Articles by Amy Henderson

Emma Thompson captures the flinty Mrs. Travers brilliantly, from her tightly-curled hair to the “No No No” mantra she barks endlessly at the Disney creative team.

How Did P.L. Travers, the Prickly Author of Mary Poppins, Really Fare Against Walt Disney?

Historian Amy Henderson searches for the spoonfuls of sugar-coated truth in the new film, "Saving Mr. Banks"

Before Miley, Bob Fosse Elevated the Sleaze in Dance to an Art Form

The choreographer and director sparked this curator's imagination with his trademark razzle dazzle

What is the Origin of Hollywood's Red Carpet?

Curator Amy Henderson has rolled out the red carpet to a host of America's dancing superstars in a new show at the Portrait Gallery

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Remembering an Iconic Era Lost to Time: The Stars and Films of the Silent Pictures

Curator Amy Henderson reminds us of power and influence and glory of the celebrities that pioneered the silent film era

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When America Entered the Modern Age

Obsolescence yaps at the heels of every dazzling invention, says curator Amy Henderson as she considers the birth of modernism a century ago

Grab some popcorn for this summer’s blockbusters.

Minions! Did You See How Much a Movie Ticket Might Cost One Day?

Best way to beat the heat, says curator Amy Henderson, is the summer blockbuster, but are they going the way of the dinosaurs

Elvis on the Southern Railroad between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tenn. July 4, 1956

Hanging Out with Elvis in Fort Worth

Hitting the road this month, curator Amy Henderson follows her show "Elvis at 21" to Texas

Auguste Bert Vaslav Nijinsky as the Golden Slave from Scheherazade, 1910 gelatin silver print V&A

Bringing the Dazzle Back to the Blockbuster Exhibit

Casting aside today’s fondness for the understated, a curator ponders the importance of “the wow factor”

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What the Great Gatsby Got Right about the Jazz Age

Curator Amy Henderson explores how the 1920s came alive in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel

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The Eyes Have It

In the wake of the Boston bombing, Amy Henderson explores parallels between the era of Edison and the mediascape of today that helped solve the crime

Cosmetics have a long history.

Miss Piggy, My Feather Boa and A Moment to Consider Makeup’s Greasy Past

No Fools Need Apply to the Smithsonian's Curatorial Conference On Stuff, A Sometimes Annual Scholarly Gathering on a Subject Rarely Considered

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Why the Department Store Brought Freedom for the Turn of the Century Woman

Harry Selfridge, a London department store owner, may have opened the doors to more than just his retail store when he gave women a chance to power shop

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Oscar Redux: Life is a Cabaret; An Old Friend is Back

For the 40th anniversary of the Oscars that made Cabaret a classic, actor Joel Grey stops by the Smithsonian for a special donation and screening

Barack and Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue together on Inauguration day, 2013.

Bangs, Bobs and Bouffants: The Roots of the First Lady’s Tresses

Michelle Obama's modern look has a long history

Inauguration History

If Only Hollywood Would Show Us Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

Our pop culture curator Amy Henderson strolls the halls of the Old Patent Building imagining the scene of Lincoln's 1865 inaugural ball

Shirley MacLaine makes her debut as Martha Levinson this Sunday in “Downton Abbey.”

Are You Ready for Shirley MacLaine’s Entrance on Downton Abbey?

The stage is set. Enter Martha Levinson, a character described as rich, crass and brassy.

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Amy Henderson

Amy Henderson

Actor Bing Crosby, Actresses Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, and Actor Danny Kaye, during the 1954 Paramount production of “White Christmas.”

Is White Christmas the Best Popular Song Ever Written?

The idyllic scenes of the dreamy holiday tune were painted by a Russian Jewish immigrant named Israel Baline, better known as Irving Berlin

Kinstler’s character sketch of Plummer is being given to the National Portrait Gallery.

Amy Henderson: A Portrait is a Story Unfolding

Artist Everett Raymond Kinstler's portrait of the legendary performer Christopher Plummer joins the collection as Kinstler is honored in New York City

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Amy Henderson: Red Hot Kathleen Turner

The beloved actress takes to the stage as a witty Molly Ivins just in time for election season