Articles

“This room is one of the masterworks of late 19th-century art and design, says the museum’s curator of American Art Diana Greenwold.

Whistler’s 'Peacock Room' Open After Weeks of Restoration

The story behind the Smithsonian’s showstopper is one of a major dust-up between the artist and his patron

Forest Lawn Memorial-Park doubled as a spectacle of art, Christianity, architecture and patriotism.

Inside the Disneyland of Graveyards

How Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, a star-studded cemetery in Los Angeles, corporatized mourning in America

On October 21, some 60,000 pilgrims descend on the town of Portobelo, Panama, to celebrate the Festival del Cristo Negro.

Panama

Panama's Black Christ Festival Stirs Up Sorrow and a Sense of Survival

For Afro-Panamanians, October offers a chance to celebrate Catholicism and their Blackness

An artist’s reconstruction of Qianodus duplicis, the earliest known fish that had a mouth with teeth

Haul of Fossil Fish Pushes Back the Origin of Teeth and Jaws

The unexpected finds illustrate life during a critical and little-understood time period

To grab pedestrians’ attention, Pahl built a 19-foot-tall hammer and erected it on the lawn in front of the museum in 2007.

Alaska

A Small Town in Alaska Is Home to the World's First Hammer Museum

Perhaps no one knows the history of the tool better than collector Dave Pahl, who opened a shrine of his artifacts in Haines 20 years ago

“The first people to look at the Rosetta Stone thought it would take two weeks to decipher,” says Edward Dolnick, author of The Writing of the Gods: The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone. “It ended up taking 20 years.”

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Two Hundred Years Ago, the Rosetta Stone Unlocked the Secrets of Ancient Egypt

French scholar Jean-François Champollion announced his decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs on September 27, 1822

A European eel swims in the Baltic Sea. 

The Utterly Engrossing Search for the Origin of Eels

To save the endangered animals, researchers have been working for decades to figure out where they reproduce

Andrew Dominik's Blonde doesn't purport to be historically accurate. Instead, like the Joyce Carol Oates novel it's based on, the film seeks to be spiritually faithful to the image Monroe embodied.

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the Real Marilyn Monroe?

"Blonde," a heavily fictionalized film by Andrew Dominik, explores the star's life and legend in a narrative that's equal parts glamorous and disturbing

This month, Portraits, a podcast from the National Portrait Gallery, revisits "Finding Cleopatra," a Sidedoor episode with host Lizzie Peabody exploring the life of the artist Edmonia Lewis (above: a photographic portrait by Henry Rocher, c. 1890).

Cleopatra’s Iconoclastic Sculptor Was Her Own Kind of Queen

Smithsonian podcasts delve into the life of Edmonia Lewis, how astronauts sleep, the evolution of the human brain; and drop in on painter Kay WalkingStick

The Quadcopter Mines Detector uses a metal detector to find land mines as it flies above them.

A Ukrainian Teenager Invents a Drone That Can Detect Land Mines

Seventeen-year-old Igor Klymenko worked on his invention while sheltering in a basement from Russian attacks

Just as songs repeat in choruses, formations in space take understandable shapes. Pictured here are the large Cartwheel galaxy and two smaller companion galaxies.

What Pop Stars and Actual Stars Have in Common

A songwriter and an astrophysicist discuss the art and science of repetition

Neal V. Loving’s WR-3, shown at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, will move to the redesigned galleries on the National Mall.

The West Wing of the National Air and Space Museum Prepares to Take Flight

The Smithsonian museum reopens to the public, transforming the way we tell the story of aviation

The current drought reveals lost items from earlier, wetter times, like this sunken boat near Iceberg Canyon.

The Breathtaking Glen Canyon Reveals Its Secrets

Water woes threaten America’s second largest reservoir—but leave new vistas in their wake

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Women Who Shaped History

The Little-Known Story of the Women Who Stood Up to General Motors and Demanded Equal Pay

In the 1930s, Florence St. John and her co-workers at an automotive plant won a hard-fought victory for fairness

Florence Pugh (left) stars in Don't Worry Darling as Alice, a 1950s housewife who resides in an idyllic California community with her husband, Jack (Harry Styles, right).

The Feminist Inspiration Behind 'Don't Worry Darling'

Director Olivia Wilde dubbed the new film "'The Feminine Mystique' on acid"

Lost by Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, 2015. The acrylic and oil work is from a series on the Mangbetu people of Congo, whose distinctive traditions, such as skull-elongation, are on the brink of disappearing.

How Artist Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga Connects the Past and the Present

In bold, symbolic canvasses, the painter was inspired by a broken iPhone

A bull walks in front of a cow. If they mate, the bull’s sperm will likely cluster together as they swim through the female’s reproductive organs.

Bull Sperm Get by With a Little Help From Their Friends

Traveling together helps the sperm navigate a tricky, sticky migration through a cow's reproductive tract

A sculpture by artist Arlene Love and a tray of bottled scents in Joel Mainland’s office at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

Sniffing Out the Science of Smelling

From the lab to the art gallery, the latest efforts to understand the fragrant, musky, stinky and utterly baffling world of your nose

Members of the Preservation All Stars perform in the hall on August 18, 2022.

 

How Preservation Hall Has Kept New Orleans' Iconic Jazz Alive

The plucky institution staged a brassy comeback for America’s signature music

Market research firm Fact.MR estimated that global nonalcoholic wine sales reached $1.6 billion in 2021 and will double in the next decade.

The Science Behind Nonalcoholic Wine

Drinking habits are changing, and vintners are exceeding tasters' expectations with new options stripped of their alcohol

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