March 2012

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The Titanic

Shadow of the Titanic

On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, a spellbinding new book focuses on the dark tales of the survivors—and our endless fascination with history's most glorious shipwreck


Optical Illusion

A New Explanation For The Disaster


They Missed the Boat

The notable people planning to sail on the Titanic included a world-famous novelist, a radio pioneer and America's biggest tycoons


One-Step Wonder

Edwin Land's camera perfected the art of instant gratification

Billy Collins

The Unfortunate Traveler by Billy Collins

Smithsonian's poetry consultant writes a poem specially for the photography issue

From the series Collages

Shooting Stars: William Coupon presents Delphine Diaw Diallo

Diallo's photos combine pop culture and African roots with an American vernacular

From Falls the Shadow

Shooting Stars: David Burnett presents Sirio Magnabosco

According to the acclaimed photojournalist, Magnabosco’s work reminds you why you liked photography in the first place


Shooting Stars: Donna Ferrato presents Tomeu Coll

The young photographer makes far-flung expeditions to capture life at the outer reaches of the world

Plymouth, England

Shooting Stars: Martin Parr presents Robin Maddock

Maddock’s views and snatches of life are both surreal and individual

Every Angels Terrifying

Shooting Stars: Mary Ellen Mark presents José Antonio Martínez

At first just an amateur, Martinez devoted his life to mastering the art of photography

Sea lion caves in Florence

Shooting Stars: Joel Meyerowitz presents Jonathan Smith

The landscape work of Jonathan Smith embraces the art of photographic masters of the past

her sons illness

Shooting Stars: Sylvia Plachy presents Pilar Belmonte

Belmonte found her personal voice as a photographer during a time of family crisis


Shooting Stars: Bruce Weber presents Jeremy Everett

The famed fashion photographer shares one artist’s work with the world

White Sands, New Mexico

Shooting Stars: Cindy Sherman presents Lisa K. Blatt

There is a simple majestic beauty to Blatt’s nature photography, says the heralded portraitist

Women in Kabul

Shooting Stars: Reza presents Farzana Wahidy

The 27-year-old photographer is telling the story of her native Afghanistan from the inside


Shooting Stars: Albert Watson presents Keith Coleman

Coleman’s photographs unveil the fruits that come from being obsessed with one’s work

Antarctic penguins

Shooting Stars: Steve Winter presents Chris Linder

Linder’s science photography is a throwback to the age of expeditions and adventure




From the Editor

Fateful Encounters

The Titanic and the elusive nature of perception

Letters to the Editor

The Conversation

Readers Respond to the January Issue

From the Secretary

Dream Building


A Wilderness Of Errol

Filmmaker Errol Morris has become America's most surprising and provocative public intellectual


Hive Mind

The world's leading expert on bee behavior discovers the secrets of decision-making in a swarm

Food + Culture

Moveable Feasts

Tracing America's food truck revolution back to its L.A. roots



The renowned author of A Natural History of the Senses visits Florida's Morikami Japanese Gardens to examine the astonishing wealth of human perception


Speaking American

Hey, snollygosters: After half a century of studying jib-jabbing, linguists have just finished the nation's most ambitious dictionary of regional dialects


Sweat and Tears

Yes, scientists say, your airborne compounds send signals about your moods, your sexual orientation and even your genetic makeup


Why So Blue?

New research into a long-puzzling feature of avian life shows there's more to color than meets the eye


Truth and Beauty

The discovery of a 40,000-year old figurine reignites debate among archaeologists about the origins—and true purpose—of art


Trick of the Eye

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up! The smaller, quieter half of the magician duo Penn & Teller reveals his secrets for manipulating the human mind!


Say It Loud

Artist. Criminal. Cultural hero. Control Freak. A vivid new biography charts the dazzling contradictions in the life of the Godfather of Soul

Around the Mall

Inside The Box

Viewing the wild fantasy worlds of video games as serious works of art

Around the Mall

All Together Now

Around the Mall

Seeing Past Twilight

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

Around the Mall

Here & Now

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