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Blog : Objects and Voices

News and stories at the Smart.

Japan at the Fair, 1876–1920

by Chelsea Foxwell, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Chicago

last edited on Wed. June 10 2015

From the 1880s through the early decades of the twentieth century, Japan’s international exposition displays were large and multi-faceted. At the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Japan had the largest total floor space of any nation. This included an elegant Japanese-style building (the Ho-o-den) on the Wooded Isle in Hyde Park (today the site of Osaka Garden) and a prominent display in the Hall of the Fine Arts.

The Museum Classroom

last edited on Wed. May 27 2015

In spring 2014, the Smart Museum of Art invited 5th grade students from Beasley Academic Center to become artists and art critics.

Romantic Inter-Mediality

by Berthold Hoeckner, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Chicago

by David Wellbery, Professor of Germanic Studies and Social Thought at the University of Chicago

last edited on Fri. May 15 2015

Romanticism is the spawning bed in which the idea of the “total work of art” was born.

Between Two Worlds

by Kris Ercums, Curator of Asian Art and Global Contemporary Art, Spencer Museum of Art

last edited on Tue. May 5 2015

From émigré artists to Asian-American artists, this 40th anniversary micro-exhibition attempts to dissolve the worn-out distinctions between “east” and “west”

Marcel Duchamp: Boîte-en-valise

by Angela Steinmetz, Former Head Registrar, Smart Museum of Art

last edited on Tue. April 28 2015

In the late 1930s, Marcel Duchamp struck upon the idea of presenting a history of his best works in a small, portable box.

Times and Places that Become Us

by Kenneth Warren, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at

last edited on Wed. April 15 2015

Kenneth Warren on depictions of the African American experience in works by Romare Bearden, Kerry James Marshall, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Interaction: British and American Modernist Design

by Alice Kain, Assistant Registrar and Coordinator of Academic Initiatives

last edited on Wed. April 8 2015

Alice Kain looks at the relationship between British arts and crafts and American design and architecture.

Sylvia Sleigh, Lawrence Alloway, and The Turkish Bath

by Alice Kain, Assistant Registrar and Coordinator of Academic Initiatives

last edited on Tue. March 24 2015

A look at Sylvia Sleigh and Lawrence Alloway through the Smart Museum's collection

Paintings and Evidence

last edited on Wed. March 18 2015

Erwin Panofsky on the fifteenth-century German panel titled Royal Saint with Ring in the Smart Museum's collection

The Gift of Art

last edited on Wed. February 25 2015

Gifts constitute one of the most important ways that an art museum’s collection is sustained and increased over time. However, visitors to a museum rarely have access to the individual stories behind those gifts of art.