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Lincoln’s face, African alchemy, and Victory Mail are all on display at Smithsonian museums

North African artisans combined gold and silver to forge jewelry like the khamsa. (National Museum of African Art, SI)
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African Alchemy
North African artisans combined gold and silver to forge jewelry like the khamsa (19th or 20th century), meant to protect wearers from the evil eye. See the good omens at the Museum of African Art until January 11.

Face Time
Abraham Lincoln's political career spanned three decades. Witness his transformation from young congressman to beleaguered president in a series of rare images at the National Portrait Gallery through July 5, 2009.

Graphic Language
John J. Audubon's naturalism, Georgia O'Keeffe's sensuality and Man Ray's surrealism (Landscape, 1913) are among the styles on display in an exhibit of graphic masters of 19th- and 20th-century art, opening November 27 at the American Art Museum.

You've Got V-Mail
In 1941, forced to choose between transporting letters and moving war cargo, the U.S. Army invented Victory Mail—letters converted into microfilm. Artifacts commemorating this text-messaging marvel (a magazine ad) are at the Postal Museum through 2010.

Professional Boxing
Count Giuseppe Panza was known for buying artwork too conceptual for most museums. Fifty years later, the Hirshhorn showcases some of the now-celebrated works in Panza's collection through January 11.

About Anika Gupta
Anika Gupta

Anika Gupta’s writing has appeared in India and the United States, including in Business Today magazine, where she served as its first digital content editor, the Hindustan Times newspaper and Smithsonian magazine. Currently, she is a Master's student at MIT, where she studies user-generated content and mainstream media culture. She's also a science writer, media blogger, and essayist.

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