Exhibitions

The famed Ruby Slippers were worn by by Judy Garland in her portrayal of Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

It's Showtime at the National Museum of American History

An inside look at how popular culture represents who we are as a nation

First lady Jill Biden and Hirshhorn Museum Director Melissa Chiu, flanked by artists and dignataries, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to begin the renovation of the Sculpture Garden.

First Lady Jill Biden Breaks Ground for the Hirshhorn’s Revitalized Sculpture Garden

Architect Hiroshi Sugimoto is creating a welcoming new design for the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary art museum

Rhea L. Combs (left) and Ava DuVernay (right) share a laugh in front of DuVernay’s portrait during the National Portrait Gallery's 2022 Portrait of a Nation Gala on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

See Stunning Portraits of Ava DuVernay, José Andrés and the Williams Sisters

The National Portrait Gallery's 2022 Portrait of a Nation Award honors seven changemakers, from Anthony Fauci to Clive Davis

Tomioka Tessai was beloved for the personality and humor he infused in his work, with exaggerated expressions on his figures, and traditional scenes such as that of his 1921 Blind Men Appraising an Elephant (above: detail, 1921).

Meet Tessai, the Japanese Master Who Ushered in Modernism

Excitement builds for a rare showing of works by the 19th-century painter whose dynamic colors and bold brushstrokes mirrored the avant-garde of the West

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian dedicated the National Native American Veterans Memorial Friday, November 11 as part of a three-day event to honor Native veterans.

A Long-Deserved Tribute to Native American Veterans

A ceremonial procession kicked off a weekend of events to dedicate the National Native American Veterans Memorial

The Wright Flyer is among the iconic artifacts held at the Smithsonian. When visitors come to see it, they tend to fall silent, says curator Peter Jakab. “People often recognize that they’re standing in front of something special.”

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

How the Wright Brothers Took Flight

The remarkable story of how the duo grew to become world-changing inventors and international celebrities

Frances F. Denny (b. 1984). Shine, (New York, New York), 2017, from Major Arcana: Portraits of Witches in America series. Archival pigment print.

What Does It Mean to Be a Witch Today?

A new exhibition on the Salem witch trials explores how the meaning of the word "witch" has evolved through the centuries

The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, the only part of the spacecraft from the first moon-landing expedition to return to Earth, is on view with the space suit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon in July 1969.

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

The Incredible Technology That Made Humanity's Moon Dreams a Reality

A new, completely reimagined exhibition goes beyond the Cold War narrative to explore the full story of lunar landings

The museum's doors reopen Friday, October 14 (above: an early morning view from the exterior of the "America by Air" exhibition) following a seven-month closure due to massive renovations.

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

Buckle Up for the Reopening of One of America's Most Popular Museums

An HVAC overhaul led to a total building replacement. Today's must-see National Air and Space Museum adds new stories and new artifacts

This year's Craft2Wear Show features over 60 premier jewelry, leather and wearables artisans from across the country.

The Art of Wearing Works of Art

From Japanese kimono silks to Navajo jewelry, Smithsonian’s 2022 Craft2Wear brings shoppers into a world of wearable craft and design

Septima Poinsette Clark by Brian Lanker, 1987

Women Who Shaped History

These Black Women Changed America

Thirty years ago, photographer Brian Lanker made indelible images of historical lives; a new exhibition says their stories have never seemed more relevant

Musicians Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc take center stage in a 2013 celebration of the 40th anniversary of hip-hop. The brother and sister duo threw a "Back-to School Jam" in August, 1973 and launched a lasting music genre.

How the Block Party Became an Urban Phenomenon

Watch the National Museum of African American History and Culture's 2022 star-studded Hip-Hop Block Party

At the world's largest arms fair held every two years in London, a group of artists in 2016 organized the "Art the Arms Fair," to voice opposition to the war industry and the international arms trade (above: Pattern Tank by Tristan Oliver, 2019).

Designers Build a Provocative Road Map for World Peace

Cooper Hewitt’s new show taps into the collective consciousness of activists, app developers, artists and architects to envision a way forward

Albert “Kid” Mertz (above: Untitled, c. 1980) painted hundreds, possibly thousands of railroad spikes he had collected from tracks near his property, giving each spike a cheerful face.

The Allure of Self-Taught Art

SAAM’s new show “We Are Made of Stories” examines the 20th-century rise and creative vision of artists who make art without formal training

In Blaine, Washington, after the 2020 appearance of the two-inch long invasive species Vespa mandarinia (above: Washington State entomologist Chris Looney holds a native bald-faced hornet to compare it with the huge size of the invader), scientists worked to eradicate it.

Giant 'Murder' Hornet Has Landed at the Natural History Museum

After scientists studied the invasive insect, visitors are getting a first look at the fierce creature that could wreak havoc on U.S. agriculture

Many of this year’s 42 finalists (above: Customer Service Representative by Marianna Olague, 2020) delve into the American psyche, depicting life during the Covid era.

These Are the New Faces of American Portraiture

In its 16th year, the Outwin Portrait Competition reflects the stunning vision of contemporary portrait-based art

The new Smithsonian show examines the foundational contributions of Latinos in shaping the history and culture of the United States. 

You Can Now Preview the Upcoming Latino Museum

New exhibition "¡Presente!" aims to show how Latinos shaped American history

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

The single-engine, single-seat Turner RT-14 Meteor is the "epitome of what a 1930s air racer in the United States would be: big engine, big propeller, small profile,” says the museum's Jeremy Kinney.

The Record-Shattering Airplane Behind a Dashing Pilot’s Meteoric Rise to Fame

Roscoe Turner's air racer takes center stage this fall when newly renovated galleries open at the National Air and Space Museum

“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

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