Take a docent-led tour of Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975 and Tiffany Chung: Vietnam, Past Is Prologue at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Artists Respond is the most comprehensive exhibition to examine the contemporary impact of the Vietnam War on American art. This exhibition presents both well-known and rarely discussed works, and offers an expanded view of American art during the war, introducing a diversity of previously marginalized artistic voices, including women, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. The exhibition makes vivid an era in which artists endeavored to respond to the turbulent times and openly questioned issues central to American civic life.
While Artists Respond emphasizes how American artists grappled with the dilemmas of the war as it was unfolding, Vietnam, Past Is Prologue probes the legacies of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Internationally acclaimed artist Tiffany Chung documents accounts that have largely been left out of official histories of the period and begins to tell an alternative story of the war’s ideology and effects. A centerpiece of the exhibition is a new series of video interviews with former Vietnamese refugees. Through meticulously drawn and stitched maps, emotional interviews, and intensive archival research, Chung explores the experience of refugees who were part of the large-scale immigration during the post-1975 exodus from Vietnam. She begins with a fine-grained look into one person’s story—that of her father, who fought for the South Vietnamese military during the war, widens out to encompass the stories of former refugees from Vietnam, and pulls out further still to show the global effects of their collective migration in the war’s wake.
When: Saturday June 29, tour starts at 11 a.m. Following the tour, we will have lunch at 12:30 pm.
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW, meet in the G Street lobby (before the museum opens).
Metro: Gallery Place (red, green, yellow lines)
Lunch location: TBD
This members-only event is limited to 15 people (members may register one guest). Tour is free; lunch not included.