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Snapshots from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art
Foresta, Merry A.
Publication date: 05/12/2015
|Tucked away among the letters, diaries, and other ephemera in the Smithsonian's archives lies a trove of rarely seen snapshots of some of the twentieth century's most celebrated artists. Unlike the familiar official portraits and genius-at-work shots, these humble snaps capture creative giants with their guard down, in the moment, living life. Pablo Picasso stands proudly on a balcony with young daughter Maya. A tiny, meticulously inked annotation penned by an unknown hand proclaims that "he's very much in love." Jackson Pollock morosely carves a turkey while his mother, Stella, and wife, Lee Krasner, look on. A young Andy Warhol clowns for the camera with college friend Philip Pearlstein, and in a later shot more closely resembles his famously enigmatic public self at a gallery opening with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Artists Unframed presents more than one hundred spellbinding snapshots from the personal lives of legendary artists such as Alexander Calder, Georgia O'Keeffe Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Ansel Adams, Elaine de Kooning, David Hockney, Dizzy Gillespie, Marcel Duchamp, E. M. Forster, Eero Saarinen, John Waters,and many others.
Merry A. Foresta is an independent curator and arts writer. A former curator of photography at the Smithsonian Institution, she served as the founding director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative from 2000 to 2010