Virginia Mecklenburg is an award-winning writer and senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has organized exhibitions on African American Art, Ashcan Art, mid-20th century abstraction and realism, and New Deal art, as well as Romaine Brooks, Gene Davis, Edward Hopper, William H. Johnson, Norman Rockwell, and a host of other artists of the 20th century. Her articles on George Bellows, Richard Estes, Robert Indiana, Latinx artists Amalia Mesa-Bains, Emanuel Martinez, and Jesús Moroles, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Sloan, and others have appeared in exhibition publications and in American Art, American Art Review, and The Magazine Antiques. Her essay on American Art at the Armory Show was included in M. Kushner and K. Orcutt (eds.) groundbreaking publication The Armory Show at 100. She lectures widely and has served as a vice president of College Art Association and on advisory committees for the Inter-American Development Bank, the Museum of Latin America (OAS), Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the Sara Roby Foundation, and the Washington Sculptors Group. Mecklenburg received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Maryland, College Park.
It was a hot day. The sky was hazy, the air was still, and the sun had turned once-green grass to gold. Insects buzzed softly, and warm currents of air gently nudged the tops of the trees sheltering a barn. I was thereemotionally and experientially transported to the summer studio where Wolf Kahn created the most affecting landscapes I had ever seen.