When Alexander von Humboldt (right) traveled to England in 1790, he met a young chemist named James Smithson, the founder of the Smithsonian. Humboldt's influence still resonates throughout the massive museum and research complex.

How the Revolutionary Thinker Alexander von Humboldt Helped to Create the Smithsonian

The 19th-century polymath continues to influence the Institution’s research; a major Smithsonian exhibition explains how and why

Style, identity and agency are fundamental themes in the work of Mickalene Thomas (above: Portrait of Mnonja).

The Fierce Pride and Passion of Rhinestone Fashion

In this episode of ‘Re:Frame,’ Smithsonian curators investigate the intentionality and agency behind the clothing we wear

One witness to an 1859 Northern Lights display was the artist Frederic Edwin Church, who later painted Aurora Borealis (above, detail).

The Crazy Superstitions and Real-Life Science of the Northern Lights

In the latest episode of ‘Re:Frame,’ Smithsonian curators take a deep dive into the dramatic painting ‘Aurora Borealis’ by Frederic Church

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