The Renwick Gallery might look like your classic, 1800s Smithsonian style building, but it’s a transformative space. Walking through the dimly lit dollhouses of Murder Is Her Hobby, the rooms feel much smaller and more intimate. As you crouch and press your face against the glass, it almost seems as if the ceilings have sunken lower. The gallery’s newest exhibition, No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, has the opposite effect. These pieces tower far above you and almost touch the ceiling. Every piece fills the room to the brim, making full use of the space and playing off of the Renwick’s classic architecture.
“We have this incredible platform of a 1860’s building in this East Coast Smithsonian museum,” said Nora Atkinson, who works as the Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft at the museum. This juxtaposition between the old school disposition of the Smithsonian and the wild ephemeral nature of Burning Man is at the heart of the exhibit. Atkinson and her team have worked hard to strike a balance between the two. “[We’re] able to say that this artwork is worthy of being here, while still trying to transport people to the desert,” she explained, “because it’s so important to understand the desert to understand the art, so I think we’re doing a combination of things.” > Brightest Young Things, Read More