Articles

The internationally recognized paper artist Jiyong Chung works in the Korean craft of Joomchi (above: Balance IV, detail), a technique that was born of necessity centuries ago.

Three Craft Artists Share How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Life and Art

Traditional and innovative specialists make ready for the upcoming virtual Smithsonian Craft Show and Sale

Gigantic and extinct, Steller’s sea cows would have played an important role in shaping their environment.

How Steller's Sea Cows Impacted the Environment They Left Behind

A new paper explores the ways these extinct megaherbivores would have reshaped kelp forests across the North Pacific

Adam Driver (left) plays Jacques Le Gris, a French squire accused of raping Marguerite, wife of knight Jean de Carrouges (right, played by Matt Damon).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'The Last Duel'

A new film from Ridley Scott dramatizes the 1386 trial by combat of a medieval man accused of a horrific crime

"As an artist and an art lover," says the artist Nicolas Party, his site-specific, 829-foot work, Draw the Curtain, "is a way to pay homage" to the many art museums located in Washington, D.C. The Hirshhorn invited Party to help to disguise construction scaffolding as it undergoes a lengthy renovation.

A Peek Behind the Curtain of Hirshhorn's Largest Artwork Ever

After wrapping the museum's historic building in a huge, playful painting, Swiss artist Nicolas Party reveals what he hid in plain sight

An artist's concept of NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER.

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'

The device will hunt for resources, including water, vital to future space exploration

Stretching 4,800 square feet in size, the piece coincides with the United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child initiative and is also part of World Space Week.

A Monumental Portrait of NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson Crops Up in Atlanta

The earthwork is the latest in land artist Stan Herd's impressive, decades-spanning portfolio

In October 1971, Disney World "cast members" pose with celebrity Mickey Mouse at one of the theme park's grand opening ceremonies. 

In the Magic Kingdom, History Was a Lesson Filled With Reassurance

Fifty years ago, Disney World's celebrated opening promised joy and inspiration to all; today the theme park is reckoning with its white middle-class past

Titled Avant-Garde, the monumental shaped canvas alludes to Liu as a “guard” of a socialist reality she did not condone.

The Revolutionary Portraiture of Hung Liu

For this large-scale retrospective of the Asian American artist, who died this summer, east meets west in an exquisite collision

A gharial has the same skull shape as some extinct crocodiles. This skull shape has likely evolved three different times during the history of crocodiles.

Modern Crocodiles Are Evolving at a Rapid Rate

Despite their reputation as "living fossils," crocodiles have changed dramatically in the last two million years

The embryo of a small-spotted catshark, safe inside its egg case, is being raised at the aquarium Oceanogràfic València by Associació Lamna, a nonprofit that promotes shark conservation and research. At this stage, the young shark's gills are still external and it is growing from the sustenance provided in the yolk, visible at the bottom of the egg case.

Biologists Rescue Unborn Baby Sharks at Fish Markets

Scientists are collecting egg cases from recently caught pregnant sharks, raising the babies and releasing them into the wild

Plastic debris covers much of the sand on Henderson Island.

Plastics Make Beaches Hotter During the Day and Colder at Night

A study of remote islands shows that debris alters sand temperatures

Photo of 1982 excavation at North Shore site

Race in America

Before Rhode Island Built Its State House, a Racist Mob Destroyed the Community That Lived There

In 1831, a group of white rioters razed the Providence neighborhood of Snowtown. Now, archaeologists are excavating its legacy

Three giant rocks—Tokia, Rebua, and Kamatoa—sit in the ocean south of Makin Island in the Republic of Kiribati.

How Indigenous Stories Helped Scientists Understand the Origin of Three Huge Boulders

Legends spurred researchers to form a theory about Makin Island's distinctively out-of-place rocks

The Fleming Villa at GoldenEye.

Follow Ian Fleming's Footsteps Through Jamaica

Discover the author’s favorite places—as the 25th James Bond movie hits theaters

An X-ray fluorescence scanner analyzes correspondence of Marie Antoinette and Fersen at France’s National Archives.

X-Ray Technology Reveals Marie Antoinette's Censored Secret Correspondence

A combination of the chemical analysis and advanced data processing used could reveal many more lost writings or drawings

Godfrey Hounsfield stands beside the EMI-Scanner in 1972.

Fifty Years Ago, the First CT Scan Let Doctors See Inside a Living Skull

The invention came from an eccentric British engineer who worked at a company now better known for selling Beatles albums

In Six, Henry VIII's wives (top row, L to R: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour; bottom row, L to R: Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr) reclaim their stories.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'Six,' the Tudor Musical About Henry VIII's Wives

The show's creators, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, reflect on the smash hit ahead of its Broadway premiere

The Surprising Artistic Life of Ancient Sparta

Poets and lyricists populated the Greek civilization

A monument in Thermopylae to King Leonidas.

Sparta Was Much More Than an Army of Super Warriors

Fierce? Yes. Tough? You bet. But the true history of the Greek civilization had a lot more nuance

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How Science Conquered Diphtheria, the Plague Among Children

It was highly contagious, lethal and mysterious. Then medical experts developed treatments and vaccines, and the affliction disappeared—but not entirely

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