Arts & Culture

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As the North Carolina farmed oyster industry grows, advocates hope to fuel consumer demand and build the industry’s profile with a tourism “trail.”

North Carolina's Oyster Trail Aims to Give the Farmed Shellfish Industry a Boost

In the tradition of wine and ale trails, the state’s new tourism offering highlights restaurants, farms, festivals and markets

“The Great Divide” explores how ideas that came to the fore during the Enlightenment at once blurred social hierarchies and reinforced them, particularly along lines of gender and race. 

These 18th-Century Shoes Underscore the Contradictions of the Age of Enlightenment

An exhibition at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum examines fashion's role in supporting social hierarchies that emerged during the landmark intellectual movement

Musicians Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc take center stage in a 2013 celebration of the 40th anniversary of hip-hop. The brother and sister duo threw a "Back-to School Jam" in August, 1973 and launched a lasting music genre.

How the Block Party Became an Urban Phenomenon

This Saturday, NMAAHC invites the nation to livestream its star-studded Hip-Hop Block Party

The Guna, an Indigenous group residing in Panama and parts of neighboring Colombia, have been creating colorfully embroidered clothing for centuries.

Panama

The Colorful History Behind Panama's Mola

Made by hand, this clothing staple is an important piece of the country's rich culture

Ornithologist Edmund Selous made empathy for birds respectable and, in doing so, changed the world. Bird-watching became a popular pastime, eventually making birding scientific and playing a pivotal role in the animals’ conservation.

How Bird Collecting Evolved Into Bird-Watching

In the early 1900s, newfound empathy for avian creatures helped wildlife observation displace dispassionate killing

Pietas affiliate groups have built temples across Italy.

When I Celebrated the Summer Solstice With Ancient Roman Gods and Goddesses

Members of a group in Italy called Association Pietas are reviving the ancient religion of Rome

The pinta’o originated in the province of Coclé southwest of Panama City, where the hats are still made today.

Panama

The Real Panama Hat

For centuries, Panamanian artists have been weaving "pinta'o" from natural fibers

At the world's largest arms fair held every two years in London, a group of artists in 2016 organized the "Art the Arms Fair," to voice opposition to the war industry and the international arms trade (above: Pattern Tank by Tristan Oliver, 2019).

Designers Build a Provocative Road Map for World Peace

Cooper Hewitt’s new show taps into the collective consciousness of activists, app developers, artists and architects to envision a way forward

Medical student Anna Searcy in 1897

Women Who Shaped History

These Trailblazers Were the Only Women in the Room Where It Happened

A new book spotlights 100 historical photographs of lone women hidden among groups of men

A boy riding his bike while delivering newspapers with his dog in tow, 1970s

What Ever Happened to the Neighborhood Paperboy?

To mark the premiere of Amazon's "Paper Girls," we delved into the surprisingly murky history of bicycle-riding newspaper carriers

John Volanthen (Colin Farrell), Richard Harris (Joel Edgerton) and Rick Stanton (Viggo Mortensen) in Thirteen Lives

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Ron Howard's 'Thirteen Lives'

A new film dramatizes the harrowing attempts to save a group of boys trapped in a cave in Thailand in 2018

Albert “Kid” Mertz (above: Untitled, c. 1980) painted hundreds, possibly thousands of railroad spikes he had collected from tracks near his property, giving each spike a cheerful face.

The Allure of Self-Taught Art

SAAM’s new show “We Are Made of Stories” examines the 20th-century rise and creative vision of artists who make art without formal training

Despite the Russian invasion, traditional Ukrainian folk singers performed as part of the celebrations for Kyiv Day  on May 28, 2022.

Can Cultural Treasures in Occupied Ukraine Be Saved?

The podcast 'Sidedoor' goes behind-the-scenes with the Smithsonian Culture Rescue Initiative and its heroic efforts to safeguard the nation’s heritage

A meeting of the Soviet Republics’ Esperanto Union, held in Moscow in 1931

Why Hitler and Stalin Hated Esperanto, the 135-Year-Old Language of Peace

Jewish doctor L.L. Zamenhof created Esperanto as a way for diverse groups to easily communicate

James Corner Field Operations, the San Francisco branch of the New York-based firm that designed Manhattan's High Line, was the developer for the project.

Good News

This New San Francisco Park Sits Above Six Lanes of Traffic

The 14-acre Presidio Tunnel Tops is the latest infrastructure reuse project to transform a city

A family-owned coffee farm in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, Hacienda Tres Ángeles teaches visitors about the coffee making process from “crop-to-cup.”

How Puerto Rico Became One of the Caribbean's Top Agritourism Destinations

Across the island, certified sites invite both travelers and local residents to experience farming practices and traditions firsthand

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's flag hangs on the door of a hijacked TWA Boeing 707 at Dawson's Field in Libya in September 1970.

A Brief History of Airplane Hijackings, From the Cold War to D.B. Cooper

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, hijackings occurred, on average, once every five days globally

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) recently acquired David Hammons' iconic African American Flag, which is now on view in the exhibition "Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience."

How a Celebrated Artist Redesigned the Stars and Stripes to Mark His Pride in Black America

David Hammons' 'African American Flag' is newly acquired and on view at NMAAHC

The female pandanus plant of the Asia Pacific region produces a vitamin- and potassium-rich pineapple-like fruit.

Good News

Eight Superfoods That Could Future-Proof Our Diet

These climate-resilient crops could find more prominent placement on our plates in the next few decades

Many of this year’s 42 finalists (above: Customer Service Representative by Marianna Olague, 2020) delve into the American psyche, depicting life during the Covid era.

These Are the New Faces of American Portraiture

In its 16th year, the Outwin Portrait Competition reflects the stunning vision of contemporary portrait-based art