The Smithsonian American Art Museum Opens Its New Galleries for Folk and Self-Taught Art

59 Recent Acquisitions Are Featured

The Smithsonian American Art Museum‘s collection of folk and self-taught art represents the powerful vision of America’s untrained and vernacular artists. Represented in the museum’s collection are pieces that draw on tradition-such as quilts-and artworks that reveal a more personal vision. The museum has re-imagined its permanent collection galleries to feature 59 recent acquisitions, an expanded presentation of the beloved “Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly” by James Hampton, reopened historic windows and new oak floors. The galleries opened to the public today, Friday, Oct. 21.

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James Hampton, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly, 1950-1964, mixed media. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gift of anonymous donors; Gift of Margaret Kelley McHugh, Nancy Kelley Schneider and William H. Kelley; Gift of Harry Lowe.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has long recognized folk and self-taught art as integral to the greater story of American art,” said Betsy Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “The museum’s mission to tell the story of America through the art of its people is particularly relevant at a time when museums everywhere are realizing that an expanded narrative of what American art is is necessary for engaging and satisfying contemporary audiences and accurately portraying the scope of creativity in this country.”

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Emery Blagdon, The Healing Machine, 1955-1986, mixed media. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment; Gift of Dan Dryden, friend of Emery Blagdon; Gift of Kohler Foundation, Inc.; Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson, from the Margaret Z. Robson Collection.

Recently acquired works by Consuelo Gonzalez Amezcua, Emery Blagdon, David Butler, Ulysses Davis, Ralph Fasanella, Clementine Hunter, Dan Miller, Joe Minter, Eddy Mumma, J.B. Murray, Achilles Rizzoli, Melvin Way, Charlie Willeto, Clarence and Grace Woolsey, Purvis Young and Albert Zahn join visitor favorites by Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Martín Ramírez and Jon Serl. A striking presence in the galleries is a display of more than 60 sculptures and paintings by Blagdon that represents his constantly changing “Healing Machine.” It is the second-largest installation of his work on public view in the United States.

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Clementine Hunter, Melrose Quilt, 1960, fabric. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Museum purchase through the Barbara Coffey Quilt Endowment.

“The first-floor galleries for folk and self-taught art should have a powerful impact on visitors, conveying not only the museum’s commitment to diverse American narratives and manifesting the tremendous quality, depth and power that art by untrained artists can have, but also affirming its rightful position in a museum of great art,” said Leslie Umberger, the museum’s curator of folk and self-taught art.

Since it acquired Hampton’s “Throne” in 1970, the museum has been recognized internationally as a leader in championing the importance of works by artists who have no formal art training. Subsequent acquisitions, including major collections from Herbert Waide Hemphill Jr., Chuck and Jan Rosenak, and David L. Davies in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as recent selections by Umberger, have resulted in the museum becoming one of the only major American museums to clearly advocate for a populist and uniquely American voice within the context of great art. Continue reading

Delta Air Lines Debuts New Uniforms by Zac Posen

Delta Air Lines and New York fashion designer Zac Posen together unveiled an exclusive uniform collection today, which will be worn by more than 60,000 of the airline’s frontline employees including customer service agents, flight attendants, ramp agents and technicians. The contemporary line fuses together bold color palettes and classic styles, while paying homage to the heritage and iconic design from decades past to elevate the look and brand of Delta employees.

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Delta Air Lines and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 370 destinations on six continents. For more information visit news.delta.com. (PRNewsFoto/Delta Air Lines)

Delta Air Lines serves nearly 180 million customers each year. In 2016, Delta was named to Fortune‘s Top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the fifth time in six years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented five consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 319 destinations in 57 countries on six continents.

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Delta unveils Zac Posen-designed, inspired employee uniforms (PRNewsFoto/Delta Air Lines)

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Zac Posen with Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO.

Delta last updated its uniform collection for above wing employees including flight attendants and airport customer service agents, in 2006 with designs by Richard Tyler. The airline last updated its uniform collection for below wing employee employees, including technical operations employees and ramp agents, in 2000.

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Uniforms for Delta’s non-customer facing employees were developed by clothing retailer Land’s End with design inspiration and color consultation from Posen. Delta announced the production and design partnership with Land’s End last week.

The world’s best employees deserve the best uniforms and this new collection is classically influenced, yet modern,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “Zac and the Delta team worked closely with our people to create timeless and fashionable pieces that reflect the thoughtful and innovative spirit of Delta.

Posen partnered directly with Delta employees from nearly every work group to design the collection, developing a functional wardrobe fit for Delta’s diverse employee group and the environments where they work. Employees influenced the design and final selection of each uniform piece.

We wanted Delta employees to look glamorous on the job without sacrificing functionality and style,” said Posen. “I worked alongside employees to understand how they interact with the clothes they wear and developed a look that empowers and excites, because we want Delta’s global workforce to exude the confidence and thoughtfulness that reflects the airline’s brand.”

Posen’s designs drape employees in a wholly-reimagined mix of colors dubbed Passport Plum, Cruising Cardinal and Groundspeed Graphite, with accents of Skyline Slate and Traveling Thistle to bring a cohesive look across customer-facing and technical job functions.

There are a number of subtle details including a signature winged collar on the women’s Traveling Thistle blouse, the Delta logo, also known as the widget, accented throughout the collection and for non-customer-facing employees, reflective Delta widgets on high-visibility outerwear.

At the Delta Hub Runway Unveiling, some of the items in the lineup for the flight attendants and customer service agents include a feminine Passport Plum V-neck dress, peplum sweater, wrap dress, ottoman skirt suit and swing jacket. For men, a Groundspeed Graphite three-piece suit, Passport Plum crew neck sweater and widget-printed tie, among other pieces. For technical employees working on the airport ramp or in Delta’s TechOps division, a mid-layer sweater, three-in-one ANSI jacket and rapid-dry polo shirt are among the lineup. Continue reading