Exhibitions

Family Portrait from the series "The Lams of Ludlow Street," by Thomas Holton, 2004

How These Contemporary Artists Are Redefining Family and Kinship

Explore the enduring bonds and intimacies of modern love at the National Portrait Gallery

Hector Guimard, who gained acclaim from his work with the Paris Métro subway system, is the subject of an exhibition on view at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Meet the Designer of the Fanciful Subway Entrances to the Paris Métro

The celebrated architect Hector Guimard was also a passionate advocate for workers’ rights, even as he honed his reputation in the business of luxury

The 1989 photograph, Maya Lin working on Civil Rights Memorial by Adam Stoltman, is among numerous works including 3D models, sketchbooks, personal papers and family photos in the exhibition, "One Life: Maya Lin," at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. 

The Private World of the Public Artist Maya Lin

A biographical exhibition reveals the profound origins of her intensely engaging art

Twenty iconic photographs by Richard Avedon including, Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Kennedy, City Hall, New York City, are now on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Richard Avedon Pushed the Boundaries of Portrait Photography

Twenty iconic works by the master photographer invite museumgoers to engage in the hard conversations that challenge us today

Living in an era when wealthy Gilded Age Americans assembled large collections of Western European art, Freer aimed to carve out a position by collecting something new and different.

Why the U.S. Rejected—Then Embraced—a Detroit Industrialist's Rare Collection of Asian Art

The legacy of voracious collector Charles Lang Freer, a good friend of James McNeill Whistler, is marked by tension and irony

More than 200 artifacts are featured in the new exhibition, "Entertainment Nation," including clockwise from top left: Muhammad Ali's warm-up robe; the angel's jacket from the Broadway production Rent,; chairs from the set of TV's "All in the Family; a costume worn by Sylvestor Stallone in the film Rocky; Prince's "Cloud" guitar; a dress worn by performer Gloria Estefan and a conga drum used by musician Emilio Estefan from the Miami Sound Machine.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

American Pop Culture Takes the Spotlight in a New Blockbuster Exhibition

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History brings television, film, music and sports together in one enthralling space

The “Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery” is now open to visitors at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

The Jury-Rigged Experiment that Led to the Discovery of Unknown Worlds

See the Kepler technology demonstrator at the National Air and Space Museum, along with a host of technologies that brought success to space exploration

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

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

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