying to keep up in an occasionally mind-blowing interview with Sebastian Thrun, the guy who [...]

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Other Things I’ve Written Lately

Here are some links to some other pieces I’ve written recently: A slave ship found off the coast of South Africa has artifacts that will come to the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture next year. A National Symphony Orchestra violist plays once a year plays an instrument made by her [...]

Also posted in Music, Theatre | Comments closed

Uploading the Whole Museum

With a ceremonial click with a foot pedal, the last of the 40,000 items of 2-D art being uploaded for free public use was digitally photographed last week. Starting Jan. 1 the whole of the Smithsonian’s repository of Asian art, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will be available for [...]

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Considering ‘Women Who Rock’

The “Women Who Rock” exhibit is in its final week at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. The exhibit, organized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, looks like a lot of the exhibits in Cleveland — glass cases of dresses and stage costumes, several instruments and [...]

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Ancient Coins and Paul Ryan

While writing a story recently about the artistic tastes of the presidential candidates for the Washington Post, I started looking into the collecting habits of their running mates as well. Vice President Joe Biden, burnishing a blue collar image, seems to only talk up his collection of old cars, such as a 1967 Corvette that [...]

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Knockout George Bellows Show

Another July Fourth came and went last week largely without that big American moment a person is supposed to feel on the occasion of the birthday of his country. It didn’t happen at the fireworks, or in the blistering heat or the holiday marathons. It did happen later in the week, though, when I visited [...]

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