Magazine

None

Readers Respond to the December 2021 Issue

Your feedback on biblical archaeology, life in the ANWR and Clara Barton

Blue Madonna, oil on canvas, 1961. Many of the artist’s works feature religious themes and are painted in the bold colors of the Fauvists and German Expressionists.

American Artist Bob Thompson Riffed on the Old Masters of Europe

A new view of an original genius who died before he could realize his full potential

The origins of the crunchy snack date back to at least the 1800s.

How the Potato Chip Took Over America

A fussy magnate, a miffed chef and the curious roots of the comfort food we hate to love

Snowboarder Shannon Dunn competes for Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she won the bronze medal in half-pipe.

Winter Olympics

A Brief History of Snowboarding

Rebellious youth. Olympic glory. How a goofy American pastime conquered winter

One reader wonders what graffiti was like before spray paint.

Ask Smithsonian

What Did Graffiti Look Like Before Spray Paint and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

Jørgen Botolfsen, pictured in 2020 outside Ballstad Fisk AS, where he helps process cod. “Bigger kids are stronger and faster,” he says.

In Norway, Kids Slice Out Cod Tongues for Serious Money

In the remote Lofoten Islands, youngsters are happy to embrace tradition by collecting the local delicacy and selling their wares

Brunhild and Fredegund were two lesser-known but long-reigning and influential Frankish queens.

The Medieval Queens Whose Daring, Murderous Reigns Were Quickly Forgotten

Over the centuries, Brunhild and Fredegund were dismissed and even parodied. But a new book shows how they outwitted their enemies like few in history

Orange and lemon groves as well as the residence of the citrus pioneer William Wolfskill, c. 1882. 

The Bug That Saved California

The Golden State’s citrus industry faced a lethal threat. The solution would herald a new kind of pest control

“You become a little bit of a fixture in the community,” says Stewart, seen here in San Diego.

The Veterinarian Brings His Healing Presence to Pets of the Unhoused

Kwane Stewart discovers the little-known world of generosity and love

A first edition of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), written while the poet was enslaved to John Wheatley of Boston. The book has a brown leather cover, the original Morocco spine label and a frontispiece featuring a portrait of Phillis by Scipio Morehead.


 

Women Who Shaped History

How Phillis Wheatley Beat All Expectations

The Revolution-era Boston establishment couldn't believe that the young African American woman wrote the exquisite book of poetry

Robert Leverett walks through the old-growth forests in Mohawk Trail State Forest.

Old, Primeval Forests May Be a Powerful Tool to Fight Climate Change

Ecologists thought these trees had long been torn down in New England. Then Bob Leverett proved them wrong

Damage assessment mission to the Mosul Cultural Museum, 2019.

How the Smithsonian Protects Cultural Heritage Around the World

In the wake of crisis and disaster, rescue workers led by the Smithsonian step in to safeguard irreplaceable treasures

Arnold Bertonneau of New Orleans, Robert Smalls of South Carolina and Anderson Ruffin Abbott of Toronto.

Meet the Black Men Who Changed Lincoln's Mind About Equal Rights

During the Civil War, these individuals convinced the president, altering the course of U.S. history

Children stand on the surrounding wall at Tabira Gate, the entrance to Assur, first capital of the Assyrian empire in present day Shirqat, Iraq.

At the Iraqi Site of Assur, Ancient History Stands at Risk of Destruction

In its time, the Assyrian capital faced waves of invasions and abandonment. Now a small team of archaeologists are protecting it from more modern threats

The remarkable Hudsonian godwit.

Planet Positive

This Wonder Bird Flies Thousands of Miles, Non-Stop, as Part of an Epic Migration

The more scientists learn about the Hudsonian godwit, the more they’re amazed—and worried

To make true Roquefort cheese, the law requires that it must be produced from local ingredients and ripen for months in a cave in southern France. 

How Much Longer Will Roquefort Reign as the King of Cheese?

In France, makers of the odorous food are singing the blues

None

Readers Respond to the November 2021 Issue

Your feedback on Memphis libraries, traveling to Mars, King George III and more

None

What the History of 'Spirit Photography' Portends for the Future of Deepfake Videos

Today’s video hoaxes can be downright ugly. But image-makers have been fooling viewers from the beginning

Aidan Bean installs Suchi Reddy’s AI-based artwork, “me + you,” in the central rotunda of the Arts and Industries Building. 

Futures

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on What Excites Him About the Smithsonian's New Futures Exhibition

One of Smithsonian’s most storied buildings is reopening with an eye toward humanity’s great potential

“Bless whoever it was who came up with the idea,” jazz historian Dan Morgenstern says in a Smithsonian interview about Armstrong’s rendition of the holiday chestnut.

The Little-Known Recording of Louis Armstrong Reciting 'The Night Before Christmas'

Shortly before he died, the jazz legend offered his own rendition of the classic holiday poem

loading icon