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We’re not like regular hedgehogs. We’re soft-furred. Five new species of soft-furred hedgehogs from Southeast Asia have ...
01/08/2024

We’re not like regular hedgehogs. We’re soft-furred.

Five new species of soft-furred hedgehogs from Southeast Asia have been identified in a study led by Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History scientists. The study described two entirely new species of soft-furred hedgehogs and elevated three subspecies to the level of species. At home in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, these soft-furred hedgehogs don't have spines but do sport pointy snouts.

The study relied on international collaboration among scientists and included applying modern techniques such as DNA analysis to a specimen that had been in the Smithsonian's collection for 84 years.

New mammal species are rarely found—but this discovery proves that there's always more to learn, especially about smaller nocturnal animals.

📷: Quentin Martinez, www.quentinmartinez.fr, all rights reserved.
Lean more here: https://s.si.edu/41RcHll

01/07/2024

Growing up in a Mexican American family, my fondest childhood memories always involve the Christmas season.

01/07/2024

Happy Three Kings Day to those who celebrate!

This holiday commemorates the arrival of the three kings—Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar—to Bethlehem; it’s a tradition celebrated in Spain, Puerto Rico, many Latin American countries, and some Latino communities across the United States. In Puerto Rico, for example, children leave boxes of hay and bowls of water for the kings’ horses the night before and wake up to find gifts the three kings have brought them.

Although the tradition began in medieval Europe, where the kings are shown riding camels, Puerto Rican images such as this one generally show them riding horses. This carved and painted wood artwork of "Los Reyes Magos," attributed to Hipolito Marte Martinez in the early 20th century, is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery collections.

▫️

¡Felicidades a quienes celebren el día de reyes!

Esta festividad conmemora la llegada de los tres reyes, Balthazar, Melchor y Gaspar, a Belén; es una tradición celebrada en España, Puerto Rico, muchos países de América Latina y algunas comunidades latinas de los Estados Unidos. En Puerto Rico, por ejemplo, los niños dejan cajas de heno y cuencos con agua para los caballos de los reyes la noche anterior y se despiertan para encontrar los regalos que les han traído los tres reyes.

Aunque la tradición comenzó en la Europa medieval, donde los reyes se muestran montados en camellos, imágenes puertorriqueñas como esta generalmente los muestran a caballo. Esta obra de arte en madera tallada y pintada de "Los Reyes Magos", atribuida a Hipólito Marte Martínez a principios del siglo XX, se encuentra en las colecciones del Museo de Arte Americano.

In 1928, Mickey Mouse made his film debut in Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie.” This year, the film entered the public do...
01/05/2024

In 1928, Mickey Mouse made his film debut in Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie.” This year, the film entered the public domain.

This animation cel (or celluloid) is in the collection of our National Museum of American History. A cel is a transparent hand drawn sheet used in the process of animation. Characters were drawn on cels and superimposed on a fixed background image to reduce the number of reproductions necessary to produce an animation.

Do you know what the background is for this cel?

⛵: Reproduction animation cel, “Steamboat Willie,” Walt Disney Studios, ca. 1988

Everything’s coming up Roses! For many people across the United States, watching the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl footb...
01/01/2024

Everything’s coming up Roses!

For many people across the United States, watching the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl football game, based out of Pasadena, California, is a New Years Day tradition.

This 1921 cover of the Pasadena Evening Post, from the collection of our National Museum of American History, spotlights an American football player bursting through a window of pink roses. Underneath are six images featuring the landscape of Pasadena.

What are your New Years Day traditions?

We'll be blasting the bluegrass version of "Auld Lang Syne" tonight. How about you? Learn more about the history of the ...
12/31/2023

We'll be blasting the bluegrass version of "Auld Lang Syne" tonight. How about you?

