Smithsonian

Smithsonian The world's largest museum complex and research organization composed of 19 museums, nine research centers, and the National Zoo. http://si.edu

02/11/2020
The Dr. Is In, Season 2 Trailer.

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Geologist Liz Cottrell wants to answer your questions about volcanoes, rocks, and the center of the Earth.

Painter Loïs Mailou Jones opened the door to the fine arts world at a time when African Americans were not allowed to sh...
02/10/2020

Painter Loïs Mailou Jones opened the door to the fine arts world at a time when African Americans were not allowed to show their work at most galleries and exhibitions.

Facing racial and gender discrimination, she had her white friends submit artwork on her behalf or anonymously and won many prestigious awards under a false identity.

Jones gained fame abroad during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s and 1940s, and she also was a role model for other African American artists through her teaching at Howard University. Her career as an artist and educator spanned 70 years.

This is her 1940 "Self Portrait" in our Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. https://s.si.edu/31H52Hn #BlackHistoryMonth #BecauseOfHerStory

Can't imagine a better way to spend the weekend. This illustration is from “La Guirlande” (1919), a limited edition desi...
02/07/2020

Can't imagine a better way to spend the weekend.

This illustration is from “La Guirlande” (1919), a limited edition design title with 800 numbered copies. The edition in Smithsonian Libraries is a gift of “the Misses Hewitt, 1921-1922,” founding sisters of Cooper Hewitt.

Which are you: the people shoveling or the one feeding the birds?This is Winslow Homer's “A Winter Morning–Shovelling Ou...
02/06/2020

Which are you: the people shoveling or the one feeding the birds?

This is Winslow Homer's “A Winter Morning–Shovelling Out” from Every Saturday, 1871, in our Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery collection. https://s.si.edu/2GyBfH0

The Fisk Jubilee Singers formed in 1871 to raise money for Fisk University. They were instrumental in preserving African...
02/05/2020
The Fisk Jubilee Singers: Preserving African American Spirituals

The Fisk Jubilee Singers formed in 1871 to raise money for Fisk University.

They were instrumental in preserving African American spirituals and bringing them to a wider audience in the U.S. and Europe. Learn more from Smithsonian Libraries.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers: Preserving African American Spirituals Mario Rups February 22, 2018 1 Comment Please note that this posts links to collection items originally published in the latter half of the 19th century. The text contained in these publications should be considered in a historical con...

How to pick the best wallpaper for your home:☐ Dark rooms: select wallpaper that reflects light☐ Small rooms: create a s...
02/04/2020

How to pick the best wallpaper for your home:
☐ Dark rooms: select wallpaper that reflects light
☐ Small rooms: create a spacious feel with lighter colors
☐ All rooms: spark immediate joy with splashy butterflies

Created by designer and artist Emile-Allain Séguy, these designs were intended for wallpapers and textiles. Learn more (and even download the images to decorate your own spaces) from our Biodiversity Heritage Library: https://s.si.edu/2v1JRmT

In Baltimore, Maryland, the parade celebrating the passage of the 15th Amendment lasted for hours. It's depicted in the ...
02/03/2020

In Baltimore, Maryland, the parade celebrating the passage of the 15th Amendment lasted for hours. It's depicted in the center of this commemorative print, along with scenes of African Americans serving in the military, voting, holding elected office, and tending their own fields. Today is the 150th anniversary of Iowa becoming the final state needed for the amendment's ratification. Declaring that citizens' right to vote would not be denied or abridged on account of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude," it removed many of the legal barriers that had prevented African American men from voting.

The celebration was short-lived. Within ten years, state governments began to use intimidation, violence, and restrictive voter qualifications to keep African Americans from the polls. Almost a century would pass before African American citizens could reliably exercise their right to vote under the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This brightly colored chromolithograph is in the collection of our National Museum of American History.

This copper brooch from our Cooper Hewitt is a crustacean for your cardigan.Frank Rebajes taught himself how to turn can...
02/03/2020

This copper brooch from our Cooper Hewitt is a crustacean for your cardigan.

Frank Rebajes taught himself how to turn cans and scrap metal into animal-shaped sculptures while he was living in a friend’s basement, using the tools his friend had lying around. Most of his pieces were made of copper and some had moving parts, like this one that mimics a lobster’s scuttling movement.

