Re-Envisioning America

Roy O Disney Theater, CalArts

Valencia, CA

December 12, 2010

CalArts presents Re-Envisioning America: A Multi-Media homage to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, an evening featuring live musical performances and a gallery exhibition. Th evening includes performances by Clay Ginson, Keenan Hateley, Rimpau, Nicole Josephian et Ariana Daub, Tree of Three Singers, Jake Faulker et Amanda Adrian, Codi Barbini, Driftwood Singers, Patrick Ferris and Jenny Long, Ben Schwab et Jackie Urlik, Lahanne Saccone, Eliot Eidelman, Okie-Dokie, Amanda Adrian, Cory Hanson, Rose Arscott, Tessa Neustadt, Stanley Thiel, John Schwerbel Quartet, Kittens Inspired by Kittens, Bobby Halvorson, Tahnee Gehm and Laura Anderson Et. Co.

More information available here


American Standard Time Presents: A Tribute to Harry Smith

Columbia City Theater

Seattle, WA

November 26, 2010 

KEXP DJs Greg Vandy and Kurt B. Reighley host a tribute to The Anthology of American Folk Music with live performances by Zoe Muth, Pufferfish, Shenendoah Davis, Gravel Road, Levi Fuller, Cahalan Morrison & Eli West, Barton Carroll and Josh Rabie of Water Tower Bucket Boys.

More information available here


Annual Harry Smith Festival

Elk Creek Cafe

Millheim, PA

November 14, 2010 

A local brewery hosts its third annual Harry Smith festival with musicians performing songs from the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music. Musical acts include Peter Stampfel, Catherine Irwin, K.C. Rounders, Hannah Bingman, Little Silver, the Wringers, Chris Moore & Sons, Butcher Boy & Steve, and host band Chicken Tractor Deluxe.

More information available here.


Ordinary Madness Exhibition Opening and Film Screening

Carnegie Museum of Art

Pittsburgh, PA

October 14, 2010 

The Carnegie Museum of Art inagurates its contemporary art "Ordinary Madness" exhibition with a screening of Heaven and Earth Magic.


More information available here.

The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music

Pickford Film Center

Bellingham, WA

October 5, 2010 

More information available here.

Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area

Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive

Berkeley, CA

September 17, 2010- March 31, 2011

In celebration of the publication of Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area 1945-2000 the Pacific Film Archive and San Francisco Cinematheque present this landmark exhibition of experimental film and video.

Guests and speakers include George Kuchar, Peter Hutton, Chip Lord, Ernie Gehr, Lawrence Jordan, Wilder Bentley II and many others.

The series is curated by Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz, and Steve Seid.

More information available here.

Harry Smith and Flying Lotus

Tate Modern

August 16, 2010

Sold out screening of Harry Smith's Heaven and Earth Magic with live musical accompaniment by recording artist Flying Lotus.

More information available here.

Vernacular Modernism and Harry Smith

Oslo Academy of Fine Art

April 21-22, 2010

There is no doubt that vernacular histories such as American early blues music are highly refined artistic expressions. Artist and archivist, Harry Smith, insisted that symbolic developments across cultures were fundamentally related, and found many distinctions to be arbitrary at best. Tensions between so-called high and low culture is a dynamic constructive force that drives culture forward to express the needs and realities of every new age.

Full schedule, including a talk with Harry Smith Archives director Rani Singh and screenings of Early Abstraction, Late Superimpositions, Seminole Patchwork Quilts, and Heaven and Earth Magic, available here.


posted 16 April 2010

John Zorn Plays to Harry Smith Films

Anthology Film Archives

April 1, 2010

We're a little late getting the news out here (Lou Reed made a surprise guest appearance!), but a conscientious fan managed to get it up on our Facebook page, which generally has more recent updates. Details on the Anthology event here.


posted 16 April 2010


Chelsea Hotel: Ghosts of Bohemia / Harry Smith, Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Michael Auder, Jonas Mekas

DOX Center for Contemporary Art, Prague

4 December 2009 - 15 February 2010


This exhibition doesn’t aspire to present a comprehensive history of the Chelsea Hotel and its bohemia. Instead, it focuses on three seminal artists associated with that legendary place - Harry Smith, Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe – to explore the changing notions of bohemia from the ‘50s to the ‘80s. The work and lives of Harry Smith, Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe represent multiple chapters in the story of America’s bohemia. They all struggled with modern contradictions between material progress and spiritual pursuits or between the artist’s critical attitude to society and his dependency on it. Their work and lives also expose a changing attitude to success. By comparing Smith, Warhol, Mapplethorpe and also other two artists, Jonas Mekas and Michel Auder, a complex picture emerges, revealing not only differing notions of bohemia’s “otherness” and various attempts to address the above contradictions, but also describing bohemia’s trajectory in the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition highlights the crucial role of bohemia in modern culture and ask what is its meaning today when we may be witnessing the demise of bohemianism? Or its fundamental transformation?


posted 22 December 2009


Two upcoming Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular book events

Book Signing and Conversation

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

7:00 PM

Book Soup

8818 W. Sunset Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90069

Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular editors Rani Singh and Andrew Perchuk, plus special guests, will discuss the life and works of Harry Smith.


Smith on Smith

Thursday, January 28, 2010

7:00 PM

Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90024


Free; limit one ticket per person on a first come, first served basis.

Join Patti Smith and friends at the Hammer Museum for a night of film, live music, and remembrance of filmmaker, musicologist, ethnographer, bohemian, and occultist Harry Everett Smith.



posted 25 November 2009


Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular now available for pre-order!

This new, wide-ranging study of Harry Smith's life and work, published by the Getty, will be available on November 30th. It's being sold for pre-order on Amazon and at the Getty bookstore.

Filmmaker, musicologist, painter, ethnographer, graphic designer, mystic, and collector of string figures and other patterns, Harry Smith (1927-1991) was among the most original creative forces in postwar American art and culture, yet his life and work remain poorly understood. Today he is remembered primarily for his Anthology of American Folk Music (1952)--an idiosyncratic collection of early recordings that educated and inspired a generation of musicians and roots music fans--and for a body of innovative abstract and nonnarrative films. Constituting a first attempt to locate Smith and his diverse endeavors within the history of avant-garde art production in twentieth-century America, the essays in this volume reach across Smith's artistic oeuvre.

In addition to contributions by Paul Arthur, Robert Cantwell, Thomas Crow, Stephen Fredman, Stephen Hinton, Greil Marcus, Annette Michelson, William Moritz, and P. Adams Sitney, the volume contains numerous illustrations of Smith's works and a selection of his letters and other primary sources.

Andrew Perchuk is assistant director for Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute. Rani Singh is senior research associate in Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute as well as the director of the Harry Smith Archives.


posted 25 November 2009