December 2019 at Smithsonian American Art Museum

By Editorial Team on December 3, 2019
Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Art Talks and Activities

See Me at SAAM
Wednesday, December 4, 2 p.m.
In an effort to make SAAM’s collection accessible to all, See Me at SAAM is designed to improve the well-being of individuals with dementia and their care partners. This popular series brings people together to experience and discuss art in a small group setting.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Tickets: Free; Registration required by email at access@si.edu or calling (202) 633-2921
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/see-me-saam-december-4-2019

Chiura Obata’s America
Thursday, December 5, 6 p.m.
Join ShiPu Wang, guest curator of the striking new exhibition Chiura Obata: American Modern and professor at the University of California, Merced for a lecture examining Obata’s career as a renowned painter, teacher, and Japanese American cultural leader. Wang will also highlight the Archives of American Art’s newly acquired Obata papers. This program is presented in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/chiura-obatas-america-december-5-2019 

Conservation Gallery Talk: Alma Thomas Up Close and Colorful
Friday, December 6, 1 p.m.
Join project conservator Sydney Nikolaus and delve beneath the surface of Alma Thomas’s colorful abstract paintings. Learn how the artist used her materials and application techniques to create distinctly vibrant color patterns and abstract compositions.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the G Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/conservation-talk-alma-thomas-close-and-colorful-december-6-2019

Conversation Pieces
Wednesday, December 11, 6 p.m.
Want to deepen your understanding and appreciation of contemporary art? Join Joanna Marsh, SAAM’s Deputy Education Chair, Head of Interpretation and Audience Research, for this ongoing series of gallery talks. Marsh uses a single artwork from the museum’s collection to spark conversation and closer examination.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the G Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/conversation-pieces-december-11-2019

Conservation Lecture: Conservation Scientific Imaging (CSI)
Thursday, December 12, 5:30 p.m.
Examine art through the eyes of a conservator! Join Jiuan Jiuan Chen, Buffalo State art conservation professor, and see how art and science combine. Chen discusses her expertise in conservation imaging, technical examination, and documentation. Learn how she and her students use a range of imaging techniques, from lighting techniques to modifying DSLR cameras, to reveal artifact conditions that are invisible to the naked eye.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, MacMillan Education Center
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/conservation-lecture-csi-conservation-scientific-imaging-december-12-2019

Art Bites Gallery Talk: Blue Balls
Friday, December 13, 12:15 p.m.
Take a lunch break and join SAAM’s research fellows and curators as they share their new discoveries about artworks from the collection. In this installment, Postdoctoral Fellow Elizabeth Buhe speaks about Sam Francis’s abstract painting Blue Balls.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the G Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/art-bites-gallery-talks-elizabeth-buhe-december-13-2019

Ongoing Programs

Sketching: Draw & Discover
Tuesday, December 3, 10, 17, 2:30–4:30 p.m.
Draw inspiration from artists’ sketches as well as the thousands of objects on display in the Luce Foundation Center, then spend some time sketching in this weekly workshop. Some materials provided; please bring a small sketchbook and pencils.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (third floor)
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/sketching-draw-and-discover 

Conservation Conversation: Preserving SAAM’s Collection
Friday, December 20, 1 p.m.
Learn how museum conservators preserve SAAM’s artworks in the Lunder Conservation Center. The center has five state-of-the-art laboratories and studios equipped to treat paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, folk art objects, contemporary crafts, decorative arts, and frames. Group size is limited.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lunder Conservation Center
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/lunder-conservation-center-programs

Art Signs: Gallery Talks in American Sign Language (ASL)
Thursday, December 12, 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 15, 1 p.m.
Join us for lively gallery conversations in American Sign Language led by Deaf gallery guides. Don’t miss a single one, as this popular series examines different treasures from SAAM’s collection for each installment. For more information, contact SAAMAccess@si.edu.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the F Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/asl-tours-art-signs 

America InSight: Verbal Description Tour
Sunday, December 8, 1:30 p.m.
Join a docent-led tour designed for visitors who are blind or have low vision. Discover highlights of the collection through rich verbal description and sensory experience. Touch components for sculptures and model recreations of paintings may be incorporated into the tour. For more information, contact SAAMAccess@si.edu.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet in the F Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/america-insight-verbal-description-tours-december-8-2019 

America InSight: Verbal Description Tour at the Renwick Gallery
Sunday, December 22, 1:30 p.m.
Join a docent-led tour designed for visitors who are blind or have low vision. Discover highlights of the collection through rich verbal description and sensory experience. Touch components for sculptures and model recreations of paintings may be incorporated into the tour. For more information, contact SAAMAccess@si.edu.
Location: Renwick Gallery, meet in the Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link: https://americanart.si.edu/events/america-insight-verbal-description-tours-december-22-2019