Special Exhibitions

Beyond BollywoodBeyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation
Through July 12, 2015

From the builders of some of America’s earliest railroads and farms to Civil Rights pioneers to digital technology entrepreneurs, Indian Americans have long been an inextricable part of American life. “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” explores the Indian American experience and the community’s vital political, professional, and cultural contributions to American life and history. The exhibition moves past pop-culture stereotypes of Indian Americans to explore the heritage, daily experience, and diverse contributions of Indian immigrants and their descendants in the United States. Weaving together stories of individual achievement and collective struggle, Beyond Bollywood uses photography, narrative, multimedia, and interactive stations to tell a uniquely American story, while conveying the texture, vibrancy, and vitality of Indian American communities.

searchBeyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Indian ArtIndian Art: Tradition and Transition
Through July 12, 2015

This installation of 20th-century paintings by Indian artists explores the concept of abstraction as a vehicle for moving beyond culture through style, color, and form.

Fabric of IndiaFabric of India
Through August 15, 2015

Brilliant saris, shawls, and accessories in a profusion of colors and patterns will be the highlights of this exhibition. They include rich gold and silver brocades, intricately hand woven and tie-dyed silks, luxurious velvet and lace, gossamer cottons, and beautifully patterned embroideries.

Leviant's EnigmaNow You See it: The Art of Magic and Illusion
Through August 15, 2015

Illusions are surprising and intriguing. They distort our senses and mystify our logical thinking. This mind bending exhibition explores how the human mind can be fooled through optical illusions, a magician’s sleight of hand, and an artist’s distortion of perspective. Hands-on, interactive stations will invite visitors to test the boundaries of clarity and confusion.

Artists, magicians, and illusionists have been tricking the human eye for centuries. From the trompe l’oeil paintings of the Baroque period, to the Op-Art illusions of the 20th century, artists have distorted the viewer’s perception to create masterpieces of illusion. Magicians, using “sleight of hand” in the same way artists use hue, value, and perspective, have delighted spectators with seemingly impossible tricks. Similarly, contemporary illusionists have harnessed technology and animation to augment reality in logically defying ways. This exhibition will invite visitors to explore how these visual stunts distort perception.

Related Programs
Magic Camp, July 13 – 17

Image:  Leviant’s Enigma. This illusion is based on the painting “Enigma,” by Isia Leviant, 1984. Stare at the center magenta disk and you will see faint dots swirling around the purple circles. They can suddenly change direction, too. French artist Isia Leviant created this image in 1984, after being influenced by the Mackay Effect.

Picatinny ArsenalThe History of Picatinny Arsenal
Through May 31, 2015

Featuring text panels and photographs, this display teaches about the history of the United States Army Picatinny Arsenal and the role it has played in New Jersey since 1880.  Picatinny Arsenal is the Joint Center of Excellence for Armaments and Munitions, providing products and services to all branches of the U.S. military. Nestled in the northern New Jersey skylands, a team of 5,000-strong specializes in the research, development, acquisition and life-cycle management of advanced conventional weapon systems and advanced ammunition.

Image courtesy of Picatinny Arsenal.

Fresh Perspectives 2015
Through June 7, 2015

The annual Fresh Perspectives juried exhibition began in 1989 to give artistically accomplished high school students a professionally organized museum exhibition experience and to recognize art teachers for their encouragement and the effective teaching of these talented student artists.

Download the catalog here: Fresh Perspectives 2015 Catalog FINAL 4-9-15c

al green pottery websitePottery by Albert Green

For more than fifty years until his death in 1994, Albert Green produced works of genius that continue to influence the ceramic world today. Through years of experimentation and study, Albert was able to teach himself the intricacies of clay and glazes.  Simple utilitarian forms – the bowl, the bottle, the plate – became Albert’s canvases, allowing him to concentrate on the interplay of color and design which graces the surface of every piece.