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Calendar: United States

Events in Art and Archaeology

<P>Leonardo da Vinci: <EM>A Bust of a Warrior</EM>, c. 1475/1480Silverpoint on prepared paperOn loan from The British Museum, London © The Trustees of The British Museum, London</P>

Leonardo da Vinci: A Bust of a Warrior, c. 1475/1480
Silverpoint on prepared paper
On loan from The British Museum, London
© The Trustees of The British Museum, London

Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES  •  National Gallery of Art  •  3 May - 26 July 2015
 

Since the Middle Ages, artists have used metalpoint to create some of the most beautiful and technically accomplished drawings ever made. Interest in the medium peaked during the Renaissance when it was embraced by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Albrecht Dürer. Revived in the nineteenth century, metalpoint continues to be practiced today.

An artist working in metalpoint uses a sharp, pointed 
instrument (a stylus) with a metal tip to draw on paper, 
parchment, or wood that has been specially coated. As 
the stylus travels across this slightly abrasive ground, a 
small amount of metal is scraped off and remains behind,
 creating a line. Almost any metal can be used, though only lead, which is softer than others, can be used without a ground. When first drawn, all metalpoint lines, including those made by gold, appear gray, an optical effect that stems in part from the breaking down of the metal into tiny particles. Some metals oxidize, or tarnish, to different colors over time: silver, for example, generally turns golden brown. Others, such as gold, never tarnish and remain gray. Goldpoint appeals to some artists for this reason, although it was rarely used before the nineteenth century. Most of the drawings in this exhibition are silverpoints, by far the most common form of metalpoint through history.

Silverpoint is often considered a challenging medium. The lines can be difficult or even impossible to erase depending on such factors as the type of ground. Unlike pen or chalk, which can produce strokes of varying thickness or darkness depending on how hard artists bear down on the instrument, silver leaves a nearly uniform line. Nonetheless, the medium offers practical and aesthetic advantages: Its portability and convenience make it particularly suited for use in sketchbooks, as artists do not have to carry an inkwell or wait for ink to dry. Silverpoint is especially resistant to smearing and therefore has the added benefit of durability. Also, the precision and subtlety of its delicate lines render it ideal for capturing fine detail. Above all, it is the shimmering beauty of silverpoint that has attracted artists across the centuries.



The National Gallery of Art Website


Contact: The National Gallery of Art
National Mall
4th and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20565
Tel: (1) 202 737 42 15

Seth Eastman (1808–1875), <EM>Hunting the Buffalo in Winter</EM>Plate 10, printed by R. HinshelwoodFrom the collections of the Nicollet County Historical Society.
Seth Eastman (1808–1875), Hunting the Buffalo in Winter
Plate 10, printed by R. Hinshelwood
From the collections of the Nicollet County Historical Society.
Commemorating Controversy: The Dakota–U.S. War of 1862
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES  •  The National Museum of the American Indian  •  14 January - 29 December 2015
 

In the late summer of 1862, a war raged across southern Minnesota between Dakota akicitas (warriors) and the U.S. military and immigrant settlers. In the end, hundreds were dead and thousands more would lose their homes forever. On December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were hung in Mankato, Minnesota, by order of President Abraham Lincoln. This remains the largest mass execution in United States history. The bloodshed of 1862 and its aftermath left deep wounds that have yet to heal. What happened 150 years ago continues to matter today.

Commemorating Controversy: The Dakota–U.S. War of 1862—an exhibition of 12 panels that explores the causes, voices, events, and long-lasting consequences of the conflict.



The National Museum of the American Indian Website


Contact: The National Museum of the American Indian
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20560
Tel: (1) 202 633 10 00

Events in Pop Culture and Cinema

Attacks on America: The Fight Against Terrorism and Hate Crimes
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES  •  Crime Museum  •  18 March - 15 June 2015
 
 
The exhibit features terrorist attacks committed on American soil and attempts to address a topic that is often in the headlines: Hate Crimes. Moreover, the show seeks to educate the public on how terrorist attacks and Hate Crimes are classified and what they look like to day. Visuals and objects include World Trade Center rubble and other 9/11 artifacts, a runner’s medal and bib from the Boston Marathon Bombing, a Ku Klux Klan ceremonial robe, a noose from a lynching, and the gun used in the 2012 attack aimed at the politically conservative Family Resource Council in Washington, DC.

Crime Museum Website


Contact: Crime Museum
575 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: (1) 202.621.5550



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