Artists Unframed: Snapshots from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

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9781616892951: Artists Unframed: Snapshots from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art
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Tucked away among the letters, diaries, and other ephemera in the Smithsonian's archives lies a trove of rarely seen snapshots of some of the twentieth century's most celebrated artists. Unlike the familiar official portraits and genius-at-work shots, these humble snaps capture creative giants with their guard down, in the moment, living life.

Pablo Picasso stands proudly on a balcony with young daughter Maya—a tiny, meticulously inked annotation penned by an unknown hand proclaims that "he's very much in love." Jackson Pollock morosely carves a turkey while his mother, Stella, and wife, Lee Krasner, look on. A young Andy Warhol clowns for the camera with college friend Philip Pearlstein, and in a later shot more closely resembles his famously enigmatic public self at a gallery opening with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

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About the Author:

Merry A. Foresta is an independent curator and arts writer. A former curator of photography at the Smithsonian Institution, she served as the founding director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative from 2000 to 2010.

Review:

"A charming selection of everyday snapshots depicting artists on vacation, at parties and with their dogs.. Merry A. Foresta's informative text contains tidbits as surprising and intimate as the photos." -New York Times

"This collection of over 100 rarely-seen snapshots from the private papers of many of the artists peels a way a layer of mystique and provides a glimpse into the subtle ways in which they appeared to unwind like the rest of us." -WashingtonPost.com

"These casual pictures convey an unrehearsed truthfulness that formal portraits do not.... A 1945 day at the beach with Jackson Pollock is a standout, while pictures of undergrad Andy Warhol hanging out with fellow students at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1948) surprise and intrigue." - Library Journal

"The Smithsonian's archives contain hundreds of photos of 20th-century artists away from their studios. From Pablo Picasso to Frida Kahlo, they are captured on the beach, carving a turkey, petting their dog. More than 100 of these are collected in a new book called Artists Unframed. "In the popular imagination, artists are romantic, exotic beings who live glamorous lives," writes curator Merry Foresta in the introduction, "but these unassuming snapshots depict them with their families, friends and lovers" -The Guardian

"Snapshots offer an informal, often candid look at a person, which explains the intrigue of Artists Unframed, a new book that features rarely seen pictures of the 20th century's top artists." -ArchitecturalDigest.com

"Legendary artists being perfectly ordinary." -Vulture.com

"Artists Unframed presents more than 100 photographs from the collections of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, all depicting famous artists in intimate, personal moments. Some images are posed, others are candids. There's an un-self-conscious Andy Warhol on the beach at Fire Island, N.Y., sprawled out on the sand with his friends. A young Ansel Adams mugs for the camera in a train station photo booth. Pablo Picasso poses in shorts on a sunny balcony with his young daughter, Maya - the photograph inscribed, "His daughter with whom he's very much in love." -Los Angeles Times

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