David Beck at American Art



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Artist David Beck
David Beck (born Muncie, IN 1953) David Beck is influenced by crank toys, whirligigs, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mechanical robots called automata that delighted, and sometimes tricked, children and adults. Image Credits: Photograph by Jon Crispin.

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David Beck
MVSEVM David Beck, 2006 mixed media construction work: approximately 32 x 55 x 50 in. (81.3 x 139.7 x 127.0 cm) base: 37 Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Thelma and Melvin Lenkin 2006.8

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Architectural History
The Smithsonian American Art Museum's main building, a dazzling showcase for American art and portraiture, is a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States.

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"I don't really seem them as miniatures."
Miniatures became popular in England during the early 1700s, commissioned by wealthy families on the occasions of births, engagements, weddings, and bereavements. These paintings, elaborately set into lockets or brooches, provided the wearer with a sentimental connection to a loved one. Learn more at the American Art Museum's Luce Foundation Center for American Art.

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Sketch Pad

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The History of Museums
Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts. These were often displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. Public access was often possible for the "respectable", especially to private art collections, but at the whim of the owner and his staff.

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The Wilkes Expedition
The United States Exploring Expedition was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean ("the Southern Seas") conducted by the United States Navy from 1838–1842. The original appointed commanding officer was Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones. The voyage was authorized by Congress in 1836. It is sometimes called the "Ex. Ex." for short, or "the Wilkes Expedition" in honor of its next appointed commanding officer, U.S. Navy Lt. Charles Wilkes (1798–1877). The expedition was of major importance to the growth of science in the United States.

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Smithsonian Institution
The first international scientific expedition sponsored by the United States circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842, gathering natural history collections so vast they were estimated to weigh 40 tons. The U.S. Congress resolved to preserve these artifacts "collected at the expense of the government... as a memento of the science and energy of our navy, and as a means of illustrating and verifying the magnificent volumes which comprise the history of that expedition." Eventually the Smithsonian became home to these many specimens of natural history, ethnography and archaeology.

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Arshile Gorky
Born in Armenia, Arshile Gorky (whose real name was Vosdanik Manoog Adoian) endured a childhood of hardship and family tragedy during the Turkish invasion of his country. After his mother's death from starvation, he immigrated to the United States in 1920 and lived with relatives in New England before moving to New York. See Gorky's work at the American Art Museum.

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Artist Stuart Davis
Pioneer modernist painter who exhibited at the 1913 New York Armory Show. Davis believed that "a subject had its emotional reality," which could be gleaned through an awareness of geometric planes and spatial relationships. Learn more about Stuart Davis, and see his work in the collection of the American Art Museum.

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Artist Romaine Brooks
Romaine Brooks Born: Rome, Italy 1874 Died: Nice, France 1970 When she painted her own portrait, she revealed her intensely contradictory nature: extreme confidence coupled with fear of vulnerability. Her story and her work reveal much about bohemian life in the early twentieth century. Learn more about Romaine Brooks and her works in the collection of the American Art Museum.

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Artist Elie Nadelman
Elie Nadelman Born:Warsaw, Poland 1882 Died:New York, New York 1946 Nadelman was an early modernist sculptor who became widely known in Europe before moving to the United States. View Nadelman's work in the collection of the American Art Museum.

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Temple of Invention
A masterpiece of Greek Revival design built between 1836 and 1868, The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture was originally the United States Patent Office Building. It was conceived as the temple of invention, an expression of America's creative genius and technical prowess.

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The Colt Revolving Gun
Samuel Colt's patent for the Revolving Gun was issued February 25, 1836.

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Artist Walter Murch
Clock Face Walter Murch, 1962 oil on canvas mounted on wood 24 x 18 in. (60.9 x 45.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 1969.47.68 Murch pursued a number of mechanical motifs, like this painting of a clock face in the collection of the American Art Museum.

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Artist Wayne Thiebaud
Gum Machine, from the book Delights Wayne Thiebaud, 1964/published 1965 etching on paper plate: 3 7/8 x 3 7/8 in. (9.9 x 9.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. Frank Lobdell, San Francisco 1992.43.9 Thiebaud is represented by a number of works at the American Art Museum.

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Artist Jasper Johns
Corpse and Mirror II Jasper Johns, 1976 olor lithograph on paper sheet: 30 3/4 x 39 5/8 in. (78.2 x 100.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1978.143

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Artist Andy Warhol
Corporate Trade Ad Andy Warhol, ca. 1965-1970 Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1928 Died: New York, New York 1987 silkscreen on canvas mounted on paperboard mounted on fiberboard 30 x 32 in. (76.2 x 81.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Container Corporation of America 1984.124.303

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Artist Philip Guston
Transition Philip Guston, 1975 Born: Montreal, Quebec, Canada 1913 Died: Woodstock, New York 1980 oil on canvas 66 x 80 1/2 in. (167.6 x 204.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Musa Guston 1992.89 Smithsonian American Art Museum

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Other Works by David Beck
Movie Palace David Beck, 1990 Born: Muncie, Indiana 1953 mixed media construction 84 x 40 x 22 in. (213.4 x 101.6 x 55.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Ken and Judy Siebel and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 2000.27 Movie Palace is an elaborate kinetic sculpture that combines Hollywood escapism with the innocent pleasures of windup toys. Learn more at the Luce Foundation Center for American Art at the American Art Museum.

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David Beck
David Beck at the American Art Museum.

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Artist David Beck was commissioned to create MVSEVM to commemorate the reopening of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in July of 2006. Inspired by the American Art Museum's Patent Office Building, the model opens to reveal miniature artifacts and artworks as well as drawers containing hidden treasures.

Check out david's work on his website (www.davidbeckartworks.com). There are a ton of videos and images of small pieces to MVSEVM his Opera House and it keeps on going! David is amazing and an inspiration to all artists.
Check out david's work on his website (www.davidbeckartworks.com). There are a ton of videos and images of small pieces to MVSEVM his Opera House and it keeps on going! David is amazing and an inspiration to all artists.
I saw your Mvsevm last August while visiting my daughter who is a grad student in Museum Ed. at GW........I was just knocked out by it all.......and really think about it often.....I wanted to buy a book or a postcard or something to take home with me and there were none - much to my dismay.......I was recently back in DC for my daughter's graduation and tried again....and this time with success I have the wonderful little Mvsevm book to look through and enjoy often......you are truly an amazing man..........l
Hi - This is a video of David Beck's MVSEVM piece at the Smithsonian. American Art Museum. I thought Andy's wife might like to see it* He is REALLY something. You can see in the video where the panel Joan appears, is. You could forward this or she could just key in David Beck MVSEVM on the Internet. *You'll forgive me, I'v forgotten her name. Lovely lady. dutchie
I am not as acomplished as you but I have a miniature department store on youtube called shillmans. It is told in its facade of display windows that are changed monthly. I would like to ad more to the building itself. If you can give me some tips of fleshing out the building. go on youtube and type in "Shillmans" if you are so inclined. Again....you are so controlled and amazing.
I saw your work at the Portrait gallery in washington dc. Amazing !!!!! When I'm downtown I pay a special homage just to your exhibit.

This amazes me! From Bill Whiting who makes miniatures.

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