Thursday, February 23, 2012

Videoconference with the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Yesterday the 8th grade classes met the Smithsonian American Art Museum through the use of our districts Distance Learning Lab.

The museum offered us a 45 minute introduction to the building and artwork they own. Miss Otis, our conference host, taught us a lot useful information and interesting things regarding art, museums, and the Smithsonian.

Here are some of the things we learned:

  • The Smithsonian owns over 50,000 works of art, but can only display about 2,000 at a time.
  • One of Lincoln's inaugural balls was held in the building and there was a food fight that broke out.
  • The courtyard was designed to be used year-round. It mixes classic and modern architecture. There are live trees and water the visitors can walk through.
  • The 13 ton sculpture of George Washington is too heavy to be displayed in the Art Museum, so it is in the National Museum of American History.
  • Vaquero by Luiz JimĂ©nez, is a fiberglass & airbrushed equestrian (horse) sculpture that stands outside of the museum. 
  • The museum itself is not on the National Mall.
  • The work of art, Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii by Nam June Paik, includes the viewer by using a camera and a television where the image appears in the Washington D.C. space.

Now we are hoping to make a stop there during our March D.C. Trip!

8th Graders: What else did you find interesting about this videoconference? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Woa! i love all the 8th grade portraits. i really like the sparkly one. that, is very creative.

    Riley W Period 2

  2. i thought the eight grade self-portraits were pretty cool. some of the students used different textures, materials, and patterns which looked nice.

    alex n.
    period 2

  3. That museum looks really cool. I hope next year when we go to dc, we will be able to go to the art museum!! Maybe we will even get to see some REALLY unusual art!!!

    Emma S.
    Period 2