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Fountain With Butterflies in Periwinkle and Milk, 2022

Amber Cowan's Dioramas of Vintage Glass Will Transport You to Whimsical Worlds

The artist’s novel take on contemporary glasswork earned her the Smithsonian Women’s Committee 2023 Delphi Award

Historian Peter Mancall says New English Canaan is “not very long” and “not very well written,” but holds immense value in what it says about the nation’s founding.

How America's First Banned Book Survived and Became an Anti-Authoritarian Icon

The Puritans outlawed Thomas Morton's "New English Canaan" because it was critical of the society they were building in colonial New England

A new collection of works by and about Phillis Wheatley includes a rare handwritten manuscript of the poet's 1773 poem titled "Ocean."

The Smithsonian Acquires Major Works by and About Phillis Wheatley

The stunning trove of texts sheds new light on Wheatley, the first African American to publish a book of poetry

Nam June Paik’s 1995 Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii—a pulsing map of the 50 states lined with 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing, with each state defined by flickering video from 336 televisions and 50 DVD players—is one of the museum’s most popular pieces.

With Renovated Galleries, the Smithsonian Expands Its Approach to Contemporary American Art

The historic hall in the American Art Museum where President Abraham Lincoln held his second inaugural ball welcomes more diverse voices and visions

Alma Thomas, Autumn Leaves Fluttering in the Breeze, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of the artist, 1980.36.9

Alma Thomas' Signature Style Is Full of Color and Tiled Brushstrokes

After a career as a schoolteacher, the Washington, D.C.-based painter flourished, creating vibrant patterns inspired by nature, the cosmos and music

The Hope Diamond was cut from Louis XIV’s “French Blue."

How a Smithsonian Curator Discovered the Hope Diamond’s Many Secrets

The storied past of the 45.52-carat sapphire-blue gemstone hails back to the days before the French Revolution

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian on December 6, 2000, the day of their arrival in Washington, D.C.

Revisit 51 Years of Giant Pandas at the National Zoo, From Beloved Babies to Fun in the Snow

The Panda House's eight occupants have played a key role in conservation efforts over the decades

Tian Tian playing in the snow. Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and their son Xiao Qi Ji will return to China by December 7.

Why the National Zoo Is Saying Goodbye to Its Giant Pandas

Staff remain hopeful that members of the threatened species will be back in Washington in the near future

The female whale was found stranded in January on a beach near Palm Coast, Florida.

How an Orca Skeleton Made Its Way From Florida to the Smithsonian

Washed up in a rare stranding event, the newly collected specimen will offer rich exploration for researchers

Installation view of Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2023. Acrylic and latex paint on wall.

The Painted Poetry of Jessica Diamond

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum hosts the artist’s largest installation yet

Outside of Earth, is there any place a human could survive unprotected for even ten seconds?


 

Could Humans Survive Unprotected Outside of Earth's Atmosphere for Even Ten Seconds?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

Installation photography of Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2023.

Video Artists Set the American Experience to Music

The Smithsonian American Art Museum brings its latest time-based media art to the widest possible audience, including the deaf and hearing impaired

A team including research scientists at Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute became the first in the world to successfully cryopreserve coral using a technique called isochronic vitrification.

Scientists Cryopreserve and Revive Coral Fragments in a World First for Conservation

The new freezing technique could reinvigorate corals suffering from warming oceans—or even preserve human organs in the future

Designed in 1906, Glenn Curtiss' first V-8 motorcycle required a longer, sturdier frame than any previous bike to support the massive weight of the engine.

A Century Ago, Glenn Curtiss Was the 'Fastest Man on Earth'

Before he changed aviation forever, the daredevil achieved an unparalleled speed record on land

In 1963, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to the largest crowd ever to participate in a civil rights demonstration in Washington, D.C. where he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech.

To Mark the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech Goes on Display

The draft on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was produced a few hours before King took to the podium

Huey P. Newton (right) and his second wife, Fredrika Newton

The Misunderstood Visionary Behind the Black Panther Party

Huey P. Newton has been mythologized and maligned since his murder 34 years ago. His family and friends offer an intimate look inside his life and mind

In its second installment, “AeroEspacial” tells the story of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which housed the world’s largest radio telescope for over 50 years.

An In-Depth Look at Latino History Among the Stars and Skies

This summer, a podcast series from the National Air and Space Museum discusses Operation Pedro Pan, Latino Futurism and “Star Wars”

House Between Forest and Field in Dutchess County, New York, was designed by nARCHITECTS, the winner of this year's National Design Award for architecture.

Meet the Innovative Winners of This Year's National Design Awards

Cooper Hewitt recognizes talented trailblazers who are at the forefront of their fields

Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow), Four Seasons series: Summer, 2006, archival pigment print, edition 27, 23 x 26 inches

These Artists Are Redefining the American West

A new Smithsonian American Art Museum show surveys the work of Black, Asian American, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and Latinx artists who have lived in the region

Musicians Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc take center stage in a 2013 celebration of the 40th anniversary of hip-hop. The brother and sister duo threw a "Back-to School Jam" in August, 1973 and launched a lasting music genre.

How Hip-Hop Was Born 50 Years Ago in a Block Party in the Bronx

Arising out of New York's close-knit Black communities, the genre revolutionized the music industry and gave rise to a new generation of sounds and stars