Articles by Menachem Wecker

The walrus diorama at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, photographed in 2009, includes a "realistic" marine background.

The History and Future of the Once-Revolutionary Taxidermy Diorama

In their heyday, these dead animal displays were virtual reality machines

The Carnegie Quarry fossil excavation at Utah's Dinosaur National Monument has yielded more than 11 different species, including dinosaurs, such as Allosaurus, Diplodocus and Stegosaurus, as well as turtles, crocodiles and lizards.

You Can Thank Scientists for the National Park System

Early conservation research and scientific expeditions laid the groundwork and helped to convince the public national parks were a good idea

The portrait in question, by Dutch painter Barend Graat

Is This a Portrait of One of the World’s Most Influential Philosophers?

One Dutch art dealer is convinced that he owns the only portrait that Baruch Spinoza sat for

One of the board games in the collections of the Museum of World War II

How the Nazis “Normalized” Anti-Semitism by Appealing to Children

A new museum and exhibit explore the depths of the hatred toward Europe’s Jews

Sita Bhaumik, Saqib Keval, Jocelyn Jackson and Norma Listman (People's Kitchen Collective)

The Smithsonian Gets Experimental and Field-Tests a New Forum for Bringing Artists to the Public

A Two-Day Festival in the historic Arts & Industries Building brings community, artists and scholars together for a “Culture Lab”

Pozzi and her team at the Washed Ashore project, achieve a remarkable and convincing array of textures.

Age of Humans

There’s a Bunch of Animals at the Zoo this Summer Made Out of Ocean Garbage

Delightfully whimsical, the sculptures drive home the message that there’s a whole lot of trash washing ashore

View of the Bahamas as seen from the International Space Station in the new IMAX film, A Beautiful Planet

A Tweet Is Just a Ritz Cracker, But an IMAX Film Is a Steak Dinner

That’s what astronaut Terry Virts says about the new IMAX film he helped to make

"Science fiction is so important to our culture, because it allows us to dream," said Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division, at the "Future is Here" festival.

Future Is Here Festival

The Future Is Here Festival Considers Extraterrestrial Life and the Essence of Humanity

In the festival's final day, speakers turn to the cosmos and our place within it

Crisis, From the series Ashab Al-Lai/ Fault Mirage: A Thousand Lost years by Ahmed Mater, 2015

A Changing Mecca Is the Focus of the First U.S. Exhibition to Feature a Saudi Artist

The works of Ahmed Mater at the Sackler examine the stark collision of the sacred and profane

TEFAF 2016 - Robbig

Where Museums Go to Shop for Rare Works of Art

In the south of Holland, a Dutch city plays host to the art world’s biggest collectors

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Even 500 Years After His Death, Hieronymus Bosch Hasn’t Lost His Appeal

A trip to the painter’s hometown reminds us how his paintings remain frightfully timely

The hidden significance of the illustrations found on "The Cosmic Buddha," an iconic masterpiece from the collections of the Freer Gallery, is now being revealed thanks to 3D technology.

Curators Discover New Details in the Etchings on a 6th-Century Chinese Sculpture

A headless figure, cloaked in a robe covered with complex illustrations, is now better understood thanks to 3D technology

Femme au beret orange et au col 
de fourrure (Marie Thérèse), by Pablo Picasso, 1937

New Exhibition Featuring Picasso, O'Keeffe, Hopper and Many Others Brings Modernism Into Focus

The artistic risk and adventure of 20th-century modernism is explored at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia undergoes a scanning process for the creation of a 3-D model.

In Another Giant Leap, Apollo 11 Command Module Is 3-D Digitized for Humankind

Five decades after Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins journeyed to the moon, their spaceship finds a new digital life

Kay WalkingStick's five-decade career is honored in a major retrospective, “Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist,” at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

A Long Overdue Retrospective for Kay WalkingStick Dispels Native Art Stereotypes

At the American Indian Museum, the new show traces a career that included minimalist works to monumental landscapes

Heart Valves at the National Museum of American History

Innovative Spirit Health Care

A Man With a Lot of Heart Valves Donates His Unusual Collection

Minneapolis entrepreneur Manny Villafana says his collection at the American History Museum is filled with stories of both failure and success

The Innovative Spirit

The Smithsonian’s Innovation Festival Demystifies the Invention Process

Inventors of a number of new technologies shared their stories at a two-day event at the National Museum of American History

On August 29, 1985, Michael Drummond became the sixth person, and the youngest, to be implanted with an artificial heart.

The Innovative Spirit

Thirty Years Ago, an Artificial Heart Helped Save a Grocery Store Manager

The Smithsonian, home to the Jarvik 7 and a host of modern chest-pumping technologies, has a lot of (artificial) heart

Plaster cast of Greek Slave, 1843, by Hiram Powers

The Scandalous Story Behind the Provocative 19th-Century Sculpture "Greek Slave"

Artist Hiram Powers earned fame and fortune for his beguiling sculpture, but how he crafted it might have proved even more shocking

Apple I computer, 1976, Steve Jobs (Patent no. 7166791) and Steve Wozniak (Patent No. 4136359). The Apple I computer became a leader in personal computing. Originally marketed to hobbyists only primarily as a fully assembled circuit board, purchasers had to add their own case and monitor in order to create a working computer.

Tracing the History of American Invention, From the Telegraph to the Apple I

More than 70 artifacts, from an artificial heart to an Etch A Sketch, grace the entryway to the American History Museum's new innovation wing