Archives of American Art presents Before Internet Cats:Feline Finds from the Archives of American Art, a new exhibition featuring 60 depictions and descriptions of cats from the Archives’ collection by various arists in a range of mediums, on view April 28–October 29, 2017, at The Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery in Washington, DC.
The exhibition features rare documents including sketches and drawings, letters, journals, and photographs from the 19th century through the 1980s, decades before cat videos came to dominate the Internet. Among the artists in the exhibition who paid tribute to their feline friends are Gertrude Abercrombie, Jay DeFeo, Mark Green, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Naul Ojeda, Miné Okubo, Kay Sage, Frank Stella, Hedda Sterne, Lenore Tawney, and Beatrice Wood.
Alternatively expressive and aloof, the contradictory attitudes of cats make them compelling sources of inspiration. They are seen in numerous guises: playful subjects, humorous topics of conversation, independent studio companions, and beloved members of the family.