Cai's tree at the Sackler

Nation’s Capitol Ushers in the Holidays with an Exploding Christmas Tree

Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang doesn’t hate Christmas; he just loves blowing things up. And so it was that at 3 p.m. Friday in Washington, D.C., tourists on the National Mall were exposed to the thunderous spectacle of a Christmas Tree going fire-spitting nuclear. D.C. was a suitable locale for Cai’s “Black Christmas Tree,” given the […]

Art Diplomacy

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presents the State Department Medal of Arts to Chinese artist Cai Guoqiang at a ceremony on Friday in Washington. Cai was among five international and American artists awarded for work that promotes understanding across cultures. The event also marked the 50th anniversary of the department’s Art in Embassies program. […]

State’s Hillary Clinton celebrates marriage of art and diplomacy

Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang presents one of his remarkable “explosion events,”where a 40-foot pine tree erupts in a shimmer of fireworks as if in a “tree lighting” ceremony, followed by a cascade of black ink-like smoke that mimics traditional Chinese brush drawings. Fifty years after the Kennedy administration started a small-scale effort to place American […]

No Longer a Party Divided at Sackler Museum

It’s been a difficult dozen years for Washington socialites, who started planning their comeback last spring, no matter who won the White House: Republican hostesses Ann Nitze and Susan Pillsbury would help Dame Gillian Sackler toss the “The Party of the Year” to celebrate the Sackler Museum’s 25th anniversary. Sackler’s late husband had donated 1,000 […]
Serving Abroad...through their eyes exhibit in the Pentagon

Pentagon Honors Its Art in Embassies Winners

Defense Department leaders November 30 honored 12 photography winners, selected from more than 3,000 submissions, for their participation in the State Department’s Art in Embassies (AIE) program. Created to promote deeper cultural understanding through sharing art, the AIE program — which marks its 50th anniversary in 2012 — selects and displays artwork purchased or borrowed […]

Hillary Clinton Honors Photographer Carrie Mae Weems with State Dept. Medal

Photographer Carrie Mae Weems received a State Department medal from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a luncheon on Friday, November 30, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Clinton honored Weems and four other artists—Jeff Koons, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shahzia Sikander and Kiki Smith—with the first U.S. Department of State Medals of Arts ever awarded. […]
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta with awardee

Art in Embassies: Serving Abroad Through Their Eyes

U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies and U.S. Department of Defense Announce “Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes” Twelve “Best in Show” Awardees. In commemoration of Veterans Day, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies (AIE) and the U.S. Department of Defense proudly announce the 12 “Best in Show” featured in […]

DoD Honors 12 Photos: Serving Abroad…Throught Their Eyes

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2012 – Defense Department leaders today honored 12 photography winners, selected from over 3,000 submissions, for their participation in the Arts in Embassies Program. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Pentagon Press Secretary George E. Little recognized 12 “best in […]
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Serving Abroad awards

Delano Magazine – The colour of possibility

Delano Magazine – When you walk into the Luxembourg residence of US ambassador Robert Mandell, you are immediately greeted by a Wolf Kahn canvas depicting a country pond in brilliant greens worthy of Chagall. As you pass into the greeting room, you experience the work of Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and […]

Clinton to award US State medal for arts to Pakistani artist

US State Department selects Shahzia Sikander among five artists to receive recognition for their art in US embassies. PHOTO: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will award the US State Department Medal of Arts to Pakistani painter Shahzia Sikander, along with four other artists, reported LA Times. This is the first time this award […]

Secretary Delivers Art in Embassies Address

The following are the remarks for the Art in Embassies 50th Anniversary Luncheon. SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very, very much. I am absolutely delighted to see the Ben Franklin Room filled for this event, which is so important to us here at the State Department. And I want to thank Beth for her tireless efforts […]

Today: A Tree Blows Up on the National Mall

In what may be one of the first planned explosions on the National Mall, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang is expected to blow up a 40-foot pine tree this afternoon in honor of the Sackler Gallery’s 25th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Art in Embassies program. Using 2,000 firework-like explosives, Guo-Qiang will take the […]

Hillary Clinton will give five artists medals for embassy art

For 50 years the U.S. State Department has been deploying visual art as part of the art of diplomacy, via a program called Art in Embassies. On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give the U.S. State Department Medal of Arts to five artists who have shown “an enduring commitment” to the effort: Jeff […]

Syracuse artist Carrie Mae Weems will receive award from Secretary Hillary Clinton

There are different approaches of diplomacy to broker peace and understanding. Cultural programs can serve as a bridge between people and nations. One cultural emissary is photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems. She will be honored by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an awards ceremony Friday at the State Department. Weems will receive […]
Carrie Mae Weems being honored by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Jeff Koons being honored by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Jeff Koons Receives a Medal of Honor From The Department of State

Jeff Koons discusses his work on the occasion of being bestowed with a Medal from Department of State, as part of the 50th anniversary of the “Art in Embassies” cultural exchange program. Of the international reception to his art, Koons says, “…Americans are more intimidated by art, and they haven’t really come to realize that […]

Hillary Clinton Will Give Koons, Cai Guo-Qiang, and More State Department’s First Arts Medals

In a luncheon ceremony tomorrow at the State Department’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will honor five contemporary artists — Jeff Koons, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems — with the department’s inaugural Medal of Arts, a new award recognizing the honorees’ commitment to […]

Nick Cave Performing at Anniversary Celebration

‘Soundsuits’ sculptor Nick Cave performs at the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies 50th anniversary celebration Sculpture reinvents itself as sound, as music and as a source of protection in the hands of Nick Cave. The Chicago-based performance artist and sculptor constructs “Soundsuits,” material-heavy costumes that inspired a number of Corcoran College of Art + […]

Art World to Celebrate U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies’ 50th Anniversary

In honor of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ Office ofArt in Embassies (AIE) 50th anniversary, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host a luncheon at 12:15 p.m. on November 30th in the State Department’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms to recognize AIE’s achievements. The AIE mission is two-fold – to create the highest quality […]
Cai's tree at the Sackler

Want your Christmas tree to really sparkle this year? Try adding 2,000 fireworks

Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s master of extravagant holiday displays, has got nothing on Cai Guo-Qiang. To celebrate the Sackler Gallery’s 25th anniversary, the Chinese artist famous for his Olympic pyrotechnics display will ignite a daytime fireworks show that riffs on the Christmas tree lightings taking place around the country. At 3 p.m. Friday in front […]

Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Landmark Week of Events

In celebration of 25 years of groundbreaking exhibitions, programs and scholarship in Asian art, the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will host a week of public events, welcoming international arts and culture aficionados. Visitors can experience an immersive 3-D “cave,” meet their favorite authors as well as attend lectures and performances by distinguished scholars and […]
Freer Sackler Peacock Room
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