From the Collections

Carol Burnett's charwoman costume from her award-winning variety show (above in 1973) is now held in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

Carol Burnett Reveals How She Came to Create the Charwoman

The indelible comedian opens up about her favorite TV moments

“Dale Chihuly is one of the most important artists of the 21st century,” says Stephanie Stebich, the director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, who is among the experts interviewed in a new documentary, "Master of Glass: The Art of Dale Chihuly."

The Unrivaled Legacy of Dale Chihuly

The pioneering glassmaker and octogenarian is the subject of a new Smithsonian Channel documentary

Celia Cruz (above in 2001 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.) was "a phenomenon," says the Smithsonian's Ashley Mayor, one of the organizers of the new exhibition "Entertainment Nation," opening in December at the National Museum of American History.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

The Enduring Legacy of Celia Cruz, the 'Queen of Salsa'

The performer's vivacious life takes the stage as part of the new Smithsonian exhibition, "Entertainment Nation"

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

The “Ole Bull” Stradivarius, made in 1687, photographed with flowers and props reminiscent of a Dutch still life from the period.

When It Comes to String Instruments, Stradivariuses Are Still Pitch Perfect

Even after three centuries of their existence, the violins spark debate over what makes their sound special

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

Amani, the mother, with her two cubs born October 3. 

Two Cheetah Cubs Born at Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute

The twins are an important addition to their vulnerable species and its dwindling gene pool

Smithsonian officials announce the transfer of ownership of 29 works of art to Nigeria; 20 will be returned (above: Bell, Benin kingdom court style, Edo artist,18th century), while nine will remain on loan.

The Smithsonian Returns a Trove of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

The transfer of ownership of 29 artworks is the first to be carried out under a new policy and practice

Six years after Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the first airplane in 1903, the Army purchased the Wright Military Flyer for $30,000.

After the Wright Brothers Took Flight, They Built the World's First Military Airplane

The 1909 Military Flyer is the centerpiece of the "Early Flight" exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum

“This room is one of the masterworks of late 19th-century art and design, says the museum’s curator of American Art Diana Greenwold.

Whistler’s 'Peacock Room' Open After Weeks of Restoration

The story behind the Smithsonian’s showstopper is one of a major dust-up between the artist and his patron

The Bell X-1, a miracle of form and function.

How the Bell X-1 Ushered in the Supersonic Age

The speeding-bullet design propelled Chuck Yeager into history

The signpost of hometowns for each of the characters in the sitcom "M*A*S*H" is now held in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where it will go on view December 9.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

Fifty Years and TV's 'M*A*S*H' Still Draws Audiences

Fans are making plans to visit the Smithsonian this December when the show's signature signpost goes on view in the new exhibition "Entertainment Nation"

In “Postage Pairings,” from the National Portrait Gallery, host Kim Sajet speaks with the Smithsonian's Daniel Piazza, curator of philately, about postage stamps (left: 29c single, july 30, 1993) reproduced from portraits (right: Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Siffred Duplessis, c. 1785).

The Revolutionary Role Mail Played in America’s Fight for Independence

Hear about the colonial period postal service in the latest "Portraits" podcast

At American Fossil Quarry, on privately owned land near Kemmerer, Wyoming, hammer- and chisel-wielding visitors pay $69 to $89 to spend up to four hours hunting for fossils. Finders, keepers.

Evotourism ®

The 50 Million-Year-Old Treasures of Fossil Lake

In a forbidding Wyoming desert, scientists and fortune hunters search for the surprisingly intact remains of horses and other creatures that lived long ago

Head of a Negro Woman, 1946, by Elizabeth Catlett.

Women Who Shaped History

How Elizabeth Catlett Lifted Up Black Women Through Art

The pioneering sculptor defied trends to honor the daily lives of her subjects

Between March 19 and April 17, 1964, Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock (above: at the start of her journey at Ohio's Port Columbus Airport) flew her single-engine Cessna 180, dubbed "Charlie," solo around the globe setting a world record.

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World?

When the National Air and Space Museum reopens October 14, Geraldine Mock’s Cessna 180 soars in the new exhibition, "We All Fly"

Actress Nichelle Nichols was starred as Lt. Uhura, the chief communications officer aboard the Starship Enterprise, in the 1960s science fiction television program "Star Trek."

How Nichelle Nichols Launched Real-Time Opportunities for Women in Space

When NASA asked for help, the actress said: 'I will bring you the most qualified people on the planet'

In the upcoming exhibition, "Nation of Speed," the Sharp DR 90 Nemesis (above: museum workers install the aircraft in the new gallery) will go on view when the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum reopens this fall. 

How the Nemesis Air Racers Redefined Speed

For Jon and Patricia Sharp, crafting and flying the sleek airplanes was as much about sport as it was about ingenuity

The trident, also known as the tryzub, is ubiquitous in modern Ukraine, but its origins lie in the medieval period.

How Medieval Money Shaped Ukraine’s Modern Identity

The country's distinct history is revealed in banknotes, coins and other monetary objects, says the Smithsonian’s curator of numismatics

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) recently acquired David Hammons' iconic African American Flag, which is now on view in the exhibition "Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience."

How a Celebrated Artist Redesigned the Stars and Stripes to Mark His Pride in Black America

David Hammons' 'African American Flag' is newly acquired and on view at NMAAHC

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