Art Works Blog

Vintage Postcard Washington's Birthday, H.B. Griggs. Image courtesy of flickr user riptheskull Did you know that the White House is considered a living museum? Roughly 50,000 objects are part of the permanent collection, which includes everything from paintings and sculpture to silverware and...
This week's podcast puts the spotlight on 2011 National Medal of Arts recipient Rita Dove. Dove has had a remarkable career as a poet, and she has the credentials to prove it. Not only was she the first African-American U. S. Poet Laureate, she was also the youngest ever appointed. She has also...
Thanks to some camera work by my wife Debby, I was able to get a photo with Mel Tillis, one of my musical heroes! Photo by Debby Landesman Earlier this week we honored the eight recipients of the 2011 National Medal of the Arts (and the nine National Humanities Medalists ). We kicked off the...
2009 National Medal of Arts recipient and singer/dancer/actress Rita Moreno receives her medal from President Barack Obama at an East Room ceremony at the White House on February 25, 2010. Photo by Richard Frasier. 2009 National Medal of Arts recipient and singer/dancer/actor Rita Moreno receives...
This week's podcast is a talk with award-winning director Stanley Nelson, who’s known for his documentaries about critical historical subjects such as Jonestown and Emmett Till. His recent film, Freedom Riders , continues that exploration. Freedom Riders tells the story of the...
Some of the 2011 Cave Canem Fellows with instructor Carl Phillips (back row, 2nd from right). Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths You might not expect Pompeii to figure significantly in the history of African-American literature, but it was a visit to the ancient buried city that inspired the name for...
When you work at the NEA, rummaging through old photo files feels like leafing through a scrapbook of the country’s artistic history. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve pulled together a few stunning examples of work done by African-American artists whom we’ve funded through...
Gregory Pardlo. Photo by Thomas Sayers Ellis Gregory Pardlo. Photo by Thomas Sayers Ellis. "We tend to underestimate the psychic costs of writing lyric poetry. It’s already a dangerous effort that requires considerable amounts of character and self-awareness." --- Gregory Pardlo...
Theaster Gates. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane, University of Chicago Magazine "Artists have to live passionately and deeply, share what they want, do what they can." --- Theaster Gates As you'll learn in the interview below, for Theaster Gates , there is no clear division between canvas and...
Houston Symphony Tunes Up by flickr user BFS Man It’s been nearly half a century since William J. Baumol and William G. Bowen advanced their theory of “cost disease,” using the performing arts as a case example. The idea remains as potent as ever: industries that do not realize...

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