From the Collections

New to the collections: Actor Reeve Carney's red and blue spandex bodysuit, which he wore while starring in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark' Suit Receives a Lifetime Encore at the American History Museum

After a two-year run on Broadway, the web-slinging stage show's iconic superhero costume is heading to the Smithsonian.

Why Do We Love R2-D2 and Not C-3PO?

With its stubby cylindrical body and playful whistles and beeps, the lovable Star Wars’ robot R2-D2 is just the right mix of man and machine

View of Takanawa Ushimachi under a Shrouded Moon, Kobayashi Kiyochika,1879

Tokyo in Transition: Woodblock Prints Cast an Ambiguous Light on Japan's Modernization

A collection of works by the great Eastern modernist Kobayashi Kiyochika are on view at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum

Track the Nation's T-Rex as it Arrives at the Smithsonian

The Natural History Museum's much-anticipated fossil completes the ultimate road trip: a 2,000 mile journey from Montana to our nation's capital.

Beneath Anderson's coat is a bright orange velour jacket, a form-fitting number trimmed in gold with turquoise buttons, now among the collections at the Smithsonian.

When Marian Anderson Sang at the Lincoln Memorial, Her Voice Stunned the Crowd, and Her Gold-Trimmed Jacket Dazzled

With no color photos of her famous performance in existence, the brilliance of Marian Anderson's bright orange outfit has been lost, until now

Felix Baumgartner's full-pressure suit and helmet were designed to provide protection from extreme temperatures and served as the sky diver's only protection until he reached the lower atmosphere.

Felix Baumgartner's Spacesuit From His Death-Defying Stratospheric Jump Joins the Smithsonian Collections

The pressurized suit, parachute and the balloon gondola that allowed Baumgartner to break records goes on view at the Air and Space Museum

The Seldom Scene's album, "Long Time. . . Seldom Scene," the band's first recording since 2007, features a mix of classic fan favorites, a litany of guest stars and one brand-new song.

Seldom Scene, Often Heard: A Bluegrass Band Returns to its Roots With a New Album

The current members of the legendary Washington, D.C.-based bluegrass band celebrate four decades of making music

New to the collections: John Coltrane's 1965 Mark VI tenor saxophone

A Sax Supreme: John Coltrane's Legendary Instrument Joins the Collections of the American History Museum

Ravi Coltrane, son of jazz musicians John and Alice Coltrane, donates one of his father's three saxophones

From the National Air and Space Museum / Udvar-Hazy Center.

The Story of NASA’s Jet-Propulsion Backpack

Thirty years ago, astronauts set out on the first untethered space odyssey

Artwork Culled From the Collections Proves That No One Will Ever Be As Fashionable As the French

This collection of early 20th-century fashion plates reveal how women used their wardrobe for empowerment

Chigusa, a tea jar, festooned with a traditional cover and ornamental cords.

Steeped in Admiration: Tracing a Ceramic Tea Jar's Journey From Factory to Fame

"Chigusa and the Art of Tea" at the Sackler Gallery explores how a humble vessel became a revered object among Japanese tea men.

Shera nurses her four lion cubs at the Zoo.

National Zoo Celebrates Second African Lion Cub Birth in Three Months

On Sunday, 9-year-old lion Shera became the mother of four new additions to the pride

Demaking, says Ed Fries, is "like haiku" for programmers, an exercise in "enforcing constraints on yourself as a tool for creativity."

Demaking Halo, Remaking Art: 'Halo 2600' Developer Discusses the Promise of Video Games

Ed Fries talks with Smithsonian magazine about programming the Atari 2600 and shaping the future of interactive media.

From the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

How Merv Griffin Came Up With That Weird Question/Answer Format for Jeopardy!

Champion Ken Jennings delves into what gives the virtually unchanged game show its lasting power

A pigeon trap, on view at the Air and Space Museum, used by Nobel Prize winners Penzias and Wilson to remove the birds roosting in the radio antenna's large horn.

Think Big

How Two Pigeons Helped Scientists Confirm the Big Bang Theory

For decades, astronomers had debated how the universe began. Then, in 1964, they had their "Eureka!" moment

Winter Olympics

Winter Olympians From the Smithsonian Vaults

From the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, a team of former champions, heroes and icons

Walker Hancock, Lamont Moore, George Stout and two unidentified soldiers in Marburg, Germany, June 1945.


The True Story of the Monuments Men

Without the work of these curators and professors, tens of thousands of priceless works of art would have been lost to the world forever

A computer simulation of how the Hope Diamond likely appeared when it was owned by King Louis XIV of France. The sunburst inside the stone results from specially-cut facets on its back, which produce a translucent area that conveys the color of the diamond's gold mounting.

New Research

The Hope Diamond Was Once a Symbol for Louis XIV, the Sun King

New research indicates that the stone was once specially cut to produce an image of a sun when mounted on a gold background

Nababiep and her cubs.

New Lion Cubs at the Smithsonian Zoo

Mother Nababiep and two cubs are doing well, keep watch on the lion cam

When Cassius Clay Signed His Gloves With a Prediction of His Future Greatness

In 1964, a 22-year-old Cassius Clay was largely untested as a pro. Then he stepped into the ring

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