Curators' Corner

Ask Smithsonian 2017

What Happens to Spiders That Get Sucked Into a Vacuum?

You asked, we answered

Robert Frost by Clara Sipprell, gelatin silver print, 1955.

Poetry Matters

What Gives Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Its Power?

A Smithsonian poet examines its message and how it encapsulates what its author was all about

Dolores Huerta, Huelga or Strike, Delano, California, September 24, 1965

Commentary

The Farmworker’s Champion Dolores Huerta Receives Her Due, Even as the Struggle for Justice Continues

We must continue the struggle against present-day agricultural production and labor practices, says the director of the Smithsonian’s Latino Center

Smithsonian geologist Elizabeth Cottrell (right) helps undergraduate intern Kellie Wall examine a sample of Earth’s interior. Cottrell co-directs Natural History Research Experiences, a program funded by the National Science Foundation that trains 18 students every summer.

Commentary

Hey Scientist, Who Are You Mentoring this Summer?

The director of education at the National Museum of Natural History delivers a clarion call to all scientists: Be a Mentor. Raise Up the Next Generation

The glamorous actress in the 1940s.

How Katharine Hepburn Became a Fashion Icon

Celebrate the Hollywood star with a look at her stellar costumes

Inspired by the quote “you must be the change you wish to see in the world, the artists of the S.A.G.E. Coalition in Trenton, New Jersey transformed an abandoned lot into a vibrant community garden and gathering space.

Commentary

Growing a Digital Garden Archive

The Smithsonian issues a call to preserve American garden heritage with a website that collects personal stories, photos, video and audio

On October 7, 2014, protestors blocking the road, halted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The Heart of the Hawaiian Peoples' Arguments Against the Telescope on Mauna Kea

Native Hawaiians are not protesting science, but instead are seeking respect for sacred places, and our planet

Prototype of the original Jogbra

The Innovative Spirit - OLD

The First Jogbra Was Made by Sewing Together Two Men's Athletic Supporters

An archive collected from the sports company reveals that the bra gave a boost to women's athletics

Librarian Aboubakar Yaro examines an Islamic manuscript from the 17th century at the Djenne Library of Manuscipts, in Djenne, Mali, September 2012. Djenne is thought to have at least 10,000 manuscripts held in private collections, dating from the 14th to 20th centuries.

Why We Have a Civic Responsibility to Protect Cultural Treasures During Wartime

With the recent deliberate destruction of cultural treasures in the Middle East, we remember the measures taken in the past to preserve our heritage

The two commanders sat across from each other; Lee in a tall caned armchair and Grant in a swivel chair with a padded leather back next to a small oval side table. They made some small talk before Lee asked on what terms Grant would “receive the surrender of my army.”

The Civil War

The Gentleman's Agreement That Ended the Civil War

When Generals Grant and Lee sat down at Appomattox Court House, they brought an end to the struggle that had consumed the nation for five long years

A Malaysian boy and girl holding candles during the 60 minute Earth Hour 2012 celebration in Kuala Lumpur, March 31, 2012.

Anthropocene

What Climate Change Will Mean for the People of Oceania

On many maps the ocean is colored a uniform, solid blue. But for those who live off the waters, the sea is places, roads, highways

Angela Lansbury in her Tony Award-winning role as Madame Arcati, with Charles Edward as Charles Condomine, Simon Jones as Charles’s friend Dr. Bradman, Melissa Woodridge as the ghost wife Elvira, Charlotte Perry as the second wife Ruth, Sandra Shipley as Mrs. Bradman, and Susan Louise O’Connor as the maid Edith.

Dame Angela Lansbury Makes A "Spirit"-ed Return to the Stage

Noël Coward's timeless play brings the actress back to the D.C. theater where she got her start 58 years ago

Why the Story of Cinderella Endures and Resonates

A Smithsonian folklorist follows the ancient tale with a particularly American twist

Doing science in the field wrecks havoc on the nails

Just Another #ManicureMonday for Women Scientists and Their Dirty Nails

For a Smithsonian researcher, Monday is a day to honor the women in science and other uses for nail polish

Last year at a celebration of International Mother Language Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh, thousands attend a monument commemorating those killed during the Language Movement demonstrations of 1952.

The Human Right to Speak Whatever Language You Want is Worth Celebrating

With an ever increasing lack of language diversity, There Needs to Be More Recognition of February's International Mother Language day

Chocolate Week

D.C.'s Artisan Chocolate Makers Show Off Their Sweet Labor of Love

Leaving no task undone, this husband-and-wife team demonstrate their process for producing chocolate

Richard Cadbury began selling chocolates in heart-shaped boxes in 1861.

The World of Chocolate

How Chocolate and Valentine's Day Mated for Life

Tracing the lovers, the leaders and the ladies responsible for the pairing of chocolate to Valentine's Day

Eddie Van Halen, 1985

The Electric Guitar's Long (And Louder), Strange Trip

From its gentle 16th-century acoustic origins to the souped-up ‘Frankenstein,’ a Smithsonian scholar strums the historic chords of the guitar

An 1862 Alexander Gardner photograph shows the bodies of dead Confederate artillerymen at Antietam.

Vivid Images of Civil War Casualties Inspire a Scholar's Inner Muse

Alexander Gardner’s photography, a record of sacrifice and devastating loss, prompts a new creativity from the show's curator

"One of the most important contributions" of the film, says Lonnie Bunch, "is the humanization of Dr. King," as portrayed by David Oyelowo.

Breaking Ground

The Director of the African American History Museum Weighs in on 'Selma'

A film with black history at its core and created by African Americans opens up a "national conversation"

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