Today in 1960, four African American students sat at a Woolworth lunch counter, asked for service and started a movement...
02/01/2020

Today in 1960, four African American students sat at a Woolworth lunch counter, asked for service and started a movement.

The Greensboro, North Carolina counter was "whites only" at a time when racial segregation was still legal in the U.S. When their request was refused, Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil and David L. Richmond stayed in their seats.

Their peaceful protest—along with the hundreds of community members who followed suit—drew national attention and helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge inequality throughout the South. The sit-in led to the desegregation of the counter on July 25.

A section of the counter from the sit-ins is in our National Museum of American History, and there are stools in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. #BlackHistoryMonth

01/31/2020
The Heartbeat

Alaska is one of the few places on Earth where sustainable management of salmon is still possible, even in the face of threats like overharvesting and climate change.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is part of a project that's researching how to protect Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula so there's a healthy watershed, which means healthy salmon to feed an economy that depends on salmon fishing.

The project works with local communities so they understand how their decisions affect their local environment.

Watch the full film and learn more about the proejct: https://s.si.edu/2GEL5XI #EarthOptimism

Squirreling away this winter? This squirrel ancestor, Douglassciurus jeffersoni, lived 38 to 34 million years ago in wha...
01/30/2020

Squirreling away this winter? This squirrel ancestor, Douglassciurus jeffersoni, lived 38 to 34 million years ago in what is now Wyoming.

It's posed with its very own fossil walnut in Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History's "Objects of Wonder" exhibition. The snack is from the same period, the Eocene, though it was found in Oregon.

Together they help tell the story that only a small fraction of our collections are on display at any time, while the rest are squirreled away for safekeeping and scientific research.

Women’s contributions to America are largely missing from the traditional American history narrative. Explore the storie...
01/29/2020
Discover Her Story

Women’s contributions to America are largely missing from the traditional American history narrative.

Explore the stories of women who've shaped history with more than 60 objects from Smithsonian Books' “Smithsonian American Women.” #BecauseOfHerStory

Discover Her Story Discover Her Story Smithsonian American Women Women’s contributions to America are largely missing from the traditional American History narrative. Representation matters. Dig in, be inspired, and share what you discover using #BecauseOfHerStory. Read Introduction Buy the book E...

"We Return Fighting"—a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture—covers ...
01/28/2020
How World War I Planted the Seeds of the Civil Rights Movement

"We Return Fighting"—a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture—covers nearly 100 years of history to show how the global conflict of World War I changed African American life, during and after the war.

The Great War was a “transformative moment” for African Americans, who fought for the U.S. even as they were denied access to Democracy

We remember athlete and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant. This portrait in our collection by Rick Chapman is now on vi...
01/27/2020

We remember athlete and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant. This portrait in our collection by Rick Chapman is now on view in our National Portrait Gallery. https://s.si.edu/2O3DM05

Photo: Kobe Bryant by Rick Chapman, 2007. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist and ESPN. © 2007 Rick Chapman

The Year of the Rat starts on Saturday. Rat personalities are said to be smart, flexible, outgoing, alert, charming and ...
01/24/2020

The Year of the Rat starts on Saturday. Rat personalities are said to be smart, flexible, outgoing, alert, charming and popular.

This 1996 Lunar New Year stamp in the Smithsonian National Postal Museum was designed by Clarence Lee.

For National Handwriting Day, we're eyeing this letter from Georgia O'Keeffe to Cady Wells. Like her paintings, O'Keeffe...
01/23/2020

For National Handwriting Day, we're eyeing this letter from Georgia O'Keeffe to Cady Wells. Like her paintings, O'Keeffe's letters have their own bold style.

She didn't write in traditional paragraphs and rarely used periods or commas—squiggly lines seem to show her structure. You can see the full letter in Smithsonian's Archives of American Art: s.si.edu/2RmRflm

On our podcast Sidedoor, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III shares two stories of people overcoming tremendous ob...
01/22/2020
Ep. 17 | Cars, Stars, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

On our podcast Sidedoor, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III shares two stories of people overcoming tremendous obstacles, and what the past can teach us about the future.

Learn more about Ep. 17 | Cars, Stars, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Our Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has a pretty distinctive architecture, which Lee Ufan responds to in 10 new sc...
01/21/2020

Our Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has a pretty distinctive architecture, which Lee Ufan responds to in 10 new sculptures that have taken over the museum's plaza.

