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Artists Unframed: Snapshots from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

By Merry A. Foresta 
Published May 2015 by Smithsonian Books

 Book cover of 'Artists Unframed: Snapshots from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art'

Tucked away among the letters, diaries, and other ephemera in the Smithsonian's archives lies a trove of rarely seen snapshots of some of the twentieth century's most celebrated artists. Unlike the familiar official portraits and genius-at-work shots, these humble snaps capture creative giants with their guard down, in the moment, living life. 

Pablo Picasso stands proudly on a balcony with young daughter Maya—a tiny, meticulously inked annotation penned by an unknown hand proclaims that "he's very much in love." Jackson Pollock morosely carves a turkey while his mother, Stella, and wife, Lee Krasner, look on. A young Andy Warhol clowns for the camera with college friend Philip Pearlstein, and in a later shot more closely resembles his famously enigmatic public self at a gallery opening with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.