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Gilliam, 88, died June 25 in his studio, just miles from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which recently opened a captivating new show, “Sam Gilliam: Full Circle.”

Abstractionist Sam Gilliam Dies at 88, Hirshhorn Hosts His Final Show

The beloved Washington, D.C. artist went full circle with a bold new series of round paintings

“Music is a reflection of people's lives. It comes out of their experience,” says the folk musician Alice Gerrard, who will perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m.

Why Women's Music Embraces the Voices of Past Generations

New show examining the deep connections women make with musical tradition kicks off with a concert featuring folk star Alice Gerrard

Royal kombu (aka sugar kelp) harvested from the Netherlands’ first organic seaweed farm enriches and flavors the Dutch Weed Burger’s soy-chip-based patty.

Innovation for Good

Is Seaweed the Next Big Alternative to Meat?

From kelp burgers to bacon of the sea, sustainable food entrepreneurs are innovating to charm hungry omnivores

Austin Butler as Elvis in the new biopic

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis'

The new film dramatizes the life and legend of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama

Panama

Explore the history, culture and natural wonders of the Central American country

In Panama, sancocho is a national dish.

Panama

Panama's Sancocho Is a Soup That Can Cure It All

The cherished stew is a welcome remedy for homesickness—or even a hangover

Desert Breath is a one-million-square-foot artwork smack dab in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Good News

Eight Works of Art in Unlikely Places

In a new art atlas, author Grace Banks takes readers on a journey to some of the most fascinating artworks found outside of museums and galleries

Vassily Maximov, A Sorcerer Comes to a Peasant Wedding, circa 1875

In Early Modern Russia, the Majority of Accused 'Witches' Were Men

Orthodox Russians deployed magic for practical purposes, like inflicting illness, harming business competitors and attracting lovers

The "Gifts We Carry: Sounds of Migration and Memory” concert will combine musicians from several backgrounds and cultures, including Salar Nader on the tabla and Homayoun Sakhi, a master on the Afghan stringed instrument the rubab. 

After Long Absence, the Folklife Festival Returns to the National Mall

The much-loved summer event, featuring the United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism programs, opens with a concert hosted by Yo-Yo Ma

In 1547, Elizabeth's brother, 9-year-old Edward VI, ascended the throne. Then 13 years old, the princess found herself second in line to the crown.

Based on a True Story

The Royal Scandal That Rocked Elizabeth I's Teenage Years

A new Starz series, "Becoming Elizabeth," dramatizes the future queen's controversial relationship with her much-older stepfather, Thomas Seymour

In her new historic novel, Brooks reimagines the life of the itinerant artist Thomas J. Scott, who rendered the distinguished race horse in the oil painting, Portrait of Lexington, ca. 1857, a work that Smithsonian curator Eleanor Harvey describes as "visually riveting."

The Lost Story of Lexington, the Record-Breaking Thoroughbred, Races Back to Life

For her latest novel “Horse,” the Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks found inspiration in the Smithsonian collections

"This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World," featuring Alicia Eggert's stunning 2019-2020 neon sculpture, is on view at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Craft World Is Undergoing a Democratization

In a new show at the Renwick Gallery, maker’s art is having a renaissance moment, with works that reveal powerful persistence and resilience

Located alongside New Jersey’s southernmost point, Cape May is a stunning Victorian shore community that once played a role in guiding Black enslaved laborers to freedom.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022

From the alleged birthplace of Paul Bunyan to the original gateway to Yellowstone, these towns are buzzing with activity

On May 20, the artist KAWS, also known as Brian Donnelly (above at Rockefeller Center in August 2021), received from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden an award for "his contributions to art and popular culture."

Is a KAWS Celeb Sighting Cause for Speculation?

The ex-street artist turned art-world sensation receives a warm reception and an award from the Hirshhorn

Hassinger's video (above: Birthright by Maren Hassinger, 2005) is a powerful history of seven orphaned children, a story of stolen labor and stolen lives, a family chronicle “that came out of being enslaved, the aftermath of slavery,” says the artist.

Join in a Meditation on the Twists of Memories Handed Down From One Generation to Another

A new commission, based on the acclaimed video 'Birthright' by artist Maren Hassenger, explores the legacy of slavery in family history

Li Shiu Tong and Magnus Hirschfeld at the 1932 conference for the World League for Sexual Reform

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Gay Asian Activist Whose Theories on Sexuality Were Decades Ahead of Their Time

In the 1930s, Li Shiu Tong's boyfriend, Magnus Hirschfeld, was a prominent defender of gay people. But Li's own research has long been overlooked

This year, sixteen bakers delivered on the challenge.

Good News

This Museum Is Asking People to Remake Famous Artworks With Cake

Through its annual bake-off, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, provides a fun way for the public to engage with its collections

The Blue-Haired Fairy and the Talking Cricket try to make Pinocchio drink a medicine in an illustration for the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi (1826-1890).

Who Was Pinocchio's Mysterious Blue-Haired Fairy?

Author Carlo Collodi may have drawn inspiration from one—or a few—female figures in his life

Adorned in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, Victoria Franco takes part in a protest near Los Angeles City Hall on March 19, weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

How Ukrainian and Russian Immigrants View the War From Afar

To residents of Southern California with ties to the Eastern European nations, the conflict feels close to home

“Once upon a time, there was a piece of wood.” An Italian tradition, epitomized by the fictional Geppetto, continues at Bartolucci’s shop in Florence.

The Real Story of Pinocchio Tells No Lies

Forget what you know from the cartoon. The 19th-century story, now in a new translation, was a rallying cry for universal education and Italian nationhood

Photo of the day

A female burrowing owl brought food to the burrow for her owlets. Focus