Smithsonian's Archives of American Art Presents An Evening of Spoken Word and Song with Patti Smith

January 4, 2008
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In a special concert benefiting the Archives of American Art and sponsored by Washington Life Magazine, Smith will perform songs, poems and readings inspired by the personal papers and writings of America's most treasured artists found within the Archives' collections.

An innovative and electric performer, Smith is best known for her early influence in the punk movement. Her artwork was first exhibited at Gotham Book Mart in 1973, and she has been associated with the Robert Miller Gallery since 1978. "Strange Messenger," a retrospective of 300 works, made its debut at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and has been exhibited worldwide, most notably at the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia; Haus der Kunst, Munich; and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Her books include "Witt," "Babel," "Woolgathering," "The Coral Sea" and "Auguries of Innocence." In 2005, she received the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest grade awarded by the French Republic to eminent artists and writers who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts throughout the world. In March 2007, Smith was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $50 for general admission and $40 for Archives' members. For tickets and information, contact the Archives at (202) 633-8768 or visit the Archives' Web site at

The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art enlivens the extraordinary human stories behind America's most significant art and artists. It is the world's largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America. Its collections, comprising 16 million items, are the world's largest single source for such information.