High Art: A Decade of Collecting


High Art: A Decade of Collecting is among three new exhibitions that opened on July 26 at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibit, along with Searching for Goldilocks and Suited for Space, takes a uniquely artistic approach to exploring space and aviation and encourages visitors to stretch their imaginations and discover new ways of appreciating flight.

High Art: A Decade of Collecting, curated by Tom Crouch and Carolyn Russo, showcases 50 pieces of art acquired by the museum during the past 10 years. The press release from the news desk at Smithsonian states, “These pieces bring the static collection of airplanes and spacecraft in the museum to vibrant new life. The exhibition includes three sections: ‘Visions of Flight’ (conceptual works), ‘Faces of Flight’ (portraits) and ‘Looking Back’ (works related to historical events). Works by Fran Forman and Berndnaut Smilde create surreal visions of imagined worlds through photography while real pilots and astronauts, such as Lise Lemeland and Alan Bean, share their own recollections of flight. Annie Leibovitz offers an iconic portrait of Eileen Collins as a confident and determined space shuttle commander, and Albert Watson captures the beauty of the museum’s own space suit collection.”

More facts from High Art: A Decade of Collecting (courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum press office) include:

The National Air and Space Museum maintains the broadest and most important collection of aerospace-themed art in the nation — about 7,000 objects in a wide variety of styles and media.

The collection focuses on the theme of human-engineered flight as it relates to astronomy, ballooning, aviation and space exploration. Works of art date from the mid-18th century through the present day and include paintings, drawings, original prints, reproductions, architectural drawings, sculptures, photographs and textiles.

The museum actively seeks new works from artists and patrons in order to continue building the collection that will enrich the experience of today’s museum visitors and future generations to come.

The three exhibitions will be open to the public at the museum through Dec. 1.

The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Click here for more information.