March 2019 at Smithsonian American Art Museum

By Editorial Team on March 4, 2019
Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Art Talks and Activities

  • See Me at SAAM
    Wednesday, March 6, 2 p.m.
    See Me at SAAM is an interactive program designed to improve the well-being of individuals with dementia and their care partners by experiencing and discussing art in a small group.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the Kogod Courtyard
    Tickets: Free; Registration required. Please email or call (202) 633-2921.
    Event Link:
  • Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon: Feminism and the Arts
    Sunday, March 10, 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    Think women artists deserve more recognition? This is your chance to correct the historical record! Join SAAM and Art+Feminism and learn how to edit and create new articles about female artists. A special tour of remarkable women artists in SAAM’s collection kicks off the program at 10:30 a.m. All levels of technological proficiency welcome.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, MacMillan Education Center
    Tickets: Free; RSVP
    Event Link:
  • Artists Respond: A Symposium
    Friday, March 15, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Be the first to see SAAM’s newest exhibition Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965–1975 and enjoy a day of discussions and lectures on topics related to the exhibition. A group of distinguished scholars provide insight into how artists of the Vietnam War era sought to engage with their current moment, the public sphere, and politics. In the afternoon, six artists whose work is featured in the exhibition reflect on their experience of the Vietnam War as creators and, in many cases, as activists.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
    Tickets: Free; Walk in welcome, but registration recommended.
    Event Link:
  • Conversation Pieces
    Wednesday, March 20, 6 p.m.
    Want to deepen your understanding and appreciation of contemporary art? Join Joanna Marsh, senior curator of contemporary interpretation, for this popular ongoing series of gallery talks. Marsh uses a single artwork from the museum’s collection to spark conversation and greater discovery.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the G Street Lobby
    Tickets: Free
  • Art Bites Gallery Talks: Chris Green
    Friday, March 22, 12:15 p.m.
    Take a lunch break and join SAAM’s research fellows as they share their new discoveries about artworks from the collection. For this installment, research fellow Chris Green discusses Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith’s State Names (2000). Come learn the stories behind this artwork and find out what it tells us about America’s ever-changing culture.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the G Street Lobby
    Tickets: Free
  • Cherry Blossom Family Festival
    Saturday, March 23, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    Join SAAM and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture. Kick off the day with a taiko drumming performance outside of the museum at the F Street entrance. Enjoy face painting, make cherry blossom crafts, listen to Japanese music, and go on a spring-themed scavenger hunt through the museum’s galleries.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
    Tickets: Free
  • Gallery Talk with Melissa Ho
    Thursday, March 28, 5:30 p.m.
    Join Melissa Ho, curator of twentieth-century art, as she guides visitors through SAAM’s newest exhibition Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975. Take an in-depth look at the work of artists who struggled to synthesize the turbulent times of the Vietnam War.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the G Street Lobby
    Tickets: Free
  • Conservation Gallery Talk: Craft Conversation
    Friday, March 29, 1 p.m.
    Join objects conservator Gregory Bailey as he examines the intersections of craft and museum practice through the work of Disrupting Craft artist Stephanie Syjuco. Syjuco’s large-scale installations address contemporary social and economic issues, including political dissent and the legacy of colonialism.
    Location: Renwick Gallery, Meet in Lobby
    Tickets: Free

Music, Performances & Film

  • Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts Film Screening
    Saturday, March 2, 3 p.m.
    Join SAAM for an encore screening of Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts, a film that brings the life of artist Bill Traylor vividly to the silver screen. Traylor, born around 1853 into an enslaved family in rural Alabama, created a large body of drawn and painted work that reflects on a lifetime which bridged centuries and critical American milestones. A Q&A with the filmmaker, Jeffrey Wolf, follows the screening. Presented in conjunction with SAAM’s exhibition Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor.  Unrated (90 minutes; 2018)
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
    Tickets: Free
  • Luce Unplugged: Community Showcase
    Friday, March 8, 6 – 8 p.m.
    Luce Unplugged showcases up and coming local bands surrounded by beautiful artworks in the Luce Foundation Center. In this installment, enjoy the slowly unfolding compositions of Jax Deluca and the brooding melodies of Knife Wife. Free beer tastings (ages 21+) provided by a local craft brewery. Additional beverages and small snacks available for purchase.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (third floor)
    Tickets: Free
  • Take 5! With Shannon Gun
    Thursday, March 21, 5 – 7 p.m.
    Join the Washington City Paper’s “D.C.’s Best Trombonist (2015)” Shannon Gun for a special performance at SAAM. A dedicated local trombonist and composer, Gunn performs every Tuesday at Columbia Station with her band the Firebird Organ Trio. She also leads the all-women jazz orchestra Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes, which has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Goethe Institute, and Bohemian Caverns. Be sure to pick up a board game for added fun during the concert.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
    Tickets: Free
  • Hear Me: Speaking Up in a World in Motion
    Friday, March 22, 4:45 p.m. (tour), 6 p.m. (performance)
    American history is filled with stories of migration. What light can a tale of modern-day immigrants shed on artwork exploring the legacy of the Vietnam War? This bilingual (English/Spanish) performance of Óyeme, the Beautiful explores the experience of two teens who have escaped violence in Central America to pursue their dreams in the United States. A tour of SAAM’s new exhibition Tiffany Chung: Vietnam, Past is Prologue before the performance considers how one contemporary artist draws on her own South Vietnamese experience of the Vietnam War to amplify refugees’ voices today. This program is presented in collaboration with Imagination Stage.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the F Street Lobby (tour), McEvoy Auditorium (performance)
    Tickets: Free; Registration is required
  • The 6821 Quintet Celebrates the Cherry Blossom Festival
    Monday, March 25, noon
    Join The 6821 Quintet to celebrate spring! By bringing disparate cultures together, this group of international musicians collaborate every year to premiere a new work commissioned for the opening ceremonies of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Brought together by the Ryuji Ueno Foundation and named after the approximate distance between Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, this group consists of musicians Eric Silberger (violin), Shizuka Inoue (violin), Andrew Gonzalez (viola), Clancy Newman (cello), and Ryo Yanagitani (piano).
    Location: Renwick Gallery, Rubenstein Grand Salon
    Tickets: Free
  • Women Directors Film Festival: Visionaries Then and Now
    Saturday, March 30, noon – 8 p.m.
    Join us for an all-day film festival highlighting four visionary works of women film directors across time, space, and creative contexts. Beginning at noon, we focus on early cinematic trailblazers including Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, and more. A conversation with filmmaker and professor Giovanna Chesler follows the screening. Then, stay for a pairing of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s documentary Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) and artist Tiffany Chung’s recent video work. The festival concludes with Julie Dash’s beautifully remastered, award-winning feature Daughters of the Dust (1991), followed by a discussion with author and cultural critic Christina Sharpe.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
    Tickets: Free

Ongoing Programs

  • Sketching: Draw and Discover!                                         
    Tuesdays, 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
  • Conservation Conversation: Preserving SAAM’s Collection
    Wednesday, March 6, 13, 20, and 27, 3 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
  • Art Signs: Gallery Talks in American Sign Language (ASL)
    Sunday, March 17, 1 p.m.
    Join us for lively gallery conversations in American Sign Language led by Deaf gallery guides. For more information, email
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the F Street Lobby
    Tickets: Free
  • America InSight: Verbal Description Tour
    Sunday, March 10, 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 21, 3:30 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.
    Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the F Street Lobby
    Tickets: Free