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The “Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery” is now open to visitors at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

The Jury-Rigged Experiment that Led to the Discovery of Unknown Worlds

See the Kepler technology demonstrator at the National Air and Space Museum, along with a host of technologies that brought success to space exploration

This year's titles include I Was Better Last Night, Accidental Ecosystem and Winslow Homer: American Passage.

The Best Books of 2022

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2022

This wide-ranging list offers context for our rapidly changing world

In our efforts to increase and diffuse knowledge, we highly recommend these 44 titles this year.

The Best Books of 2022

The Best Books of 2022

In our efforts to increase and diffuse knowledge, we highly recommend these 44 titles this year

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"

The famed Ruby Slippers were worn by by Judy Garland in her portrayal of Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

It's Showtime at the National Museum of American History

An inside look at how popular culture represents who we are as a nation

First lady Jill Biden and Hirshhorn Museum Director Melissa Chiu, flanked by artists and dignataries, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to begin the renovation of the Sculpture Garden.

First Lady Jill Biden Breaks Ground for the Hirshhorn’s Revitalized Sculpture Garden

Architect Hiroshi Sugimoto is creating a welcoming new design for the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary art museum

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

Actor Charlotte Cushman defied gender norms, often dressing in a masculine style represented in this 1853 portrait from the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. She managed her own career and demanded equal pay with male actors.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

The Rise and Fall, and Rise Again, of America’s First Celebrity—a Woman Who Loved Other Women

The world-famous actor Charlotte Cushman returns to the limelight, with her costumes going on view in a new Smithsonian exhibition

Tomioka Tessai was beloved for the personality and humor he infused in his work, with exaggerated expressions on his figures, and traditional scenes such as that of his 1921 Blind Men Appraising an Elephant (above: detail, 1921).

Meet Tessai, the Japanese Master Who Ushered in Modernism

Excitement builds for a rare showing of works by the 19th-century painter whose dynamic colors and bold brushstrokes mirrored the avant-garde of the West

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian dedicated the National Native American Veterans Memorial Friday, November 11 as part of a three-day event to honor Native veterans.

A Long-Deserved Tribute to Native American Veterans

A ceremonial procession kicked off a weekend of events to dedicate the National Native American Veterans Memorial

One reader wonders: Have any Native American nations been governed by women? 

Have Women Ever Run a Native American Nation? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

On the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the bare, whitened trunks of a “ghost forest” are one of the effects of surging waters that turn woodland into marsh.

Why Marshlands Are the Perfect Lab for Studying Climate Change

At the border between land and sea, an extraordinary set of experiments is helping us prepare for an uncertain future

Billie Jean King wore this dress when she beat Bobby Riggs, a former number-one male player, during the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes.”

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

What America’s Pop Culture Says About the Nation Itself

A new permanent exhibition offers proof that popular entertainment can be more than just a diversion

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The Father-Daughter Team Who Reformed America

Meet the duo who helped achieve the most important labor and civil rights victories of their age

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

Pro-choice protesters in 1972

Women Who Shaped History

The Underground Abortion Network That Inspired 'Call Jane'

A new film offers a fictionalized look at the Janes, activists who provided illegal abortions in Chicago before Roe v. Wade

Blue jeans gained popularity in the late 19th-century American West due to their durability.

Cache of 19th-Century Blue Jeans Discovered in Abandoned Arizona Mineshaft

The seven pairs of pants open a portal into life in the Castle Dome mining district