Art Works Blog

Break out the cherry pie: tomorrow is George Washington’s birthday! To celebrate what would have been Washington’s 288th birthday, we’re revisiting what is probably the most famous portrait of our nation’s first president—what’s known as the Lansdowne portrait by Gilbert Stuart, which he painted in...
"I feel like poetry introduced me to myself in a way that nothing else actually had." — Reginald Dwayne Betts At age 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts was tried and convicted as an adult for carjacking. Since his release at age 24, Betts has become an attorney, a doctoral candidate at Yale Law School, an...
"I have always wanted my art to service my people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential. We have to create an art for liberation and for life." — Elizabeth Catlett
Wilner Baptiste met Kevin Sylvester in high school orchestra, a place that initially, neither of them particularly wanted to be. Baptiste had wanted to play saxophone instead of viola, and Sylvester’s mother had thought the violin would help dissuade him from hanging out with the neighborhood’s...
As much as we love poetry around here, we know that poems, especially love poems, are not exactly one size fits all. With that in mind, whether you're looking for a poem for your current crush, or the one who got away, we have you covered. Click on the name of each poem to read the whole thing. (...
Here at the National Endowment for the Arts, we celebrate Black History Month because we know that you cannot tell the history of the arts in the United States of America without including the many long-lasting contributions of African Americans to the country’s cultural landscape. For example,...
With help from the Library of Congress , here are seven art-full things to know about U.S. President—and poet—Abraham Lincoln, who was born 211 years ago today. 1. Abraham Lincoln’s first exposure to poetry as a boy was through William Scott’s Lessons in Elocution , which became part of the...
"My job is not to produce answers. My job is to produce good questions." — Glenn Ligon
When 25-year-old Gordon Parks picked up his first camera around 1937, he had already survived a period of homelessness, tried his hand at composing music, and worked as a waiter on one of Northern Pacific Railway’s luxury trains. He was years away from being Life magazine’s first African-American...
Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts released comprehensive data from the 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) . Since the early 1980s, this nationally representative survey, conducted in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, has allowed cultural policymakers, arts...

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