Music & Film

Between 1957 and 1982, “Sunrise Semester” broadcasted lectures from NYU faculty to the general public.

Education During Coronavirus

The 1950s TV Show That Set the Stage for Today's Distance Learning

"Sunrise Semester" gave a generation of women a second chance at higher education

Smithsonian gemologist Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) meets her colleague, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in Wonder Woman 1984, which was filmed at three Smithsonian museums.

How 'Wonder Woman 1984' Was Filmed at the Smithsonian

The blockbuster saw the superhero working as a museum anthropologist. But how accurate was its depiction of the Institution at the time?

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, the film MLK/FBI by the acclaimed Emmy Award winning director Sam Pollard, tells the story of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of King.

Commentary

A New Film Details the FBI's Relentless Pursuit of Martin Luther King Jr.

Smithsonian scholar says the time is ripe to examine the man's complexities for a more accurate and more inspirational history

Ory in November 1945, during his comeback after working as a janitor.

Kid Ory Finally Gets the Encore He Deserves

The childhood home of the musician who put New Orleans jazz on the map will soon open to the public

The costume worn by Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther during his Marvel Studios debut (2016's Captain America: Civil War), from the collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

How Black Panther Changed Comic Books (and Wakanda) Forever

The Marvel superhero pounced on the scene in the '60s and never looked back

Ma Rainey poses with her band for a studio group shot c. 1924-25.

'The Great Gatsby,' Songs by Ma Rainey and Other Classic Works Are Now in the Public Domain

Canonical books, songs and films became free to use in 2021

A portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by August Klober, circa 1818

How Young America Came to Love Beethoven

On the 250th anniversary of the famous composer’s birth, the story of how his music first took hold across the Atlantic

Dr. Seuss works on an early drawing of the Grinch.

The Grinch That Keeps on Grinching

A new television special hearkens back to the nearly 50 years of Christmas thievery from the Dr. Seuss classic

One of Tyrus Wong's popular holiday cards.

How Tyrus Wong's Christmas Cards Captivated the American Public

The unlikely Hollywood visionary of 'Bambi' fame designed what would become some of the most popular holiday stationery of all time

Jimi Hendrix, 24, in his breakout set at Monterey in 1967.

The Exotic Vest That Introduced America to Jimi Hendrix

The fashionable garment conjures the guitarist's dazzling performance at the Monterey County Fairgrounds

Chef Danielle Renov offers up festive Hanukkah ideas from her new cookbook during a Smithsonian Associates Streaming program on December 6.

Smithsonian Voices

Get Ready for the Holiday Season With These Virtual Smithsonian Programs

Studio arts workshops, holiday décor making and a guided wine tasting with an award-winning sommelier to kick off the season

The online market is flooded with coveted books, toys and antiques.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Avid Collectors Find Joy in Their Prized Possessions

At home with their collectibles, many people are expanding, shrinking or reorganizing their treasure troves

Jennifer Angus, "In the Midnight Garden," 2015.

Smithsonian Voices

Twelve Artworks and the Spooky Movies They Bring to Mind

Undead animals, creepy kitties, cyanotype cemeteries and other ghouls and creepy stuff to be found at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Wally Koval has transformed his wildly popular Instagram account Accidentally Wes Anderson into a book of the same name.

Ten Places That Could Be Straight Out of a Wes Anderson Film

A new book showcases photographs of quirky and colorful places that aesthetically—and accidentally—match the filmmaker’s style

Ethan Hawke plays abolitionist John Brown in Showtime's "The Good Lord Bird."

'The Good Lord Bird' Paints a Different Portrait of Abolitionist John Brown

In a year of anti-racism protests, the new Showtime series focuses on the polarizing abolitionist who led a raid on Harper's Ferry

Christopher Lee as the titular vampire in Terence Fisher’s 1958 Dracula, showing off bloody canines that would prove weirdly influential.

How the Vampire Got His Fangs

An incisive history of a Halloween snarl

Denzel Washington won an Oscar for his role as one of the soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts.

Based on a True Story

Why 'Glory' Still Resonates More Than Three Decades Later

Newly added to Netflix, the Civil War movie reminds the nation that black Americans fought for their own emancipation

Smithsonian Channel

Secretary Lonnie Bunch Discusses Music's Role in African American History and Culture

From Lead Belly to Kendrick Lamar, black musicians have long used song to share stories of struggle and triumph

The finish of the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

The Complicated Legacy of 'My Old Kentucky Home'

Sung each year at the Kentucky Derby, the tune's original meaning has long been lost to history

With a countrified accent, Will Rogers (Above: (detail) by Walter K. Kinstler, c. 1923) attempted to link arms with ordinary Americans, always reminding them of his Native American ancestry. “My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat,” he said.

Will Rogers Was One of a Kind

The popular raconteur touched Americans with his humor, newspaper columns, movie star power, philanthropy and as political agitator

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