As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed to the public as of Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time.
With this bold affirmation, the painter Jackson Pollock, like Whitman before him, conflated himself and his art with nature itself. From plumbing the depths of human nature in his explorations of the subconscious, Pollock evolved his famous "drip" paintings, in which paint was flung, dribbled, and slashed onto huge horizontal canvases in a form of visual free verse that recalls Whitman's breaking of traditional poetic formats. When painting, Pollock listened to jazz by musicians like Charlie Parker, seeking always, like Parker, to dissolve artificial visions between artist and art. Pollock wrote that his technique helped him achieve this: "On the floor I am literally 'in' the painting."