Articles by Amy Henderson

Marlene Dietrich by Paul Cwojdzinski on the SS Europa, 1933, Cherbourg, France, 1933

The Pioneering Androgyny of Classic Hollywood Star Marlene Dietrich

The film icon embraced bisexuality, glamorous mystique and provocation

April 25, 2017, marks the centennial birthday of Ella Fitzgerald (above, in a triple-exposure undated photograph).

Women Who Shaped History

Never Mind Her Stellar Jazz Career, Young Ella Fitzgerald Just Wanted to Dance

The preeminent vocalist didn't actually start out as a singer

Misty Copeland sees dance as a “language and a culture that people from everywhere, all over the world, can relate to and understand and come together for.”

In the Footsteps of Three Modern American Prima Ballerinas

A new exhibition shows that classical ballet and the role of the ballerina are rapidly changing

Some of the performers are circus-trained, adding authenticity to the aerial acrobatics displayed.

The Innovative Spirit fy17

“Call Me Ishmael” Is the Only Melville Tradition in This Innovative Presentation of “Moby Dick”

Visceral, kinesthetic, cinematic, aural and psychological, Arena Stage’s new show about the 19th-century novel is a 21st-century experience

The glamorous actress in the 1940s.

How Katharine Hepburn Became a Fashion Icon

Celebrate the Hollywood star with a look at her stellar costumes

Angela Lansbury in her Tony Award-winning role as Madame Arcati, with Charles Edward as Charles Condomine, Simon Jones as Charles’s friend Dr. Bradman, Melissa Woodridge as the ghost wife Elvira, Charlotte Perry as the second wife Ruth, Sandra Shipley as Mrs. Bradman, and Susan Louise O’Connor as the maid Edith.

Dame Angela Lansbury Makes A "Spirit"-ed Return to the Stage

Noël Coward's timeless play brings the actress back to the D.C. theater where she got her start 58 years ago

Chocolate Week

D.C.'s Artisan Chocolate Makers Show Off Their Sweet Labor of Love

Leaving no task undone, this husband-and-wife team demonstrate their process for producing chocolate

Richard Cadbury began selling chocolates in heart-shaped boxes in 1861.

The World of Chocolate

How Chocolate and Valentine's Day Mated for Life

Tracing the lovers, the leaders and the ladies responsible for the pairing of chocolate to Valentine's Day

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery pits Holmes against a terrifying monster.

There is Nothing Elementary About a New Sherlock Holmes Adaptation

Tony-award, winning playwright Ken Ludwig says he's injecting Indiana Jones cinematic adventure into the theatrical experience

Edgar Degas' Study in the Nude of Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (Nude Little Dancer), c. 1878-1881 is the subject of a new show at the Kennedy Center starring Tiler Peck.

The True Story of the Little Ballerina Who Influenced Degas' "Little Dancer"

The artist's famous sculpture is both on view and the subject of a new theatrical performance

Joan Baez by Russell Hoban, 1962

When It Comes To the Baby Boomers, It Is Still All About "Me"

Millennials have got nothing over the Me Generation, says cultural historian Amy Henderson after touring two new shows on Boomers and the '60s

Eleanor Roosevelt leans forward from the back seat of the Roosevelt car to catch a comment from her husband, Franklin, as they campaign for his fourth term as president.

Ken Burns' New Series, Based on Newly Discovered Letters, Reveals a New Side of FDR

In "The Roosevelts", Burns examines the towering but flawed figures who really understood how character defined leadership

More than 1,200 newspapers serve ethnic communities across America. Current front pages from some of those publications are on display at the Newseum.

Washington, D.C.

News For All: How the Immigrant Experience Shaped American Media

From Benjamin Franklin to Noticiero Univision, the Newseum discusses the profound influence of immigrants on modern news

Family photographs collected from around the United States are featured in Beyond Bollywood. Here, Pandit Shankar Ghosh, Shrimati Sanjukta Ghosh, with Vikram (Boomba) Ghosh at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Lagunitas, Calif., ca. 1970.

How Museums and the Arts are Presenting Identity So That It Unites, Not Divides

Curators and practioners of the arts share a renewed focus on how culture and heritage shape who we are as Americans

Several scenes in this month's box office smash Captain America: The Winter Soldier were filmed at the National Air and Space Museum.

How Captain America Made the Leap From the Museum to the Front Pages

Filmed at the Smithsonian, the smash hit prompts curator Amy Henderson to ponder the real world anxieties underlying our superhero fictions

Celebrating his 20th anniversary as the host of Turner Classic Movies, Robert Osborne describes his job as "such luck."

On the Red Carpet with "Mr. Oscar" Himself, Robert Osborne

In celebration of his 20-year anniversary at Turner Classic Movies, the ultimate film buff stops by the Smithsonian to chat

Artwork Culled From the Collections Proves That No One Will Ever Be As Fashionable As the French

This collection of early 20th-century fashion plates reveal how women used their wardrobe for empowerment

Karita Mattila as Tosca ready to jump to her death in Puccini's perennial favorite that opened the 2009-2010 Met HD Season

Can Museums and Other Institutions Keep up With Digital Culture?

Get with it, or get left behind in the digital dust

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. perform during the ice dance free dance at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Nice, France, on March 29, 2012.

Winter Olympics

Why Reality TV May Bring Team USA Its First Gold in Ice Dancing

Amy Henderson, curator of the Smithsonian's "Dancing the Dream" exhibition, chronicles the meteoric rise of a dazzling sport once considered vulgar

Hustle through America's Huckster History with a Smithsonian Curator as Your Guide

A blow by blow of the flimflams and tales of hustlers throughout history, art and literature

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