Learn more about the history of the song, we have a podcast for that. si.edu/sidedoor/auld-lang-what

Happy Kwanzaa! Celebrated over seven days, Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates histor...
12/26/2023

Happy Kwanzaa! Celebrated over seven days, Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates history, values, family, community and culture. It is centered around seven principles:

1️⃣ Umoja (Unity)
2️⃣ Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
3️⃣ Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
4️⃣ Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
5️⃣ Nia (Purpose)
6️⃣ Kuumba (Creativity)
7️⃣ Imani (Faith)

DC-area friends, our Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum has seven days of free Kwanzaa programming. Registration recommended! anacostia.si.edu

This pinback button, previously owned by Jan Bailey, is in the collection of our Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

12/25/2023

What showed up under your tree this ? 🎁🎄⁣

For this little girl, captured by photographer Rev. Henry Clay Anderson, it was a bike and an "I Cry 'Mama'" doll.

Anderson documented the daily lives of Black Americans in the middle-class African American community of Greenville, Mississippi.

Our museum is home to more than 5,000 images taken by Anderson in the mid-20th century South, capturing everything from weddings to funerals and much of life in-between.

📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Charles Schwartz and Shawn Wilson, © Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Cue “Christmas Wrappings” by The Waitresses 🎶 From crafting to gift-giving, it’s always the season for cute wrapping pap...
12/22/2023

Cue “Christmas Wrappings” by The Waitresses 🎶
From crafting to gift-giving, it’s always the season for cute wrapping paper. We love recycling retro designs. Which design inspires you?

🎄: Christmas Trees, The Crystal Tissue Co. from our Cooper Hewitt
🎈: Gordon Fraser Gift Wrap from our National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
🦋: Butterflies from our Cooper Hewitt
🧤: Merry Christmas Mittens from our Cooper Hewitt

Share the gift of knowledge with lifelong learners around the world! Fuel more moments of discovery in 2024 by making a ...
12/21/2023

Share the gift of knowledge with lifelong learners around the world! Fuel more moments of discovery in 2024 by making a tax-deductible year-end gift today. Your support will bring dynamic exhibitions, groundbreaking research, and impactful educational programming to learners everywhere. bit.ly/3Tw5q8i

Winter days like today can make you want to cling to light and warmth wherever you can find it, much like this painting ...
12/21/2023

Winter days like today can make you want to cling to light and warmth wherever you can find it, much like this painting from our Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery by artist Alice Pike Barney.
Did you know that our Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery is home to over 250 Alice Pike Barney paintings?

🖼️: Alice Pike Barney, “Woman Clothed with the Sun,” 1904, pastel on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Laura Dreyfus Barney and Natalie Clifford Barney in memory of their mother, Alice Pike Barney, 1951.14.114

From the dreaded middle seat, we dream of traveling in style. From our Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, a few options...
12/20/2023

From the dreaded middle seat, we dream of traveling in style. From our Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, a few options. Which would you prefer for your holiday travel?

🌝 : An early idea for space travel in Jules Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-Seven Hours and Twenty Minutes: And a Trip Round It,” 1874
✈️ : "The Electrical Experimenter" by Hugo Gernsback from 1918
🚌 : London’s “new” double-decker, forty-six seater bus from 1920
🎈 : Balloon liftoff made by Charles dans La Prairie de Nesles on December 1, 1783
🚗 : The electric boardwalk chair run by a motor, 1913-1914

“When you see them hunting their goldfish, you'll be reminded, ‘Oh yeah, they're predators,’ as they snag their goldfish...
12/19/2023

“When you see them hunting their goldfish, you'll be reminded, ‘Oh yeah, they're predators,’ as they snag their goldfish and then bite their heads off.” - Rebecca Sturniolo, assistant curator of the American Trail at our Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

While they may not be as cuddly as they look, river otters are making their presence known now more than ever. While we don’t know exactly why, researchers at our Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are exploring otter health and diet to see if these are factors in their apparent expansion.

Do you want to learn more about this mysterious apex predator of the Chesapeake Bay? Check out our episode, “Welcome Back, Otter." https://s.si.edu/46UBupu

Perfect time for a photo op! Thank you to the over 24 million people who have visited our National Air and Space Museum,...
12/15/2023

Perfect time for a photo op!

