Dis­cover fe­line in­spi­ra­tion be­fore the dig­i­tal age

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This week’s prize for acu­ity goes to re­searchers at the Smith­so­nian In­sti­tu­tion’s Ar­chives of Amer­i­can Art for their new ex­hi­bi­tion, Be­fore In­ter­net Cats: Fe­line Finds from the Ar­chives of Amer­i­can Art. De­signed to grab on­line head­lines, the show com­prises 60 works – sketches, draw­ings, let­ters and pho­to­graphs – from the 19th cen­tury un­til the early noughties, be­fore the cat-as-meme fix­a­tion truly took hold. High­lights in­clude ma­te­rial by Jasper Johns, Hedda Sterne and Louise Nevel­son. The Ar­chives of Amer­i­can Art holds per­sonal mem­o­ra­bilia of artist’s lives and work from the past 200 years. Be­fore In­ter­net Cats is be­ing shown at The Lawrence A Fleis­chman Gallery in Wash­ing­ton un­til Oc­to­ber 29 (www.si.edu).

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