Arts & Culture | Smithsonianhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/rss/arts-culture/RSS feed for Arts & CultureenFri, 19 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0000Why Is Some Art So Bad That It’s Good?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-is-some-art-so-bad-its-good-180967878/Sometimes a work of art is characterized by a string of failures, but nonetheless ends up being a gorgeous freak accident of natureFri, 19 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0000In 1968, When Nixon Said “Sock it To Me” on <i>Laugh-In,</i> TV Was Never Quite the Same Againhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/1968-when-nixon-said-sock-it-me-laugh-tv-was-never-quite-same-again-180967869/The show's rollicking one-liners and bawdy routines paved the way for <i>Saturday Night Live</i> and other cutting-edge television satireFri, 19 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0000Why Nancy Reagan's Sense of Style Wasn't Appreciatedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/arts-culture/why-nancy-reagans-sense-of-style-wasnt-app/Like Jackie and Dolley before her, Nancy Reagan brought her own unique style to the White House. But economic times were toughThu, 18 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000The TV Show ‘Black Lightning’ Gives the Superhero World a Jolt of Social Justicehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/tv-show-black-lightning-gives-superhero-world-jolt-social-justice-180967864/For the protagonist of WB’s new comic book show, community and family come firstWed, 17 Jan 2018 21:35:51 +0000The True Story of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/true-story-assassination-gianni-versace-180967860/Did the designer meet his killer seven years earlier?Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:49:36 +0000What the Batmobile Tells Us About the American Dreamhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/what-batmobile-tells-us-about-american-dream-180967846/Fans of DC Comics will go batty for this new installation at the National Museum of American HistoryTue, 16 Jan 2018 20:23:34 +0000How Women Broke Into the Male-Dominated World of Cartoons and Illustrationshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-women-broke-into-male-dominated-world-cartoons-illustrations-180967803/A new exhibition at the Library of Congress highlights female artists and their contributions to comic strips, magazine covers and political cartoonsThu, 11 Jan 2018 18:24:26 +0000How Graffiti Artists Used iPhones and Paint to Transform the Beatles’ Ashramhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-graffiti-artists-used-iphones-and-paint-to-transform-the-beatles-ashram-180967794/ Miles Toland describes how he captured Indian street scenes on his phone and recreated them as giant murals that same dayThu, 11 Jan 2018 16:27:23 +0000Three Architecture Projects That Will Build Community and Address Inequality This Yearhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/three-architecture-projects-that-will-build-community-address-inequality-this-year-180967757/These projects set to be completed this year are geared toward strengthening communities that have been left out of the economic recoveryMon, 08 Jan 2018 15:36:52 +0000January Happenings At the Smithsonianhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/january-happenings-smithsonian-180967752/Blow away winter blues with our recommended list of film, lectures, concerts and moreFri, 05 Jan 2018 16:56:26 +0000Rage Against the Machinehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/rage-against-machine-secne-1968-democratic-convention-180967500/A short story reimagines the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the chaos that shocked the worldFri, 05 Jan 2018 13:47:45 +0000America’s First “Food Spy” Traveled the World Hunting for Exotic Cropshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/smalltalk_fairchild-180967508/A new book details the life of adventurer-botanist David FairchildFri, 05 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000Teen Idol Frankie Lymon's Tragic Rise and Fall Tells the Truth About 1950s Americahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/teen-idol-frankie-lymon-tragic-rise-fall-tells-truth-1950s-america-180967506/The mirage of the singer's soaring success echoes the mirage of post-war tranquility at homeThu, 04 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0000How Science is Peeling Back the Layers of Ancient Lacquer Sculptureshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-science-peeling-back-layers-ancient-lacquer-sculptures-180967698/These rare Buddhist artworks were found to contain traces of bone and bloodThu, 04 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0000The Remarkable Influence of <em>A Wrinkle in Time</em>https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/remarkable-influence-wrinkle-in-time-180967509/How the Madeleine L'Engle novel liberated young adult literatureWed, 03 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0000The Ashram Where the Beatles Sought Enlightenmenthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/beatles-ashram-sought-enlightenment-180967494/Beach Boys singer Mike Love recalls what it was like to be at the Indian locale, which remains a destination for fans of music and meditationWed, 03 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0000Thomas Edison’s Forgotten Sci-Fi Novelhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/thomas-edisons-forgotten-sci-fi-novel-180967672/By feeding his visions for the future to a well-regarded contemporary, the prolific inventor offered a peek into his brilliant mindWed, 03 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000It’s Still Christmas in Armeniahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/its-still-christmas-armenia-180967689/The holiday celebrations continue through January 13. Here's what to cook to keep the festivities going.Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +0000The Science of Silence in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/science-silence-star-wars-last-jedi-180967692/The soundless lightspeed attack that baffled some fans was actually the film's most scientifically accurate momentTue, 02 Jan 2018 19:35:33 +0000Fifty Years Ago, Protesters Took on the Miss America Pageant and Electrified the Feminist Movementhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/fifty-years-ago-protestors-took-on-miss-america-pageant-electrified-feminist-movement-180967504/Miss America pageant is under new leadership after a sexist email scandal. But the pageant has a long history of controversy—including the 1968 protestsTue, 02 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0000How Mickalene Thomas Is Ushering in a New Wave of Contemporary Arthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/mickalene-thomas-ushering-new-wave-contemporary-art-180967496/The celebrated portraitist’s glittering images of black women upend traditionTue, 02 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0000'Armenian Pizza' Is the Comfort Food You Didn’t Know You Were Missing (Recipe)https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/armenian-pizza-comfort-food-you-didnt-know-you-were-missing-recipe-180967676/What lahmacun may lack in cheese pulls it makes up for with juicy, spicy ground lambFri, 29 Dec 2017 22:22:19 +0000Photos Celebrate the Lives of Gender Non-Conforming Spirit Mediums in Southeast Asiahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/spirit-mediums-180967518/The pioneering photographer's latest book documents the welcoming community of transgender individuals who serve as spirit mediums in Burma and ThailandFri, 29 Dec 2017 22:02:38 +0000What <em>The Post</em> Gets Right (and Wrong) About Katharine Graham and the Pentagon Papershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/what-the-post-gets-right-wrong-katharine-graham-pentagon-papers-180967677/A Smithsonian historian reminds us how Graham, a Washington socialite-turned-publisher, transformed the paper into what it is todayFri, 29 Dec 2017 21:57:03 +0000Learn to Speak the Language of the Universe With This Mindblowing New Bookhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/speak-language-universe-visually-stunning-new-book-180967650/<i>Magnitude</i> helps you imagine the outer limits of time, speed and distance—without breaking your brainWed, 27 Dec 2017 19:56:46 +0000This 19th-Century Illustrator Found Beauty in the Slimiest of Sea Creatureshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-19th-century-illustrator-found-beauty-slimiest-sea-creatures-180967625/A new book chronicles Ernst Haeckel's life and his gorgeous renderings of wild things—scales, spikes, tentacles and allFri, 22 Dec 2017 15:54:45 +0000P.T. Barnum Isn't the Hero the "Greatest Showman" Wants You to Thinkhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-pt-barnum-greatest-humbug-them-all-180967634/His path to fame and notoriety began by exploiting an enslaved woman, in life and in death, as entertainment for the massesFri, 22 Dec 2017 15:39:18 +0000Smithsonian Magazine's Most Powerful Photos of the Yearhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/smithsonian-magazines-favorite-photos-year-180967606/Our photography editors select their favorites from a year full of stunning photojournalismFri, 22 Dec 2017 13:30:00 +0000The Remarkable Rebirth of the Button Accordionhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/remarkable-rebirth-button-accordion-180967626/Musician Gilberto Reyes redesigned the instrument to meet the needs of Latino musiciansFri, 22 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0000Putting Miniature Museums Where You Are Likely To See Themhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/putting-miniature-museums-where-you-are-likely-to-see-them-180967611/The nonprofit MICRO is on a mission to meet people where they are, staging small exhibitions in busy, public placesThu, 21 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000Why Iceland's Christmas Witch Is Much Cooler (and Scarier) Than Krampushttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-icelands-christmas-witch-much-cooler-and-scarier-krampus-180967605/With roots dating back to the 13th century, Gryla is not to be messed withWed, 20 Dec 2017 16:13:04 +0000This Cult Classic Christmas Special Is Quintessential Jim Hensonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/cult-classic-christmas-special-quintessential-jim-henson-180967602/Although it features few of the usual Muppets, ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’ brings the holiday spirit to the whole familyWed, 20 Dec 2017 15:39:50 +0000Around the Globe, Revered Artist Ferdinand Hodler Receives His Due, the Portrait Gallery Joins Inhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/around-globe-revered-artist-ferdinand-hodler-receives-his-due-portrait-gallery-joins-180967600/A swirl of dance portraits complement a single Swiss loan of Hodler’s Italian dancer Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0000These Photos of the Abandoned Domino Sugar Refinery Document Its Sticky Historyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/photos-abandoned-domino-sugar-refinery-document-sticky-history-180967578/A new photography book uncovers the last days (and