Thank you to the over 24 million people who have visited our National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center since it opened 20 years ago today! Located in Chantilly, Virginia, about 30 miles from the museum on the National Mall in D.C., it features some incredible examples of air and space history, such as the Space Shuttle Discovery and Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

1️⃣ : Perla (.inspace) posing with the Space Shuttle Discovery

2️⃣ : Yeiny () overlooking the Mary Maker Engen Restoration Hanger

3️⃣ : Juan José (.j_negrete.I) posing with the Space Shuttle Discovery while wearing a space suit

“With a golden ticket, it’s a golden day!” This Golden Ticket was featured in the 2005 film, “Charlie and the Chocolate ...
12/15/2023

“With a golden ticket, it’s a golden day!”

This Golden Ticket was featured in the 2005 film, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” directed by Tim Burton. Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, the story follows a little boy, Charlie Bucket, who wins the coveted golden ticket. It not only grants admission to W***y Wonka's chocolate factory, but a lifetime supply of chocolate. Along with his formerly bedridden Grandpa Joe, Charlie seizes his opportunity to explore the most secretive chocolate factory in the world. Things go awry when not everything in Wonka’s factory of “pure imagination” is what it seems.

Our golden ticket is in our National Museum of American History. Gift from Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

12/14/2023

Behind the scenes yesterday, we revealed a newly-commissioned portrait of Oprah Winfrey. The painting, by Chicago-based artist Shawn Michael Warren, is now on display in the National Portrait Gallery. Come check it out!

Credit: Oprah Winfrey by Shawn Michael Warren, oil on linen, 2023. National Portrait Gallery USA, Smithsonian Institution.

Yes, before you comment, you are THAT old. And you should probably go feed your Tamagotchi.The Tamagotchi was the most s...
12/11/2023

Yes, before you comment, you are THAT old. And you should probably go feed your Tamagotchi.

The Tamagotchi was the most sought-after holiday gift in 1997 and was known for being very needy. These digital pets needed to be fed and cared for, just like the real thing. Unlike a real pet, you could take your Tamagotchi anywhere on its keychain. Like a real pet, you had to clean up after it. Ours is in the collection of our National Museum of American History.

Did you have a Tamagotchi or other digital pets?

This little friend is a Toad Mountain Harlequin Frog, an endangered species from the Darién region of Panama. This and o...
12/10/2023

This little friend is a Toad Mountain Harlequin Frog, an endangered species from the Darién region of Panama. This and other species are protected by Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project (PARC).

The Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project is a collaborative effort between Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute as well as Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Zoo New England. To help rescue and preserve the 12 endangered species of amphibians on their list, PARC scientists have focused on breeding endangered amphibians as well as finding ways to reduce the impact of disease so they can be released back into the wild.

12/09/2023

Forests play a critical role in reducing the impacts of climate change.

Shop with a purpose this holiday season! We have recommendations for the knowledge-lovers on your list.When you shop wit...
12/08/2023

Shop with a purpose this holiday season! We have recommendations for the knowledge-lovers on your list.

When you shop with SmithsonianStore, you make a difference. All proceeds support the Smithsonian mission. Use code SAVE10 to save 10% plus free shipping at SmithsonianStore.com, through Dec. 9.

🚀 For the future astronaut: Atom Brick Space Shuttle Discovery
🍽️ For the foodie: “New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian” by Chef Freddie Bistoie and James O. Fraioli
🧣 For the fashionista: Birds of Brilliance Silk Scarf
🦖 For the mini paleontologist: Two-in-One Super Dig Kit
🖼️ For the art lover: “Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: The Collection”
🎵 For the music fan: Old School Mix Tape T-Shirt

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s... a Super Seal!Sebastian is a third grader who cares a lot about animals, as demonstrat...
12/08/2023

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s... a Super Seal!

Sebastian is a third grader who cares a lot about animals, as demonstrated in his artistic representation of his seal superhero. This aquatic do-gooder saves fellow sea creatures by “ripping off evil plastic eight-pack rings.”

Created during our Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's Conservation Classroom program, this activity highlights animal adaptations. For example, did you know that seals can see better underwater than above the surface? To help seals thrive, it is important to protect their habitats from trash as entanglement and ingestion of plastics can be deadly.

