CURRENT ISSUE

December 2019

Subscribe magazine covers

Features

Myanmar temple social

The Lost City of Myanmar

The ancient kingdom of Mrauk U welcomed Buddhists and Muslims. Now efforts to uncover its mysteries are threatened by ethnic hostilities

Heidi_Schreck-social.jpg

The Funny Thing About the Law

Her surprising drama about the founding document encourages a wider view of American justice

Kipman for Social Media

Reality Gets an Upgrade

The designer behind Microsoft's HoloLens 2 predicts a future driven by augmented reality

Lil Nas X social

The Buckaroo's New Beat

The self-taught 20-year-old musician galloped to global fame with his chart-topping song that fuses country and hip-hop together

Grid of Scientists Social Media

A Glimpse of Impossible

Never before had scientists seen the phenomenon until they rallied colleagues around the world to view a galaxy far, far away

Amy Sherald

The Luminous Truth

The artist who garnered fame at the Smithsonian and then painted the official portrait of Michelle Obama brings her unique style to ordinary people

Ewelina Mamcarz and Stephen Gottschalk

Finding a Way With DNA

A newly developed gene therapy is saving young people afflicted by the rare but deadly diagnosis

Jose Andres

A Generous Helping of Humanity

Braving storms, floods and earthquakes, the renowned chef is forging a new way to feed the needy

Hermit diptych -2

Blessed is the Hermit

The mountaintop home of an Italian hermit who lived in the U.S. in the 1860s still attracts a handful of pilgrims

Departments

Discussion

Readers respond to our stories on Nazi map data, Che Guevara and letters from the war front

Prologue

Block Party

The newspaper standby still rivets our attention a century later

Prologue

Before Audubon

An 18th-century album of India's flora and fauna showcases the startling work of an overlooked master

Prologue

When Two Wheels Are the Rage

The two-wheelers revolutionized personal transport—and led to surprising societal changes

Prologue

Hulking Airships Rise Again, Slowly

A world in a hurry turns to a lumbering early 20th-century technology for a lesson in efficiency

Prologue

In the American Grain

Searching for the essence of the iconic American architect

Prologue

Royal Family Feud

Dating back 200 years, the cloak represents the violence brought to the islands by colonial powers

Prologue

On Hold

A telephone monopoly and a fear of wiretapping kept the invention out of homes for decades

Ask Smithsonian

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts