The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art

October 31, 2014 – February 22, 2015
Walton Ford, Visitation, 2004

Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC

3rd Floor, North Floor Plan

Some 50 works by more than a dozen contemporary artists who employ avian imagery as a conduit for understanding contemporary culture are on view. The exhibition explores the following themes:

  • How we identify and describe birds.
  • What birds reveal about our evolving relationship with the environment and about our competing impulses to control and conserve nature.
  • How birds are significant in our imaginative and emotional lives as emblems of the great American wilderness.
  • Why the search for avian life has become a sacred ritual in secular society and how this search effects the way we see ourselves as individuals and as a society.