Hirshhorn Plaza

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maira Kalma
Maira Kalman. Image courtesy of the author.

In Celebration of Kalman’s New Book: “And the Pursuit of Happiness”

Media only: 

Hirshhorn Museum:   Erin Baysden
(202) 633-0828; baysdene@si.edu
Library of Congress:  Guy Lamolinara
(202) 707-9217; glam@loc.gov

Media websites:  

The Hirshhorn Museum launches a collaboration with the Library of Congress and its acclaimed Center for the Book with a reading by Maira Kalman, widely renowned writer, illustrator and designer. The reading celebrates Kalman’s newest book, And the Pursuit of Happiness, which is also the name of her popular NYTimes.com blog. This event is the first in a series of joint presentations by the museum and the Library that will focus on new books by and about artists. 

Kalman’s reading takes place on Nov. 30 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Montpelier Room of the Library of Congress in the Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The author will also sign copies of her book.

And the Pursuit of Happiness is Kalman’s year long exploration of America’s past and present in the form of a richly illustrated essay. Energized and inspired by the 2008 elections, Kalman traveled to Washington, on Inauguration Day, launching a national tour that would take her from a town hall meeting in Newfane, Vt., to the inner chambers of the Supreme Court, on a quest to find out how democracy works in America. It is fitting to have the Hirshhorn and the Library of Congress co-host this special program, since much of Kalman’s book pays visual and verbal homage to Washington D.C., featuring such locations as the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial and the National Portrait Gallery. The book is both a personal memoir and evidence of democracy: a great tribute to the nation’s history and a powerful note of optimism for the future. 

About the Author
Maira Kalman is a contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker and other major publications. She is the author of The Principles of Uncertainty and she illustrated the best selling edition of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. Ms. Kalman’s 12 children’s books include Max Makes a Million, Stay Up Late, Swami on Rye and What Pete Ate from A to Z. She has also designed fabric for Isaac Mizrahi, accessories for Kate Spade, sets for the Mark Morris Dance Company and, with her late husband Tibor Kalman under the M&Co label, clocks, umbrellas and other accessories for the Museum of Modern Art. Kalman’s work is shown at the Julie Saul Gallery in Manhattan.

About the Hirshhorn 
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works in its collection. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs that explore the art of our time. Located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (except Dec. 25). Admission to the galleries and special programs is free. For more information about exhibitions and events, please visit hirshhorn.si.edu. To request accessibility services, please contact Kristy Maruca at marucak@si.edu or (202) 633-2796, preferably two weeks in advance.

About the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress
Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The Center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center. 

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