The National Museum of American History is not an art museum. But works of art fill its collections and testify to the vital place of art in everyday American life. The ceramics collections hold hundreds of examples of American and European art glass and pottery. Fashion sketches, illustrations, and prints are part of the costume collections. Donations from ethnic and cultural communities include many homemade religious ornaments, paintings, and figures. The Harry T Peters "America on Stone" collection alone comprises some 1,700 color prints of scenes from the 1800s. The National Quilt Collection is art on fabric. And the tools of artists and artisans are part of the Museum's collections, too, in the form of printing plates, woodblock tools, photographic equipment, and potters' stamps, kilns, and wheels.
"Art - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Stephen Ferris etched Home of Mariano, Gypsy King in Granada, Spain, during his 1881 visit to sites associated with Mariano Fortuny, a Spanish artist he deeply admired. In a letter from Granada to art editor Sylvester R. Koehler, Ferris told of his fascination with gypsy cave dwellings. He described them as “most picturesque and weird, overgrown with vines, cactus, and aloes . . . . I have made several drawings of Gitanos [gypsy] caves and of one especially a favorite model of Fortunys [sic] a Gitano prince in splendid costume. We bought his dress and I intend to paint and etch my picture when I get time.” Ferris etched the gypsy’s portrait in costume separately and included it, slightly altered, on the right in this print showing the family and animals assembled in front of their cave. Ferris noted in pencil on the print that it was etched directly from life.
- Gypsies or gitanos still live in caves in the Sacromonte(Holy Mountain) area of Granada. Today the number of cave dwellers has dwindled, but the area remains famous for flamenco singing and dancing.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- graphic artist
- Ferris, Stephen James
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center