Check out this lesson and create your own aquatic superhero: https://s.si.edu/3TdnbZS

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah! Who are you sending a Hanukkah card to this season? This one will stay lit for a...
12/07/2023

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah! Who are you sending a Hanukkah card to this season? This one will stay lit for all eight nights. It was designed by Ted Naos, dated 1994, and is in our Cooper Hewitt's collection.

How are you doing? We're peachy keen! Enjoy our peachiest pictures from across the Smithsonian.🍑 🍑 🍑 1. Drawing, “Peach ...
12/07/2023

How are you doing? We're peachy keen!
Enjoy our peachiest pictures from across the Smithsonian.

🍑 🍑 🍑

1. Drawing, “Peach and Orange”; Designed by Joseph Schillinger (American, b. Ukraine, 1895-1943); USA; watercolor on paper; 1984-119-5. Collection of our Cooper Hewitt
2. Mary Vaux Walcott, “Ivory Baneberry (Actaea arguta),” 1922, watercolor on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery, 1970.355.414
3. Walter Shirlaw. Sketchbook, circa 1859. Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941. Collection of our Smithsonian's Archives of American Art
4. Peach dress and belt worn by Oprah Winfrey on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Collection of our Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Oprah Winfrey
5. Rosa “Meiggili” Peach Drift. Collection of our Smithsonian Gardens
6. Beryl (var. morganite). Collection of our Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
7. Foam pointed ear tips worn by actor Leonard Nimoy in his role as Spock in the original 1960s “Star Trek” series. Collection of our National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
8. Cover of Ann McMillan’s album “Whale - Wail, In Peace, En Paix,” 1986. Collection of our Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
9. Naked Mole-rat from our Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
10. Scottdale Textile Mills in Georgia commissioned a number of textile designs from artist Pop Chalee ((Merina Luján Hopkins), Taos Pueblo, 1906-1993) between 1948-1952, including peachy #112 here. Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian 25/4115

Gwich’in artist Margaret Nazon grew up looking at stars in Canada’s Northwest Territories but she didn’t incorporate her...
12/06/2023

Gwich’in artist Margaret Nazon grew up looking at stars in Canada’s Northwest Territories but she didn’t incorporate her childhood passion for astronomy in her art until she was in her 60s, after seeing images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Swirling galaxies are not traditional subjects in Gwich’in beadwork, so Nazon developed her own signature style.

She created this artwork for the “Lights Out: Recovering Our Night Sky” exhibition at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

“Lights Out” explores how the night sky—and its disappearance due to light pollution—affects all life on Earth, from natural ecosystems to human cultures. It’s on view through December 2025.

🌌 : “Milky Way, Starry Night # 2” by Margaret Nazon, Gwich’in Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, Canada, 2021.

We reflect on the legacy of Norman Lear, screenwriter and producer, who died yesterday. In popular shows such as "All in...
12/06/2023

We reflect on the legacy of Norman Lear, screenwriter and producer, who died yesterday. In popular shows such as "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons," Lear departed from the typical sitcom fare of the era to explore the complex social issues of the day.

Set in Queens, New York, "All in the Family" followed the Bunker family, headed by hothead Archie and kindhearted Edith. In 1978, the cast visited our National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, to donate two well-known pieces of the set—Archie and Edith's chairs. This Smithsonian Institution Archives photo from the donation ceremony features from left to right actor Jean Stapleton, Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, Lear, and actors Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner.

Archie and Edith's chairs are currently on display in National Museum of American History's "Entertainment Nation" exhibition.

Next time you take a deep breath, thank your friends under the sea. When the ocean is healthy, Earth is happy. Coral ree...
12/05/2023

Next time you take a deep breath, thank your friends under the sea.

When the ocean is healthy, Earth is happy. Coral reefs help maintain the ocean's health as one of its most important ecosystems, providing habitat for about a quarter of marine life. However, since 1950, Earth has lost about half of its coral reefs.

