Arts & Culture

Leafcutter ants can be found across Central and South America. They build gigantic, subterranean nests with complex societies.

Smithsonian Voices

Thinking of Eating Cicadas? Here Are Six Other Tasty Insects to Try, Too

The practice of eating insects, known as entomophagy, is widespread around the world

Nyan Cat, a 2011 animated feline with a Pop Tart body, first became a popular YouTube video but was reclaimed by its creator, a young Dallas artist named Chris Torres, as an NFT that sold for $587,000 in February.

Hirshhorn Hosts Panel of Experts to Hash Out the Brave New World of Non-Fungible Tokens

The unexpected $69 million sale of a digital artwork shocked the art world and now disruption is the name of the game

On June 3 live from Panama, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute staff share their ground-breaking research on tropical forests and marine ecosystems.

Smithsonian Voices

Live from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and 26 Other Smithsonian Programs Streaming in June

Join online to hear lectures from artists, historians, photographers, craftmakers and other experts

Cheez-It’s 11-month shelf life is impressive, but so is the company’s history.

A Brief History of the Cheez-It

America's iconic orange cracker turns 100 this year

Tsökahovi "Louis" Tewanima became an Olympian while being forced to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

The Olympic Star Who Just Wanted to Go Home

Tsökahovi Tewanima held an American record in running for decades, but his training at the infamous Carlisle school kept him from his ancestral Hopi lands

Before donating the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, the jeweler Harry Winston had Bradford Bachrach photograph Eleanor Kidd—the face of Lucky Strike cigarettes—wearing 
the gem in 1958.

The Story Behind the Photography Studio That Captured America

For generations, Bachrach Photographers made everyone, from JFK to Duke Ellington to everyday people, look great

At the library of St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem, Stewart and Abouna Shimon Can, a monk, view centuries-old Syriac manuscripts.

This American Monk Travels the World to Rescue Ancient Documents From Oblivion

Father Columba Stewart has visited sites from Kathmandu to Timbuktu in his mission to safeguard precious manuscripts that tell humanity's story

Separate Working Things I, vegetable color, dry pigment, watercolor and tea on walk paper, 1993-1995. The painting borrows archetypal images of romantic love.

The Reinvention of the Art of the Miniature

Putting a new spin on traditional themes, an artist revitalizes a once-popular form of painting

Incan qeros from the National Museum of the American Indian. The white pigment “often appears yellowish over time,” says Emily Kaplan.

How the Inca Discovered a Prized Pigment

The centuries-old history of titanium white

"What’s Going On" was a turning point for Marvin Gaye.

Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' Is as Relevant Today as It Was in 1971

Fifty years ago, the artist released Motown's best-selling album ever and changed the course of his musical career

Pourang Mokhtari watches over the family's goats and sheep high in the Zagros Mountains.

Passage Through the Zagros

True to an ancient way of life, a family in Iran makes a treacherous seasonal migration across the mountains

Photographed in late April while still under construction, LUMA Arles is no skyscraper at 184 feet tall, but it towers over neighbors in the ancient city.

A New Frank Gehry Tower Rises Above the Quaint French Town of Arles

The city best known for its association with Vincent van Gogh now has a new, controversial art center

Freshly gathered truffles at Burwell Farms are the fruit of
a bold collaboration—and a proprietary cultivation technique.

Has the American-Grown Truffle Finally Broken Through?

These delicacies, harvested in an experiment in North Carolina, have food-lovers and farmers ravenous for more

"Beckoning: A Playlist of AAPI Joy, Sorrow, Rage and Resistance" is an eclectic mix of heartwarming tunes, instrumentals and pointed social commentary from such veterans as Yoko Ono and Brothers Cazimero as well as emerging artists like Audrey Nuna and G Yamazawa.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Calls Upon Its Community to Share the Power of Music

As an antidote for these times, 43 songs honoring joy, sorrow, rage and resistance

Among the offerings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, reopening today, is the vibrant exhibition "¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now."

The Fine Art of Political Protest

More than 100 Mexican-American works spotlight how Chicano graphic artists lift up the power of people

Iran's Lake Urmia, once one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world, is vanishing due to climate change.

Innovation for Good

Can Climate Fiction Writers Reach People in Ways That Scientists Can't?

A new subgenre of science fiction leans on the expertise of biologists and ecologists to imagine a scientifically plausible future Earth

Featuring South African actress Thuso Mbedu as Cora (pictured here), the adaptation arrives amid a national reckoning on systemic injustice, as well as a renewed debate over cultural depictions of violence against Black bodies.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Amazon Prime's 'Underground Railroad'

The adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel reimagines the eponymous trail to freedom as an actual train track

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Smithsonian Voices

Hear the Voices of America's Artistic Community Recounting Despair, Resilience, Loss and Creation

During the summer of 2020, the Archives of American Art conducted 85 interviews with artists, teachers, curators and administrators

“Despite taking place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars introduced generations of fans here on Earth to outer space as a setting for adventure and exploration,” says the museum's Margaret Weitekamp.

Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter Lands at the National Air and Space Museum

Udvar-Hazy visitors can watch conservators give the film prop a careful exam before it goes on view in 2022

Reddy's two-story installation weaves human wisdom and intelligent technology together, forming a shimmering monument reflective of visitors' collective visions of the future.

A New, Interactive Sculpture by Suchi Reddy Illuminates Our Hopes and Fears About the Future

The A.I.-powered installation, a hallmark of the Smithsonian's upcoming "Futures" show, promises something never seen or experienced before

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