Articles by Alice George

The document, which had been stored in a folded shape for more than 200 years, is composed of parchment pages that offer new insight into the Smithsonian founder's family history.

New Analysis Reveals More Details About Smithsonian Founder's Illegitimate Family Tree

The newly recovered 1787 Hungerford Deed, detailing a contentious squabble over property and prestige, can now be viewed in a new virtual exhibition

"I had 'Earthseed' in mind when I created the portrait of Octavia Butler. Parable of the Sower is one of my favorites of Butler's novels," says Nettrice Gaskins.

The Pioneering Sci-Fi Writer Octavia E. Butler Joins a Pantheon of Celebrated Futurists

The author’s career is honored by a newly commissioned work by digital artist Nettrice Gaskins

The Smithsonian's 1980 portrait of Yuri Kochiyama by Corky Lee (above, detail) is the "perfect combination of subject and artist," says the National Portrait Gallery's Ann Shumard.

Women Who Shaped History

Behind This Photo Is the Story of Two Asian American Folk Heroes

Corky Lee's photograph of Yuri Kochiyama captures the familiar struggle of those living at the margins of society

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery holds an Italian poster (above: Il Quarto Potere, detail) promoting the film.

The Lasting Riddles of Orson Welles' Revolutionary Film 'Citizen Kane'

This year’s award-winning "Mank" attracts new attention to the 80-year-old American classic; two Smithsonian curators share insights

Geraldine Ferraro and Walter Mondale by Diane Walker, 1984

Walter Mondale Never Won the Presidency, but He Changed American Politics Forever

A trove of Smithsonian artifacts document the man who was first to put a woman on the presidential ticket and reshaped the vice presidency

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery boasts the only public collection of images depicting every single U.S. president throughout history.

The Thorny Politics of Presidential Portraiture

In a new podcast, the National Portrait Gallery reveals that a portrait is being commissioned of the former president

This 1936 photograph from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery—featuring eight of the nine Scottsboro Boys with NAACP representatives Juanita Jackson Mitchell, Laura Kellum, and Dr. Ernest W. Taggart—was taken inside the prison where the Scottsboro Boys were being held.

Who Were the Scottsboro Nine?

The young black men served a combined total of 130 years for a crime they never committed

John Glenn by Henry C. Caselli, Jr., 1998 is in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Why John Glenn Couldn't Escape the Hero Label

A new book explores the man who would serve his country as a fighter pilot, an astronaut and a U.S. Senator

In an explosion of green and gold, Elaine de Kooning's portrayal of President John F. Kennedy holds pride of place at the National Portrait Gallery in its exhibition "America's Presidents."

Why Elaine de Kooning's Portrait of JFK Broke All the Rules

After the assassination, the grief-stricken artist painted the president’s image obsessively; finally saying she caught only "a glimpse" of him

With a countrified accent, Will Rogers (Above: (detail) by Walter K. Kinstler, c. 1923) attempted to link arms with ordinary Americans, always reminding them of his Native American ancestry. “My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat,” he said.

Will Rogers Was One of a Kind

The popular raconteur touched Americans with his humor, newspaper columns, movie star power, philanthropy and as political agitator

In the recent "Portraits" podcast, LL recounts why he turned to a 100-year-old masterpiece of the richest person in modern history—John D. Rockefeller Sr.—for his power pose.

How a Maverick Hip-Hop Legend Found Inspiration in a Titan of American Industry

When LL COOL J sat for his portrait, he found common ground with the life-long philanthropical endeavors of John D. Rockefeller

When the Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, first saw the new image of Harriet Tubman (above, detail), she said: "She's young!"

Why Harriet Tubman’s Heroic Military Career Is Now Easier to Envision

The strong, youthful visage of the famed underground railroad conductor is the subject of the Portrait Gallery’s podcast “Portraits”

The legendary fight lives in the 1944 painting  Dempsey-Willard Fight (above in detail) by James Montgomery Flagg, capturing the sense of a mass of humanity watching a hard-fought contest.

Revisit the Brutal Fight When Jack Dempsey Hammered the Super-Sized Champ to Claim Title

The crowded scene on a sweltering July day in Toledo is the subject of the Portrait Gallery’s latest podcast episode

On April 17, 1970, the parachutes carrying the Apollo 13 spacecraft and its crew cleared the clouds and the world breathed a collective sigh of relief.

How the Crew of the Damaged Apollo 13 Came Home

Using the lunar module as a lifeboat and employing techniques never before considered, the astronauts' ordeal ended triumphantly

In 1985, Riddles was the first to cross the finish line after 18 days, 20 minutes and 17 seconds. Her win produced a new generation of women mushers competing in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Facing Blizzards and Accidents, Iditarod’s First Woman Champion Libby Riddles Persisted

A sled in the Smithsonian collections marks the historic race

Over its two-minute lifetime, the faux rhino (above: The Substitute) adapts “to his environment and moves around. His form and his sound become more lifelike, but ultimately, he is coming to life without any natural context and in this completely digital form," says the museum's curator Andrea Lipps.

The Northern White Rhino Went Extinct, But for Two Minutes at a Time, the Animal Makes a Digital Comeback

An artist's 3-D recreation of the immense mammal probes the paradox of efforts to bring such animals back in the lab

The Smithsonian's Jack Mitchell Photography of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Collection (Above: Detail of Judith Jamison in "Revelations," 1967) is now digitized for public viewing.

Trove of Stunning Dance Photography Now Online

An alliance between dance impresario Alvin Ailey and photographer Jack Mitchell yielded more than 10,000 images

With two fingers Babe Ruth pointed (above: a re-imagined illustration of Babe Ruth calling his shot in the fifth inning of the third game, 1932 World Series). Some thought he was scolding the Cubs’ bench, many more believed he was pointing toward centerfield, where he hit a soaring home run.

When the Yankees Got the Larger-Than-Life Babe Ruth

It was a fateful December a century ago, when the Red Sox-Yankees trade launched a dynasty; a Smithsonian curator reflects on the legendary home-run hitter

In the hubbub after the meteorite strike, Ann Hodges became a minor celebrity. Photographs of her bruise and the damage to her home appeared in Life magazine in an article entitled, “A Big Bruiser From the Sky.”

In 1954, an Extraterrestrial Bruiser Shocked This Alabama Woman

Ann Hodges remains the only human known to have been injured by direct impact of a meteorite

TV's "Julia" premiered on September 17, 1968 and the show was an instant hit, winning actress Diahann Carroll (above with Marc Copage as Corey Baker) the Golden Globe Award for best actress in a comedy in its first season.

Was the 1968 TV Show 'Julia' a Milestone or a Millstone for Diversity?

Diahann Carroll's award-winning series was a hit, but it delivered a sanitized view of African-American life