Friday, November 20, 2009

Season's Greetings: Holiday Cards from the Archives of American Art

Get into the holiday spirit with a trip to see the Archives of American Art's new show on handmade holiday cards, which opens today at the Reynolds Center. The Archives staff found scores of holiday cards nestled within artists' papers, and decided to put together a show of cards that artists sent to each other, to their dealers, and to friends. They're located in the Fleischman Gallery, which now features blue walls painted with large snowflakes.

Alexander Calder, Dan Flavin, William T. Wiley (whose works you can see in a retrospective upstairs) and others all made cards. Demi and Arturo Rodriguez painted Santa onto a postcard of Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles, while dealer Leo Castelli was a frequent recipient of cards, some of which are from artists he worked with and some from artists hoping to work with him.

You can take a page from the artists' books and make your own cards this year. Local artist Ed Bisese, who has a card in the show, will be offering a card making work-shop on Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m. at the museum. Or, just send an e-card of one of the cards in the show.

Season's Greetings is on display through January 10.

Noche Crist holiday card to Prentiss Taylor, ca. 1962. Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885–1991. Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution.

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