Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: The Art of Harry Smith
The Whitney invites disabled and non-disabled visitors to experience the richness and complexity of American art. Here’s what to expect before visiting Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: The Art of Harry Smith. If you need to request any accessibility accommodations, please review our Access Services page.
The survey exhibition, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: The Art of Harry Smith, features installation, sound, and video based artwork that explores diverse histories of folk music that Smith collected and archived through his work as an artist, experimental filmmaker, and music ethnologist. This exhibition also includes ethnographic research and materials that Smith conducted of Indigenous people. Due to the age of the research, some elements of the exhibition include language currently considered outdated and offensive. This exhibition is not accessible for people with photosensitive epilepsy or light-sensitive seizure disorders, due to multiple films and video works with flashing lights that are dispersed throughout the space.
Visitors are intended to weave around distinct architectural forms installed in the space, including around two zig-zag-shaped walls with displays of Smith’s ephemera and artwork. Most of the artworks should not be touched or interacted with in a tactile way, unless indicated on a wall label. There is seating provided throughout the exhibition.
The exhibition contains multiple audio and video installations, and the sound-rich environment is loud. This exhibition offers a listening lounge where visitors can explore the Anthology of American Folk Music, paired with liner notes. In the listening lounge, the lighting varies due to a full wall of exposed windows overlooking the Hudson River.
The light levels range from very low to medium-low throughout the rest of the exhibition to accommodate projected videos. A small black box theater with very low light will immerse visitors in Smith’s collage film Heaven and Earth Magic Feature (c. 1957–62).