lasting legacy) of a New York institutionTue, 19 Dec 2017 16:22:27 +0000The Ten Stories You Didn't Read in 2017 But Should Havehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/our-most-underrated-stories-2017-180967586/From music behind prison bars to a San Francisco building with a dark past, here are the top 10 pieces we published last year that deserve another lookTue, 19 Dec 2017 15:06:50 +0000The Ten Best Children's Books of 2017https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/ten-best-childrens-books-2017-180967564/Our picks are full of silly words, weird animals and unknown historiesMon, 18 Dec 2017 14:40:38 +0000Gone at 27 and Eternally Youthful For the Ages, Jimi Hendrix Would Have Been 75 This Yearhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/gone-27-and-eternally-youthful-ages-jimi-hendrix-would-have-been-75-year-180967555/A gold-brocade vest at the Smithsonian evokes the innovative musician’s enduring legacyFri, 15 Dec 2017 17:41:56 +0000A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Storieshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/plea-resurrect-christmas-tradition-telling-ghost-stories-180967553/Though the practice is now more associated with Halloween, spooking out your family is well within the Christmas spiritFri, 15 Dec 2017 12:30:00 +0000What the Robots of Star Wars Tell Us About the Future of Human Workhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/what-robots-star-wars-tell-us-about-future-human-work-180967535/The films' much-loved robots exist mostly to assist rather than replace humans—and like us, they are prone to errorsThu, 14 Dec 2017 15:49:05 +0000The Incredible Linguistic Diversity of Tibet Is Disappearinghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/incredible-linguistic-diversity-tibet-disappearing-180967513/Thanks to national schooling and the Internet, many of the plateau’s unique languages are in dangerTue, 12 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000Was Enrico Fermi Really the “Father of the Nuclear Age”?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/enrico-fermi-really-father-nuclear-age-180967214/A new book takes a fresh look at the famed scientistMon, 11 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000A New Way to Show Your Devotion in Mexico City: Wear a T-Shirthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/new-way-show-your-devotion-mexico-city-wear-t-shirt-180967464/A Smithsonian folklorist makes the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and discovers an emerging traditionMon, 11 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0000Don't Miss These 10 New Art and Design Exhibits Opening This Winterhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/10-must-see-winter-exhibits-180967435/Explore everything from artistic chairs to underground magazines this seasonFri, 08 Dec 2017 17:45:40 +0000An Extravagant New Tribute to the Rise of Portraiture 600 Years Agohttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/extravagant-new-tribute-rise-portraiture-600-years-ago-180967219/The artist takes 21st century technology and culture to a 15th century aestheticFri, 08 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000People Are Lying on the Floor To See this Dazzling Ceiling Puzzle https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/people-are-lying-floor-see-dazzling-ceiling-puzzle-180967449/The work pays homage to the vaulted domes, ornate Italianate arches and Art Deco geometric forms of nine of the nation's historic ceilingsFri, 08 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0000The Ten Best History Books of 2017https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/ten-best-history-books-2017-180967416/From presidential biographies to a look at the long rise of fake news, these picks will surely interest history buffsThu, 07 Dec 2017 17:10:22 +0000Turning Hurricane Data Into Musichttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/turning-hurricane-data-into-music-180967414/Can listening to storms help us understand them better? A meteorologist and a music technologist think soWed, 06 Dec 2017 15:00:00 +0000When 'The Graduate' Opened 50 Years Ago, It Changed Hollywood (and America) Foreverhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/graduate-opened-50-years-ago-changed-hollywood-forever-180967222/The movie about a young man struggling to find his way in the world mesmerized the nation when it debutedWed, 06 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000How Anthony Daniels Gives C-3PO an Unlikely Dash of Humanityhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/anthony-daniels-c3po-unlikely-dash-humanity-180967212/The fussy but brave “protocol droid” plays the role of the Greek chorus in the Star Wars franchiseWed, 06 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0000Designer of the Smithsonian Sunburst Logo Dieshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/designer-smithsonian-sunburst-logo-dies-180967410/Ivan Chermayeff was a brilliant designer, a gifted artist and the purveyor of a unique visual language, says Smithsonian curator Ellen LuptonTue, 05 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0000John Travolta’s Breakout Hit Was America’s Best Dance Partyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/john-travoltas-breakout-hit-was-americas-best-dance-party-180967396/It’s been 40 years since ‘Saturday Night Fever’—a gritty film powered by music, machismo and masterful footwork—became a cultural phenomenonMon, 04 Dec 2017 20:02:29 +0000What Archaeologists and Historians Are Finding About the Heroine of a Beloved Young Adult Novelhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-archaeologists-and-historians-are-finding-about-heroine-beloved-young-adult-novel-180967401/New scholarship reveals details about the Native American at the center of the classic <em>Island of the Blue Dolphins</em>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 18:07:10 +0000The Ten Best Travel Books of 2017https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/ten-best-travel-books-2017-180967388/These reads will remedy even the direst cases of wanderlustFri, 01 Dec 2017 18:23:27 +0000This Artist Painted With Light. An Admiring Astronomer Helped Make Him a Starhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/artist-painted-light-admiring-astronomer-helped-make-him-star-180967384/The works and machinations of Thomas Wilfred, a lone performer, inventor and visionary, are now on viewFri, 01 Dec 2017 17:14:12 +0000Maverick Music Takes Center Stage in This New Play on Nina Simonehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/maverick-music-takes-center-stage-new-play-nina-simone-180967352/A Smithsonian expert delves into the song and struggle at the heart of 'Four Women' at D.C.'s Arena StageThu, 30 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000Is There Humanity to Be Found Within Serial Killers?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/humanity-found-serial-killers-180967367/A new book tells the complex stories behind murderous women, the so-called “femmes fatales.”Thu, 30 Nov 2017 13:22:37 +0000Gulliver's Travels Wasn't Meant to Be a Children's Book And More Things You Didn't Know About the Literary Classichttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/eight-surprising-things-its-time-you-knew-about-gullivers-travels-180967328/Even now, 350 years after his birth, the great Irish satirist Jonathan Swift remains as sharp and relevant as everTue, 28 Nov 2017 19:15:01 +0000A Trip Inspired by 'Murder on the Orient Express'https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/trip-inspired-murder-orient-express-180967306/On the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the murder mystery is not includedTue, 28 Nov 2017 16:23:42 +0000Marley Dias' Inspirational Goal to Collect Books About Girls of Colorhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/marley-dias-collect-books-girls-color-180967231/What can we learn from a 12-year-old who’s turning the literary world upside down? EverythingTue, 28 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000What Makes John Legend America's Most Versatile Artisthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/what-makes-john-legend-americas-most-versatile-artist-180967227/Songwriter, singer, actor, producer, virtual reality maven. John Legend is an entertainment all-starTue, 28 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000These Shooting Stars of Broadway Staged the Impossible: A Musical About 'War and Peace'https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/shooting-stars-broadway-staged-impossible-musical-war-peace-180967226/Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin brought the Tolstoy epic to life with <em>Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812</em>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000Why the Team Behind Sesame Street Created a Character With Autismhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/team-sesame-street-created-character-autism-180967218/The bravest new face on television is a Muppet that doesn’t say much. But she speaks volumes about life on the spectrumTue, 28 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000Ava DuVernay's Visionary Filmmaking Is Reshaping Hollywoodhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/ava-duvernay-visionary-filmmaking-reshaping-hollywood-180967217/Her eye for American history puts her in the vanguard. Her passion for justice makes her a heroTue, 28 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000The Ten Best Photography Books of 2017https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/ten-best-photography-books-2017-180967333/These eye-opening works invite us to find ourselves in history and natureTue, 28 Nov 2017 15:18:11 +0000Mark Bradford’s Paintings Scratch at the Surface of a Conflicted Americahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/mark-bradfords-paintings-scratch-surface-conflicted-america-180967302/The Hirshhorn Museum hosts the artist’s first solo show in WashingtonTue, 28 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000A Mexican Painter Changed by the City, Changes Art https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/mexican-painter-changed-city-changes-art-180967295/"In New York, I went berserk over painting," said Rufino Tamayo, whose works are now on view in a new retrospectiveMon, 27 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000'The Problem with Apu' Does More Than Pick Apart a 'Simpsons' Stereotypehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/problem-apu-does-more-pick-apart-simpsons-stereotype-180967311/This new documentary tackles Asian representation in media with humor and poiseWed, 22 Nov 2017 18:54:53 +0000The Invisible Way That Marketers Set the Menu for Your Thanksgiving Feasthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-advertising-shaped-thanksgiving-we-know-it-180967297/Advertising from decades ago put in place the traditions we hold dear each yearWed, 22 Nov 2017 15:26:48 +0000Why You Won’t See Pudding on the Thanksgiving Tablehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Pudding-180967273/ The once-classic American dish has been widely replaced with the casserole—thanks in part to anti-immigrant sentiments Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000