Curators' Corner

Josh Brolin stars in Spike Lee's 2013 remake of the Korean cult classic Oldboy.

The Smithsonian's Curator of Asian Film on Where Spike Lee's Oldboy Fails

The Sackler Gallery's curator Tom Vick wonders why Hollywood directors and producers even bother remaking films when the originals were so excellent

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Watch: The Air Force Band Turns the National Air and Space Museum Into a Concert Hall

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in “12 Years a Slave”

The Director of the African-American History and Culture Museum on What Makes “12 Years a Slave” a Powerful Film

Lonnie Bunch offers his response to the stunning movie, a favorite for the Best Picture Oscar

What is the Origin of Hollywood's Red Carpet?

Curator Amy Henderson has rolled out the red carpet to a host of America's dancing superstars in a new show at the Portrait Gallery

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Why We Missed America’s National Treasures During the Shutdown

The Smithsonian's Richard Kurin reflects on the recent shutdown and the icons that have shaped American history

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The Civil War

In Lines of Long Array, 12 Poets Reflect on the Civil War

The National Portrait Gallery commissioned 12 modern-day poets to consider the harsh realities of battles that continue to haunt

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Remembering an Iconic Era Lost to Time: The Stars and Films of the Silent Pictures

Curator Amy Henderson reminds us of power and influence and glory of the celebrities that pioneered the silent film era

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Why the Smithsonian Just Can’t Quit Studying the Civil War

150 years later, the war is still in focus

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The Civil War

Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and the War That Changed Poetry, Forever

The two titans of American poetry chronicled the death and destruction of the Civil War in their poems

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When America Entered the Modern Age

Obsolescence yaps at the heels of every dazzling invention, says curator Amy Henderson as she considers the birth of modernism a century ago

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What Makes Rita Coolidge the Musician for Every Era

Her collaborations with Joe Cocker and Kris Kristofferson made her famous, but hear her live at two free concerts in New York City and D.C.

Grab some popcorn for this summer’s blockbusters.

Minions! Did You See How Much a Movie Ticket Might Cost One Day?

Best way to beat the heat, says curator Amy Henderson, is the summer blockbuster, but are they going the way of the dinosaurs

McCoy with the Milky Way, which his Miami Indian forebears called the “Spirit Trail.”

Rediscovering a Lost Native American Language

Tim McCoy’s astronomy course is helping to revive the words of the Miami tribe

Elvis on the Southern Railroad between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tenn. July 4, 1956

Hanging Out with Elvis in Fort Worth

Hitting the road this month, curator Amy Henderson follows her show "Elvis at 21" to Texas

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Poetry Matters: A Lifelong Conversation in Letters and Verse

For Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, a friendship between two poets left a beautiful written record

Batang, a female orangutan at the National Zoo, snacks on a pumpkin.

How to Cook Meals for the 2,000 Animals at the National Zoo

Secretary Clough explains how the Zoo’s chefs prepare food for 400 different species

Auguste Bert Vaslav Nijinsky as the Golden Slave from Scheherazade, 1910 gelatin silver print V&A

Bringing the Dazzle Back to the Blockbuster Exhibit

Casting aside today’s fondness for the understated, a curator ponders the importance of “the wow factor”

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What the Great Gatsby Got Right about the Jazz Age

Curator Amy Henderson explores how the 1920s came alive in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel

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The Eyes Have It

In the wake of the Boston bombing, Amy Henderson explores parallels between the era of Edison and the mediascape of today that helped solve the crime

Cosmetics have a long history.

Miss Piggy, My Feather Boa and A Moment to Consider Makeup’s Greasy Past

No Fools Need Apply to the Smithsonian's Curatorial Conference On Stuff, A Sometimes Annual Scholarly Gathering on a Subject Rarely Considered

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