The visionary British stage designer and artist Es Devlin is herself the creator of a multimedia exhibition now on view at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Meet the Woman Who Set the Stage for Beyoncé, the Olympics and the Royal Opera House

The award-winning set designer Es Devlin explores the art of creating spectacle

At the Paris World's Fair a powerful display of hand-drawn diagrams (above: Income and expenditure of 150 Negro families in Atlanta, Ga.,U.S. designed by W.E.B. Du Bois and his students) called attention to the unrecognized contributions of Black Americans. The fragile posters are being rotatated in and out of an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum through May 2023.

How W.E.B. Du Bois Disrupted America’s Dominance at the World’s Fair

With bar graphs and pie charts, the sociologist and his Atlanta students demonstrated Black excellence in the face of widespread discrimination

Hector Guimard, who gained acclaim from his work with the Paris Métro subway system, is the subject of an exhibition on view at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Meet the Designer of the Fanciful Subway Entrances to the Paris Métro

The celebrated architect Hector Guimard was also a passionate advocate for workers’ rights, even as he honed his reputation in the business of luxury

Dance of the Heyoka by Oscar Howe (Yanktonai Dakota), 1954

Who Gets to Define Native American Art?

A pivotal letter from Oscar Howe, whose work is the focus of a new exhibition, demanded the right to free expression and the art world began to listen

Smith, who died in 1987 at age 39, was a rising star in fashion in the mid-1970s, with clothing designs priced and sized for everyday people. "Willi Smith: Street Couture" is on view at the Cooper Hewitt in New York City through October 24, 2021.

Fashion Designer Willi Smith Looked to the Streets for Inspiration and Appreciation

The 1970s founder of WilliWear combined high-end design with mass-market appeal

Brooklyn by Mario Martinez (Pascua Yaqui), 2004

Long Sidelined, Native Artists Finally Receive Their Due

At the American Indian Museum in NYC, curators paint eight decades of American Indian artwork back into the picture

Almost all of Cannon’s large paintings (above: Three Ghost Figures, 1970), are portraits, often in electric shades of orange, purple and brilliant blue. Many vividly depict Native Americans as living, sometimes flawed individuals.

How T.C. Cannon and His Contemporaries Changed Native American Art

In the 1960s, a group of young art students upended tradition and vowed to show their real life instead

The gift’s promise lies not just in its scale and Lichtenstein’s outsize place in 20th-century art, but in the fact that much of the materials will be searchable together online.

The Stories of Poets, Artists and Cartoon Characters Are All Waiting to Be Discovered in Roy Lichtenstein’s Personal Papers

The Pop artist’s archives, recently donated to the Smithsonian, are soon to be digitized

Playing with Native American instruments, fifth-graders from New York City Public School 276 play with percussion instruments made of pelts and other fibers.

How Native Civilizations Innovated to Conquer the Wilderness

A new activity center at the American Indian Museum in NYC sheds light on the original know-how of the Americas

A new show at the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt in New York City  looks at how design interacts with other senses beyond vision, like this "smell" map of Amsterdam by Kate McLean that reveals the aroma of the city's restaurants, old book stores, laundromats and other neighborhood sites.

Could Our Housewares Keep Us Healthier?

Some designers are harnessing sound, color, smell and touch in products that promote well-being and independence for all

Homeless Vehicle, Variant 5 by Krzysztof Wodiczko, c. 1988, aluminum, fabric, wire cage and hardware

How an Exquisitely Designed Cart for Homeless People Inspired a Wave of Artists’ Activism

In the 1980s artist Krzysztof Wodiczko’s vehicle of change was also a weapon of social disruption

“I wanted to speak back to the memory of Amite, to let him know we’re still doing this work”— traditional salmon fishing as well as basket weaving, says Jordan Bennett.

How This Artist's Archival Discovery Sparked High-Tech Art

A photograph from a Smithsonian archives piqued Jordan Bennett's creativity; his work is part of a new exhibition that explores technology and tradition

American Girl by Emma Amos, from the portfolio "Impressions: Our World, Volume I," 1974

Why Making a Portrait of a Black Woman Was a Form of Protest

For Emma Amos, an African-American artist working in the 1970s, the personal was often political

FIU Blackboards by Joseph Beuys,1977-1979, now on view at the Hirshhorn.

What a Pair of Empty Blackboards Can Teach Us About Art and Social Change

Can art alter the course of history? Should artists even try? Joseph Beuys said yes and yes

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