Florentine Art Treasures Returned, 07/21/1945
Six trucks with part of the half billion dollars worth of Florentine art treasure, which was taken to Bolsano by retreating Germans, arrives at Piazzo Dei Signoria, Florence, Italy and passes by reviewing stand of American, English and Italian officials.
They have the art, we have the documents!
Join us for a fascinating discussion on Thursday, February 7, at 7 p.m.
Eleanor Jones Harvey, chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), and Michael Hussey, historian at the National Archives, will use images from the exhibit “The Civil War and American Art” at SAAM to explore the connections between these works of art and records from the National Archives.
Rex M. Ellis, associate director for curatorial affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, moderates a panel that includes Ira Berlin, professor of history at the University of Maryland.
The program is free! Enter through the “Special Events” extrance on Constitution Avenue. Take the Green/Yellow Metro lines to the “Archives” stop.
Image: Courtesy of SAAM’s exhibition “The Civil War and American Art.” Eastman Johnson, “A Ride for Liberty—The Fugitive Slaves,” March 2, 1862, oil on board, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. The Paul Mellon Collection, Photo: Katherine Wetzel, © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Mona Lisa in Washington
For 27 days, the Mona Lisa was lent to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC for a very special one picture loan. This special exhibition was arranged by the White House and was viewed by 518,525 people in Washington before it traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from February 7-March 4, 1963.
Unveiling of the Mona Lisa. President Kennedy, Madame Malraux, French Minister of Cultural Affairs Andre Malraux, Mrs. Kennedy, Vice President Johnson. Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art., 01/08/1963
Happy National Comic Book Day!
The National Archives has a copy of issue #1 of MAD magazine. This copy of the famous comic book is a permanent federal record, and was submitted to a Senate subcommittee on juvenile delinquency as evidence of comics’ corrupting influence on young people.
For three days, experts testified on whether or not comic books were “printed poison” for young people. The hearings created so much bad press for the comics industry that it created the Comics Code Authority to self-regulate the content of the magazines.
Examples of the 1954 Code criteria include “Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader” and “Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.”
Mad? Lovers’ Lane? The Fighting American? What was (or is) your favorite comic book?
More background on Andy Warhol and President Carter’s meeting at The Text Message blog: Remembering Andy through the Archives.
Jimmy and Andy in the Seventies
Jimmy Carter with Andy Warhol during a reception for inaugural portfolio artists. 6/14/1977
RIP Andy Warhol: August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987
“Seabrook Landing, near Port Royal, S. Carolina (Coaling Station)”, 02/11/1863
From the Series: Herbert Eugene Valentine’s Sketches of Civil War Scenes
Dismissed from his job as a draftsman with the U.S. Coast Survey on January 9, 1855, after only two months, influential 19th-century artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler completed this etching “Sketch of Anacapa Island” during his brief federal service.
"Sketch of Anacapa Island," 1854; Records of the Coast And Geodetic Survey
Students! Need a project over Winter Break? There are still 17 days left to enter the Documerica-inspired "Document Your Environment" Student Multimedia Challenge, sponsored by the National Archives and the EPA.
Dated October 25, 1901, this is a pastel and chalk rendering of the steam yacht America by Russell Williams Porter, an artist and surveyor for the the Baldwin-Ziegler Polar Expedition of 1901. The America would later be crushed by pack ice during the subsequent Fiala-Ziegler Expedition of 1903.
A veteran of six Arctic trips between 1894 and 1903, Russell W. Porter left behind an impressive collection of paintings, drawings, notebooks, journals, and correspondence.