What Makes Us Smile?

What Makes Us Smile?

Oct. 9, 2010 - Sep. 4, 2011
Zanvyl A. Krieger Main Building

Image Gallery

"The Candy Kids" by Patrick-Earl Barnes
"The Candy Kids" by Patrick-Earl Barnes

2010 Acrylic, oil pastels, ink cut-out drawings and collage candy package decoupage on wood Collection of the Artist

Brian Dowdall
Brian Dowdall

c.1988 - 1993 tempera and house paints, cardboard, pizza box Collection of Brian Dowdall & Alison Spiesman

"On Deck Circle" by Tom Wilborn
"On Deck Circle" by Tom Wilborn

c.1970 Discarded factory wood scrap, paint Collection of John Turner

"Cactus Roadmap" by Jon Sarkin
"Cactus Roadmap" by Jon Sarkin

2002 Pen and marker on paper Collection of Ruthann Traylor

"Smiles Are Sweet" by Shannon Warren
"Smiles Are Sweet" by Shannon Warren

2010. Gingerbread and icing. Permanent Collection of the American Visionary Art Museum, Gift of the Artist.

"Untitled" by C.T. McLusky
"Untitled" by C.T. McLusky

Date unknown Collage Collection of John Turner

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About the Exhibition

"'WHAT MAKES US SMILE?' was a gleeful celebration of, and serious investigation into, what constitutes authentic human joy. Co-curated by renowned creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, Artist Gary Panter – known for, among many other things, the visual whimsy behind Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse – and AVAM founder Rebecca Hoffberger, Smile featured costumes, cartoons, vintage toy assemblages, cross cultural and ancient concepts of humor, and a visitor interactive whoopee cushion bench. Featuring works by 90 artists, imps, and comedians with accompanying essays, factoids, quotes, and film that reveled in humanity's gift of laughter. Author of 'The Science of Laughter,' researcher Dr. Robert Provine, was a guiding force in the show’s illumination of just why we smile, and filmmaker Andi Olsen’s 'Where the Smiling Ends' documentary short revealed just how rare authentic, non-forced, joy has become." - Founder, Director, and Chief Curator, Rebecca Hoffberger

our generous sponsors

PLATINUM
Bank of America, Whiting-Turner, and Marilyn Meyerhoff

GOLD
Pat & Peter Handal, Marjorie Wyman Charitable Trust, Ted Frankel/Sideshow, Max's Taphouse, Urban Chic, The Krupp Center

SILVER
Brenda Brown-Lipitz Family Foundation, Brown Advisory, Edlin Charitable Foundation, Holly Sadeghian, Mike & Patty Batza, J. Vinton Schafer, Joan Coley, Dr. Kim Hammond, Falls Road Animal Hospital and The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, Leah Fried Sedwick, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

BRONZE
Pepsi Beverages Company, Arnie & Alison Richman, John Glover, Rebecca Bruder, Kathy & Joel Sher, Venable, LLP, William B. Gilmore, Peter Snell, onomonoMEDIA LLC

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