Lee uses contrasting materials—such as stainless steel plates and boulders—to heighten awareness of the world, in his words, “exactly as it is.” Read more about "Lee Ufan: Open Dimension" in Smithsonian Magazine: https://s.si.edu/2TJxHJH

Today we remember the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seen here greeting supporters in Baltimore after he w...
01/20/2020

Today we remember the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seen here greeting supporters in Baltimore after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

This photo by Leonard Freed is in our National Portrait Gallery's collection.

Prohibition took effect 100 years ago today. Our National Museum of American History explains how it changed home brewin...
01/17/2020
How Prohibition led to the craft beer revolution

Prohibition took effect 100 years ago today. Our National Museum of American History explains how it changed home brewing.🍻

Without Prohibition, would America have experienced a vibrant tradition of mid- and late-20th-century homebrewing? Probably not.

Born in Japan, artist Chiura Obata is best known for majestic views of the American West, sketches based on hiking trips...
01/16/2020

Born in Japan, artist Chiura Obata is best known for majestic views of the American West, sketches based on hiking trips to capture what he called “Great Nature.”

While he was teaching in California during World War II, Obata was among the Japanese Americans forced into an incarceration camp. There he created art schools to help other prisoners cope with their displacement and loss.

This is "Mono Crater" (1930), a color woodcut on paper in our Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. See more than 150 paintings and personal effects in “Chiura Obata: American Modern,” open through May 25: https://s.si.edu/35ZKfyU #atSAAM

01/15/2020
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

During World War I, African Americans fought for freedom abroad, serving in segregated units, and returned to continue fighting for the democracy they never knew at home.

A new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture explores the African American experience before, during and after the war.

World War I significantly transformed the global. From 17 to 21 million soldiers and civilians died in what was the worst war in modern history. Empires fell, maps were redrawn, and lives of countless people throughout the world would never be the same.

Our latest special exhibition specifically focuses on African Americans and how the war fundamentally transformed black life in the 20th century. The war tested the meanings of citizenship, patriotism, and loyalty. On and off the battlefield, during and after the war, African Americans fought for their rights and to make democracy a reality

We Return Fighting | On View December 13, 2019 - June 14, 2020

Learn more: nmaahc.si.edu/WeReturnFighting #ANationsStory

Monday mood? "Puppies in the Snow" to the rescue!This 1778 woodblock print from Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian A...
01/13/2020

Monday mood? "Puppies in the Snow" to the rescue!

This 1778 woodblock print from Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art is by Japanese artist Isoda Koryūsai, who produced around 150 designs of flowers, birds and animals in his life. 1778 was the Year of the Dog, and calendar prints like this one were given as gifts at the start of the lunar new year.

It may be cold outside but it's warm in Smithsonian Institution Archives. This portrait of a Smithsonian staff member/un...
01/09/2020

It may be cold outside but it's warm in Smithsonian Institution Archives. This portrait of a Smithsonian staff member/undiscovered model is from the 1880s.

Nearly 100 years ago, Charles Ponzi stumbled across a loophole in the international postal system and turned it into one...
01/08/2020
Ep. 16 | Ponzi's Scheme

Nearly 100 years ago, Charles Ponzi stumbled across a loophole in the international postal system and turned it into one of the most infamous scams of all time.

Hear the story on our podcast Sidedoor with the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Learn more about Ep. 16 | Ponzi's Scheme

Imagine being the first person to capture a single snowflake. Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley spent years working with a micr...
01/07/2020

Imagine being the first person to capture a single snowflake. Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley spent years working with a microscope and his bellows camera to get a photo of one in 1885.

He went on to take thousands more, which helped support the belief that no two snowflakes are alike. These images, c. 1890, are among the ones he donated to the Smithsonian that are now in the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

01/07/2020

Due to inclement weather, all our D.C.-area museums will close at 3 p.m. today. The @NationalZoo will close at 1 p.m.

¡Feliz día de los Reyes Magos! Happy Three Kings Day! Our National Museum of American History shares the story behind th...
01/06/2020
Waiting for Los Tres Reyes Magos, The Three Kings

¡Feliz día de los Reyes Magos! Happy Three Kings Day! Our National Museum of American History shares the story behind these figures in the collection.

Editor’s note: January 6th is Three Kings Day. Magdalena Mieri, director of the Program in Latino History and Culture at the museum, shares her personal connection to the holiday as well as two artifacts from the museum’s collection.