Scientists from our Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and around the world are working together to protect the coral population. One method is a cryopreservation technique called isochoric vitrification, which opens the door to collecting and preserving coral fragments easily and rapidly at an urgent moment for coral worldwide. Research is still being done to perfect this process with a goal to save as many corals as possible by 2030.

Credit: Stephani Gordon/Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Take a deep breath and thank a forest. As the "lungs" of the Earth, forests are a source of oxygen in the atmosphere.  B...
12/04/2023

Take a deep breath and thank a forest. As the "lungs" of the Earth, forests are a source of oxygen in the atmosphere.

But how do scientists assess the health of forests around the globe and study how they are affected by extreme weather and climate change? By comparing notes.

Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) is a global network of forest research sites and scientists who are active in 77 forest research sites across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. That's seven million trees!

By working together, scientists from across the Smithsonian continue to cultivate new knowledge of how we can nurture the world around us. ForestGEO is led by our Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute along with Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

🌴 🌳 🌲 🎋
Which of these forests would you most like to stroll through?

1. Ngel Nyaki, Nigeria, Photo Credit: David Kenfack
2. Wytham Woods, UK, Photo Credit: David Kenfack
3. Luquillo, Puerto Rico
4. Wanang, Papua New Guinea
5. Sinharaja, Sri Lanka
6. Xishuangbanna, China, Photo credit: CTFS
7. Yosemite, CA, USA, Photo credit: Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot page

Today we reflect on the life and legacy of Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the first woman to become a Supreme Court Justic...
12/01/2023

Today we reflect on the life and legacy of Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the first woman to become a Supreme Court Justice.

She was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. After serving nearly twenty-five years, she retired in 2006.

“As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it,” she observed in 1990.

O’Connor grew up working cattle on her family’s Lazy B Ranch near Duncan, Arizona. She graduated near the top of her class at Stanford before serving in the Arizona State Senate (1969-74).

In 1972, she was elected as majority leader, making her the first woman in the U.S. to hold the top position in a state legislature. While on the nation’s highest court, O’Connor developed a reputation as a pragmatic, swing vote, preferring to making her judgements on a case-by-case basis.

In 2013, the National Portrait Gallery acquired “The Four Justices” portrait. O’Connor sat in the portrait alongside the other women in the Supreme Court: Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

To celebrate this portrait’s arrival, video journalist Jan Smith sat down with each of the four justices and asked them to tell their own story. You can watch the full video about Justice O’Connor here: https://bit.ly/3Tov6nx

🖼️ : "Sandra Day O'Connor" by Jean Marcellino, 2006. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © 2008, Jean Marcellino

National Portrait Gallery USA
Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum

Say it with me, “it’s finally ‘sweata weatha!’” Massachusetts born artist Loïs Mailou Jones’ career spanned nearly 70 ye...
12/01/2023

Say it with me, “it’s finally ‘sweata weatha!’”

Massachusetts born artist Loïs Mailou Jones’ career spanned nearly 70 years. Her legacy not only encompasses her work in fine art, but also as an advocate for Black artists and as an educator at Howard University.

This watercolor, “Young Man in Red Sweater,” is in the collection of our Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery.

🖼️: Loïs Mailou Jones, “Young Man in Red Sweater,” n.d., watercolor on paper, 24 x 19 in. (61.0 x 48.3 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of the artist, 2006.24.16

Diplomat Henry Kissinger has died at age 100. His counsel guided the divisive and often consequential decisions of sever...
11/30/2023

Diplomat Henry Kissinger has died at age 100. His counsel guided the divisive and often consequential decisions of several presidents throughout a decades-long career in foreign policy that will influence U.S. and global communities for generations to come.

Photographer Fred Maroon had worked in fashion, architecture, landscapes, and photojournalism before proposing a book on the presidency of Richard Nixon. After the publication of "Courage and Hesitation," Maroon was invited to photograph Nixon's reelection campaign and he kept snapping photos as the Watergate controversy unfolded. Recording history as it was made, Maroon captured this photo of Kissinger in conversation with Nixon, framed by a White House door in February 1971.

This photo is in the collection of our National Museum of American History. Copyright Fred J. Maroon.

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