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Smithsonian American Art Museum - Smithsonian Institution (Chinatown)
Eighth and F streets NW
Washington, DC 20560

Housed in the Old Patent Office Building, the museum celebrates the work of American Artists.
(202) 633-1000


Daily, 11:30 am - 7:00 pm; through September 4




Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings

Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings

Culturadar Find Culturadar Find

In the 1980s, Donald Sultan (born 1951) began his industrial landscape series the Disaster Paintings. He worked with the subject for nearly a decade, using images of actual events drawn from the daily newspaper. Sultan’s Disaster Paintings illustrate robust, man-made structures—such as industrial plants and train cars—as fragile constructs that can be undone by catastrophic events. Distinguished for combining this subject matter with industrial materials, such as tar and Masonite tiles, the Disaster Paintings exemplify in both media and concept the vulnerability of the most progressive, manufactured elements of modern culture.