Likely made from a cow’s horn, this Revolutionary War era gunpowder holder belonged to patriot fighter Prince Simbo.

The Revolutionary War Patriot Who Carried This Gunpowder Horn Was Fighting for Freedom—Just Not His Own

Simbo, an African-American patriot, fought for his country's liberty and freedom even as a large population remained enslaved

The restored Pullman Palace passenger car, which ran along the Southern Railway route during the "Jim Crow" era of the 20th century, serves as a signature artifact in the new museum.

This Segregated Railway Car Offers a Visceral Reminder of the Jim Crow Era

Subtle and not-so-subtle reminders of a time when local and state laws forced racial segration

Visitors to the American Gothic House Center are encouraged to play the part of the famous pair from the painting.

Grab Your Pitchfork and Take an "American Gothic"-Themed Road Trip

A drive through eastern Iowa is the best way to appreciate one of the country’s most famous images

Independence Day Celebration by Lauren Good Day Giago, (Arikara/Hidatsa/Blackfeet/Plains Cree), 2012, antique ledger paper, colored pencil, graphite, ink, felt-tipped marker

For These Native American Artists, the Material Is the Message

A new exhibition traces the evolution of Plains tribes’ narrative art from the 18th century up through today's contemporary works

In the installation of Smell, The Beauty of Decay: SmellScape Central Park, designed by Sissel Tolaas, visitors touch the wall that has been painted with the special paint, releasing the scent.

Can Smell Be a Work of Art?

Scent artist Sissel Tolaas uses chemistry to explore the malodorous, yet beautiful, scent of decay in Central Park

Ellsworth Kelly, "Red Yellow Blue V," 1968

Why Ellsworth Kelly Was a Giant in the World of American Art

The artist’s minimalism put the essence of his subjects above all

A Brief History of Sending a Letter to Santa

Dating back more than 150 years, the practice of writing to St. Nick tells a broader history of America itself

Villareal’s piece, titled Volume (Renwick), holds pride of place above the museum’s historic grand stairway. It uses LEDs embedded in 320 mirrored stainless steel rods.

Leo Villareal's 23,000 Points of Light Illuminate the Renwick Gallery

With tens of thousands of individual LEDS, a dangling light sculpture majestically redefines the grand staircase at the Renwick

“The making of these trees was so much in that spirit—in terms of dodging the ease of digital and instead doing this all by hand,” says Grade.

This Artist Recreated a Magnificent 40-Foot-Tall Tree From the Cascade Mountains by Hand

Artist John Grade painstakingly built a 150-year-old giant hemlock out of half a million blocks of reclaimed wood

Demonstrators express support for The Perfect Moment, an exhibition by Robert Mapplethrope that included nude and sexually graphic photos.

When Art Fought the Law and the Art Won

The Mapplethorpe obscenity trial changed perceptions of public funding of art and shaped the city of Cincinnati

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner's address book, circa 1950-1956

What’s Inside Jackson Pollock’s Address Book?

A new exhibition reveals the intimate details inside the “little black books” of some of America's great artists

Today, where the concept of “disruption” has become so popular in business, those developing apps and new startups can look to the Singer Sewing Machine as one of the original disruptive technologies.

How Singer Won the Sewing Machine War

The Singer Sewing Machine changed the way America manufactured textiles, but the invention itself was less important than the company’s innovative business

“The [museum] is a beautiful example of the strategic ‘borrowing’ that created the rich cultural environment we have all inherited from the African continent.”

Is Architecture Actually a Form of Weaving?

David Adjaye, architect of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, approaches building design as creating "fabric"

The 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, with its three-masted sailing ship, carries the postal clerk Edmond D. Wight's initials to deter counterfeiters.

The Remarkable Story of the World’s Rarest Stamp

The rarely seen, one-of-a-kind 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, which recently sold for a whopping $9.5 million, gets its public debut

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