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Tinker Hatfield’s game-changing design for the Air Jordan XIII in pen and crayon, dated 1996.

What Made the Air Jordan a Slam-Dunk Design

The world is bonkers for sneakers. This pivotal 1996 concept for basketball superstar Michael Jordan is a big reason why

Attorney, author, scholar and reverend Pauli Murray, pictured here on December 22, 1976

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Trailblazing, Multifaceted Activism of Lawyer-Turned-Priest Pauli Murray

New documentary tells the story of a Black and LGBTQ thinker who helped lay the legal groundwork for fighting gender- and race-based discrimination

Detail of Ronald N. Sherr's General Colin Powell, 2012, oil on canvas

History of Now

Colin Powell, First Black Secretary of State, Dies of Covid-19 at 84

The decorated general broke racial barriers in the U.S. military but attracted criticism for his part in paving the way for the Iraq War

The internationally recognized paper artist Jiyong Chung works in the Korean craft of Joomchi (above: Balance IV, detail), a technique that was born of necessity centuries ago.

Three Craft Artists Share How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Life and Art

Traditional and innovative specialists make ready for the upcoming virtual Smithsonian Craft Show and Sale

"As an artist and an art lover," says the artist Nicolas Party, his site-specific, 829-foot work, Draw the Curtain, "is a way to pay homage" to the many art museums located in Washington, D.C. The Hirshhorn invited Party to help to disguise construction scaffolding as it undergoes a lengthy renovation.

A Peek Behind the Curtain of Hirshhorn's Largest Artwork Ever

After wrapping the museum's historic building in a huge, playful painting, Swiss artist Nicolas Party reveals what he hid in plain sight

In October 1971, Disney World "cast members" pose with celebrity Mickey Mouse at one of the theme park's grand opening ceremonies. 

In the Magic Kingdom, History Was a Lesson Filled With Reassurance

Fifty years ago, Disney World's celebrated opening promised joy and inspiration to all; today the theme park is reckoning with its white middle-class past

Titled Avant-Garde, the monumental shaped canvas alludes to Liu as a “guard” of a socialist reality she did not condone.

The Revolutionary Portraiture of Hung Liu

For this large-scale retrospective of the Asian American artist, who died this summer, east meets west in an exquisite collision

I Go To Prepare A Place For You (detail) by Bisa Butler, 2021

These Stunning Artworks Capture the Resilience—and Defiance—of Black Lives Matter

At NMAAHC's new show "Reckoning" Bisa Butler’s vivid Harriet Tubman joins works from Amy Sherald, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other prominent visual artists

Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, in 1978, stands before a portrait of a predecessor—Joseph Henry, the first Secretary.

Smithsonian 175

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on What It Takes to Lead the Smithsonian

A successful Secretary must acknowledge the Institution’s failures as well as successes—and celebrate its capacity for change

The massive 170,000-pound Discovery measures 122 feet long by 58 feet tall with a wingspan of 78 feet.

Following the 1986 and 2003 Shuttle Disasters, 'Discovery' Launched America Back Into Space

This "Champion of the Fleet," a signature Smithsonian artifact, flew 39 space missions and traveled 150 million miles

The National Weather Service Began as a Crowdsourcing Experiment

Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry used an army of volunteers in what would eventually become the nation's weather forecasting operation

After a year of strict Covid-19 lockdowns which brought a severe economic standstill, Panama is awaiting the return of visitors and the restart of the tourism industry.

For Panama's Fall Whale-Watching Season, Scientists Offer Tips for Safeguarding These Magnificent Creatures of the Deep

For humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins and coastal manatees, tourism is a mixed bag, making vigilance ever more important

The First Americans Museum opened in Oklahoma City this month.

A Brand-New Museum in Oklahoma Honors Indigenous People at Every Turn

The team behind the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City incorporated the traditions and spiritual beliefs of 39 tribal nations into its design

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for captive apes.

Ask Smithsonian

How Do Gorillas Get Heart Disease? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

The Tuxtla statuette, discovered in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1902, now resides in the National Museum of Natural History.

What Secrets Does This 1,800-Year-Old Carved Stone Hold?

The Tuxtla Statuette illuminates an endangered Latin American culture

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The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

During the 2017 Grocery Walk, more than 500 protestors demanded greater investment in food access programs and healthy food retail options in a local Washington D.C. community.

In a City Flush With Power and Wealth, D.C.'s Ward 8 Faces Food Inequity

Eleven percent of U.S. households experience hunger; an expansive, new exhibition focuses how a local community manages this national problem

Smoke pours from the west wing of the Pentagon building September 11, 2001 in Arlington, Virginia, after a plane crashed into the building and set off a huge explosion.

Smithsonian Voices

Smithsonian's Chris Browne Was the Manager at Ronald Reagan National Airport on 9/11

The acting director of the National Air and Space Museum reflects 20 years later on the rapid grounding of air traffic across the US

Can a machine be taught to understand the plant world?

Innovation for Good

Is This Weed-Spotting, Yield-Predicting Rover the Future of Farming?

The robot, developed by Alphabet Inc.'s X, will make its public debut at the Smithsonian

The stock certificate pieced back together and encased in mylar

Smithsonian Voices

How Conservators Preserved This Stock Certificate Destroyed on 9/11

The certificate arrived in the Smithsonian's Paper Conservation Lab as a pile of paper bits stored in an envelope

Photo of the day

Traveler. Traveler