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Mario Van Peebles directs and stars in a new film titled Outlaw Posse.

How a Century of Black Westerns Shaped Movie History

Mario Van Peebles' "Outlaw Posse" is the latest attempt to correct the erasure of people of color from the classic cinema genre

Minerals and algae form patterns in the scalding hot water at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park's Midway Geyser Basin. Yellowstone National Park has more than 10,000 thermal features, making it the largest concentration of active geysers in the world.

How a Microbe From Yellowstone's Hot Springs Could Help Feed the World

A Chicago startup has turned a fungus found by NASA into a protein-packed food

The parade in Navalmoral de la Mata starts in the afternoon but lasts well over three hours, ushering revelers into the dusk.

These Festive Photos Capture How the World Celebrates Carnival, From Rome to Rio de Janeiro

See shots of “the world’s biggest party” from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Two unidentified Gullah Geechee women photographed by Lorenzo Dow Turner in the early 1930s

How the Memory of a Song Reunited Two Women Separated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

In 1990, scholars found a Sierra Leonean woman who remembered a nearly identical version of a tune passed down by a Georgia woman’s enslaved ancestors

Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshii Toranaga, a fictionalized version of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, in FX's "Shogun"

The Real History Behind FX's 'Shogun'

A new adaptation offers a fresh take on James Clavell's 1975 novel, which fictionalizes the stories of English sailor William Adams, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and Japanese noblewoman Hosokawa Gracia

Some of the women diarists featured in the new anthology. Top row, left to right: Ada Blackjack, Anne Clifford, Florence Nightingale, Fanny Burney and Anna Dostoyevskaya. Bottom row, left to right: Elizabeth Fry, Cynthia Asquith, Beatrice Webb, Charlotte Forten Grimké and Virginia Woolf 

What Is the Dominant Emotion in 400 Years of Women's Diaries?

A new anthology identifies frustration as a recurring theme in journals written between 1599 and 2015

Elroy and Sophia Williams stand inside the Hopewell School, a site on the National Register of Historic Places. Once freed from slavery, Sophia’s grandparents, depicted in the artwork she holds, acquired and then donated land for the school, one of nearly 5,000 built for African American children across from 1912 to 1937.

These 15 Moving Photos Celebrate Black History Month

To mark the February heritage month, these images from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest offer proof that African American history is timeless

Members of the National Negro Opera Company pose backstage during a 1941 performance of Aida.

The Founder of This Trailblazing Opera Company Put Black Singers at Center Stage

Mary Cardwell Dawson created unprecedented opportunities for aspiring Black musicians

John Smith claimed Pocahontas saved him from execution when she was just 11 or 12 years old. Whether the story happened the way Smith tells it—or even at all—is up for debate, a 2017 Smithsonian Channel documentary explains.

The True Story of Pocahontas Is More Complicated Than You Might Think

Historian Camilla Townsend separates fact from fiction in the life of the Powhatan "princess"

Georgina Hogarth lived with Charles Dickens for nearly three decades.

Who Was Georgina Hogarth, Charles Dickens' 'Best and Truest Friend'?

Unpublished letters reveal new insights into the baffling relationship between the English novelist and his sister-in-law

Could we use volcanic energy as a power source?

Could Volcanoes Power Our Planet? And More Questions From Our Readers

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

To construct her sculptures, artist Phaan Howng used 3-D prints of plants in the Smithsonian Gardens collection, then mounted them onto a steel armature and base. They were then modified and finished with resin, resin foam, foam air dry clay, EVA foam and acrylic paint.

Fantastical Art Joins Hundreds of Blooming Orchids to Shed Light on Conservation Efforts

Smithsonian Gardens’ 28th annual orchid exhibition is underway at the Kogod Courtyard

The city’s classic sign, 25 feet tall, was designed by commercial artist Betty Willis in 1959.

How the Dazzling Las Vegas Strip Rose Up From the Desert

The story behind the glitzy stretch of highway that became the destination for America’s most sublime—and most sordid—aspirations

Cleopatra Adorning the Tomb of Mark Anthony, c. 1765, was one of Angelica Kauffman’s most popular works, reproduced not only in print but also on porcelain and furniture.

Pioneering Artist Angelica Kauffman Put Women at Center Stage

The history paintings of this great Neoclassical artist prove the wonderful benefits that inclusion can bring

Two polar bears paused from their play to nuzzle noses, which is the equivalent of a kiss for some species.

Celebrate Valentine's Day With Heartwarming Snapshots of True Love

These 15 photos capture affection that goes beyond candy and flowers

The “Studentenkuss,” or Student Kiss, is a praline nougat on a waffle wafer covered in dark chocolate, about the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

How This German Chocolate Shop Created a Sweet Way for Young Admirers to Pass Love Notes

For more than 150 years, Heidelberg locals and tourists have enjoyed the "Studentenkuss," or Student Kiss—a praline nougat on a waffle wafer covered in dark chocolate

Pioneering designer Clara Driscoll conceived this indelible lamp around the turn of the 20th century—with help from her fellow "Tiffany girls."

These Women Were the Real Geniuses Behind the Iconic Tiffany Lamps

A chic light fixture reveals how female designers remade the Tiffany brand—and went largely uncredited for nearly a century

Artist and Shaman Between Two Worlds, Norval Morrisseau, 1980, shows the artist’s signature style: bold colors and a surreal sense of his subjects’ inner lives.

Inside the Biggest Art Fraud in History

A decades-long forgery scheme ensnared Canada’s most famous Indigenous artist, a rock musician turned sleuth and several top museums. Here's how investigators unraveled the incredible scam

Gijon, an Aaron program that Cohen debuted in 2007, created jungle-like scenes—distinct from the figures created by the previous version of the software, Aaron KCAT.

The First A.I.-Generated Art Dates Back to the 1970s

A new show at the Whitney showcases the visionary who devised the art world’s first artificial intelligence

In 18th-century Venice, Carnival masks created a temporary feeling of equality between the ruling class and the lower classes.

A Brief History of How Carnival Is Celebrated Around the World

Here’s how Venice, Rio de Janeiro, Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans, and Quebec City mark the pre-Lenten season

Photo of the day

Photo shows the stunning valley of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Valley View