Articles by Beth Py-Lieberman

Robert McCurdy, Untitled, Jeffrey P. Bezos, 2019, oil on canvas

Jeff Bezos Gifts Historic $200 Million to the Smithsonian

The Amazon founder's gift—the largest since the Institution was created in 1846—will support the Air and Space Museum renovation and a new education center

The books Smithsonian experts recommend this year are, in a word, relevant.

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2020

This wide-ranging list offers much-needed context for the issues at the forefront of the national conversation

Smithsonian locations closing November 23, 2020 include: The National Zoo, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo to Close Due to Increased Cases of Covid-19

In an official statement, the Institution announced a temporary closing of all its public facilities beginning November 23

It's a boy! DNA taken from a cheek swab of the 3.6-pound giant panda cub confirms the animal's sex.


Why It Takes a DNA Test to Determine a Panda Cub's Sex

The National Zoo announces the 6-week-old giant panda is a boy

Recommendations include Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America and The Making of Black Revolutionaries: A Personal Account.

Race in America

Smithsonian Scholars and Researchers Share Works That Shed Light on the History of U.S. Racism

In this dynamic time, a list of film, podcasts and books is offered for a nation grappling with its fraught history

In a release the Zoo reported that last week: “Keepers noticed that Ambika’s right-front leg, which bore the brunt of her weight, developed a curve that weakened her ability to stand. Though she had some good days and some bad days, staff grew concerned when she chose not to explore her habitat."

National Zoo Mourns Death of Asian Elephant

The 72-year-old animal was the third oldest in the North American population

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2019

Reading proved a bedrock in a year that saw a new Smithsonian secretary and celebrations of dinosaurs, Apollo 11 and women's history

The National Zoo's female panda Mei Xiang (above in 2019) is exhibiting signs of a possible pregnancy. These same behaviors could also mean she is experiencing a pseudopregnancy.


14 Fun Facts About Giant Pandas

Mother Mei Xiang’s annual ambiguous maternal behaviors always deliver heightened anticipation at the National Zoo

"I fell in love with museums, especially the Smithsonian Institution. I like to say that I am the only person who left the Smithsonian twice—and returned," said Lonnie Bunch, who was appointed today to be the Smithsonian's 14th Secretary.

Lonnie G. Bunch III to Become the Smithsonian’s 14th Secretary

The founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Bunch represents the first insider to lead the Institution in decades

George Washington, (Porthole type) by Rembrandt Peale, c. 1853

George Washington and I Go Way Back—Or So Goes the Tale of My Family's Cane

An heirloom is charged with both sentiment and purely speculative history

All programs and events will be postponed, relocated to non-federal locations or cancelled. All Smithsonian facilities will remain shuttered until the federal government reopens.

Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo Close for the U.S. Government Shutdown

Museum buildings and research centers shuttered, most federal employees furloughed, while excepted Zoo staff continue care of the animals

The Smithsonian's 19 museums and the National Zoo close for Christmas but will remain open with regular hours through January 1 in the event of a government shut down.

Smithsonian Museums Will Remain Open in the Event of Government Shutdown

While the museums and the National Zoo will close on Christmas Day, they will operate as usual through January 1

Dr. David Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, ran one of the most successful capital campaigns in the organization's history, raising $1.88 billion.

Smithsonian Secretary Announces His Departure

After four years as head of the Institution, David Skorton leaves to head the Association of American Medical Colleges

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2018

Here are eleven titles that intrigued and thrilled Smithsonian's knowledge seekers this year

The portrait John S. McCain III by Steve Pyke, 2005, went of view today at the National Portrait Gallery in memory of the U.S. Senator who died August 25.

The Portrait That Captures the Defining Features of John McCain’s Life and Career

A photograph of the straight-talking Arizona senator goes on view In Memoriam at the Portrait Gallery

 Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen, Cleveland, Ohio by David Gahr, 1977

Ten Rarely Seen Springsteen Photographs That Capture the Exhilarating Power of The Boss

A new book reveals the work of David Gahr, who documented the music legend as he rose to worldwide fame

Thirteen Books That Informed and Delighted Smithsonian Scholars This Year

With a mission to increase and diffuse knowledge, Smithsonian thought leaders are voracious readers

"Our hearts are with the families of the victims—the three who lost their lives, the 35 injured and the millions across the country who are traumatized by this dark chapter in our nation’s history."

Smithsonian's African American History Museum Releases Statement on Charlottesville and Confederate Memorials

The events, says director Lonnie Bunch, are part of a 'long legacy of violence intended to intimidate and marginalize African Americans and Jews'

Remember the first time Dad took you sledding? Now it's time to take him somewhere special.

For Father's Day, Take Dad on a Tour of the Smithsonian Museums

Our featured tour: With Dad

The award-winning, responsive-design website fits your phone, tablet and computer and can be used to make an itinerary for easy printout and planning.

You Don't Need to Wait for Spring to Enjoy the Smithsonian Gardens

This new tour guide will help you relax in these urban oases

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