Hip Hop Exhibition @ Smithsonian

The distinguished Smithsonian Institution opened a new exhibit in honor of hip hop culture – “RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture.”

The exhibition opened on February 8th, and already has been a big hit for the museum. “I don’t want to hype it, but it’s been unbelievable,” says Goodyear. In particular, he says a Saturday talk with Scheinbaum was so popular that “you couldn’t pack one more person into the gallery.”

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery – part of the world’s largest museum complex and research organization – tells the stories of America through the individuals who have shaped U.S. culture. Nearly 30 years after hip hop first exploded onto the national music scene with “Rapper’s Delight,” this showcase recognizes a generation that has found inspiration and expression through hip hop.

Among the highlights is a portrait of LL Cool J by New York artist Kehinde Wiley. Wiley also contributed paintings of Ice T and Big Daddy Kane. Other notable works include photographs of Common and Mos Def by New Mexico artist David Scheinbaum and video-based portraits by University of Maryland teacher Jefferson Pinder. Artists Tim Conlon and Dave Hupp contributed four large 1980s-style graffiti murals that illustrate graffiti’s importance to the development of hip-hop culture.

If you are going to be in Washington D.C., this is a showcase not to be missed. It is located at the Smithsoinan’s National Portrait Gallery at Eighth and F Streets, NW, in Washington D.C.

The exhibition opened on February 8, 2008 and will close on October 26, 2008. Admission is Free.

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