This quilt, titled "Fall into Winter," feels like the perfect way to cozy up this weekend.Ella First Kill Brown (A'anini...
01/03/2020

This quilt, titled "Fall into Winter," feels like the perfect way to cozy up this weekend.

Ella First Kill Brown (A'aninin/Gros Ventre) created it between 1968 and 1982 at the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. It's now in Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian's collection.

Happy New Year! We hope the start to your year was groovy. This poster, designed by Bonnie MacLean, is in our Cooper Hew...
01/01/2020

Happy New Year! We hope the start to your year was groovy. This poster, designed by Bonnie MacLean, is in our Cooper Hewitt's collection.

On the last day of 2019, take a look back...way back, at objects related to 1969 across the Smithsonian.
12/31/2019
1969: A Year in the Collections

On the last day of 2019, take a look back...way back, at objects related to 1969 across the Smithsonian.

On July 20, Apollo 11, carrying three U.S. astronauts, landed on the moon. The event was a unifying moment for America in a decade rife with social discord, racial violence, and antiwar protests.... Learn more

How does the Smithsonian accomplish so much every year? Support from caring, curious people like you.Your tax-deductible...
12/30/2019

How does the Smithsonian accomplish so much every year? Support from caring, curious people like you.

Your tax-deductible support powers every Smithsonian museum, educational program and research initiative. These funds are critical to everything the Smithsonian does, and reach millions of lives every year. Make your tax-deductible year-end gift now and ensure the Smithsonian can fill 2020 with more wonder, discovery and innovation! http://go.si.edu/CYE2019fb2

Happy Kwanzaa! Smithsonian Institution Archives traces the decades-long history of Kwanzaa programs at Smithsonian's Ana...
12/26/2019
Celebrating Kwanzaa at the Anacostia Community Museum

Happy Kwanzaa! Smithsonian Institution Archives traces the decades-long history of Kwanzaa programs at Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum,

In 1967, the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, later renamed the Anacostia Community Museum, was founded by the Smithsonian as an “experimental storefront museum” and located in a predominantly African American neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Secretary S.

Merry Christmas! This mid-20th-century Santa postcard is in our National Museum of American History.
12/25/2019

Merry Christmas! This mid-20th-century Santa postcard is in our National Museum of American History.

Need a last-minute gift? Give the gift of a Friends of the Smithsonian membership and get $20 off—the lowest rate offere...
12/23/2019

Need a last-minute gift? Give the gift of a Friends of the Smithsonian membership and get $20 off—the lowest rate offered anywhere.

Every membership includes a subscription to Smithsonian magazine and discounts on shopping, dining and theater tickets! Plus, you'll be providing critical support for everything you love about the Smithsonian. Give the gift of knowledge this holiday season to someone you love—or to yourself! http://go.si.edu/CYE2019fb1

Happy first night of Hanukkah! You still have time to put a card in the mail and have it arrive by the eighth night.Ted ...
12/22/2019

Happy first night of Hanukkah! You still have time to put a card in the mail and have it arrive by the eighth night.

Ted Naos designed this one, dated 1994, which he donated to our Cooper Hewitt's collection.

Most stamps start as works of art. For the 2007 “Holiday Knits” issue, illustrator Nancy Stahl combined her love of knit...
12/20/2019

Most stamps start as works of art.

For the 2007 “Holiday Knits” issue, illustrator Nancy Stahl combined her love of knitting with her design skills. She was inspired by traditional Norwegian sweaters and handmade Christmas stockings, and knit the patterns that would become these cozy stamps.

Stahl’s knitwork—along with thousands of other unique pieces—make up the Postmasters General’s Collection, which is currently kept at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

© USPS; all rights reserved. Artwork courtesy of the Postmaster General Collection

Introducing Quilliam! This baby prehensile-tailed porcupine (called a porcupette) was born in November at Smithsonian’s ...
12/19/2019

Introducing Quilliam! This baby prehensile-tailed porcupine (called a porcupette) was born in November at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Our favorite fun fact? Porcupine noses feel like marshmallows!

These aren't the letters you're looking for.In 2007, the U.S. Postal Service celebrated "Star Wars" with this R2-D2 mail...
12/18/2019

These aren't the letters you're looking for.

In 2007, the U.S. Postal Service celebrated "Star Wars" with this R2-D2 mailbox. It joined the Smithsonian National Postal Museum collection and is on view at National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution in Virginia.

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