1980 to now

It's never been harder to define "art" than it is today, but one thing is certain — artists are always having a conversation with the time they live in.

videos + essays

Over the next two years, Seeing America will grow to include 100 videos, 18 essays, quizzes, discussion questions and lesson plans.

Martin Puryear, <em>Lookout</em>
Martin Puryear, Lookout

Pierced with holes, this architectural sculpture offers both shelter from and exposure to the surrounding elements.

Kerry James Marshall, <em>Now And Forever</em>; Elizabeth Alexander, “American Song,” Washington National Cathedral
Kerry James Marshall, Now And Forever; Elizabeth Alexander, “American Song,” Washington National Cathedral

Kerry James Marshall and Elizabeth Alexander create words and images that fill the Washington National Cathedral with hope.

Rashid Johnson, <em>Stacked Heads</em>
Rashid Johnson, Stacked Heads

From Johnson's hollow, scarred bronze sculpture, nature is bursting forth.

Beatriz Cortez, <em>Ilopango, The Volcano That Left</em>
Beatriz Cortez, Ilopango, The Volcano That Left

The ancient volcano Ilopango is reimagined in this welded steel sculpture.

Pepón Osorio, <em>En la barbería no se llora (No Crying Allowed in the Barbershop)</em>
Pepón Osorio, En la barbería no se llora (No Crying Allowed in the Barbershop)

Osorio’s art explores the experience of being Puerto Rican in New York City.

Maya Lin, <em>Ghost Forest</em>
Maya Lin, Ghost Forest

Installed in Madison Square Park, these skeletal trees express the devastation of climate change.

The Chief Johnson Totem Pole
The Chief Johnson Totem Pole

Learn about the story of Fog Woman and Raven and the generations of this totem pole from the Tlingit

Amy Sherald, <em>Precious Jewels by the Sea</em>
Amy Sherald, Precious Jewels by the Sea

This monumental painting of Black people at the beach speaks to a dearth of Black figures in the art history canon

Marilyn Spoon, <em>Bandolier Bag</em>
Marilyn Spoon, Bandolier Bag

This bandolier bag is the first of its kind from the Sac and Fox tribe in more than 20 years

Richard Zane Smith, <em>Wyandotte Feast Pot</em>
Richard Zane Smith, Wyandotte Feast Pot

Smith uses historic Wyandotte forms to create this contemporary pot, bringing his Indigenous traditions into the present and future

Kerry James Marshall, <em>Our Town</em>
Kerry James Marshall, Our Town

The American Dream is not what it seems in this artwork that combines painting and collage

Shan Goshorn, <em>Sealed Fate: Treaty of New Echota Protest Basket</em>
Shan Goshorn, Sealed Fate: Treaty of New Echota Protest Basket

Goshorn weaves stories about forced removal from homelands and protest in this basket made of printed archival documents