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November 20, 2009 – January 10, 2010
Archives of American Art
8th and F Streets, NW
Location: Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery, Reynolds Center, 1st Floor, East
The cards on view offer insight into how artists imagined the holidays. Greetings of the season and wishes for a Happy New Year range from Philip Guston's watercolor of a cozy winter fire to Ernest Blumenschein's silk screen of Taos. Whimsy and humor can be found in designs by William Gropper, William T. Wiley, and Alexander Calder. Dan Flavin, Hanne Darboven, and Kay Sage sent quirky greetings in the form of stickers, Mickey Mouse, and rubber bands. Photographers Arnold Newman and Nickolas Muray snapped holiday cheer with their cameras while other artists mailed weavings, collages, paintings, and prints. Collectively these holiday cards confirm the irrepressible artistry of their senders.
Related Smithsonian book: Handmade Holiday Cards from 20th-Century Artists (2012)