Discoveries from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art
by Mary Savig
Pub Date 30 Apr 2019
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Cats, cats, and more cats! Expressive or aloof, affectionate or enigmatic, cats have complicated characters that make them compelling artists' muses. Artful Cats explores the quirky and charming relationships of artists with their cats in 130 rarely seen photos, paintings, sketches, manuscripts, and letters from the Archives of American Art. Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Louise Nevelson, Marcel Breuer, Yves Tanguy, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Weston, Robert Indiana, Judy Chicago, Berenice Abbott, and Romare Bearden show off their artful cats, which appear as companions, inspirations, instigators, and often regents of the home or studio. The images, culled from the archive's extensive holdings from the nineteenth century through today, celebrate our cultural heritage through our enduring fascination, love, and bemusement with our feline familiars. A foreword by Kate Haw, director of the Archives of American Art, describes how these archival treasures provide a window on unexpected and personal details of celebrated artists' lives and work.