The current exhibition from the Hoover Institution accommodates browsing, but the real lure is the chance to be transfixed. Art and History: Treasures from the Hoover Library and Archives is a broad sampling of art and memorabilia that can convey the spirit—indeed, the anguish or elation—of historic eras and events.
Consider this work from the final years of Tsarist Russia, signed by icon painter V. Guryanov (1866-1920) and dated 1914. It depicts saints under the protecting veil of the Mother of God and may have been painted as a gift to commemorate the marriage of Princess Irina Alexandrovna and Prince Felix Felixovitch Yusupov.
Other works include Huang Zhen's delicate sketches of the Long March, which led to Mao Zedong's control of Chinese Communism, and selections from the institution's poster collection. Admission is free, and the exhibit runs through December 20 at the Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion.