African Art Museum

In a bloody brawl, Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops horridus battle to the finish in the much-loved new dinosaur hall at the National Museum of Natural History.

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Will Reopen in June

Discover tips for visiting the T-Rex, the Hope Diamond and more, when 10 Smithsonian museums reopen this summer

This plaque depicts musicians, a page holding a ceremonial sword and a high-ranking warrior. It numbers among the thousands of works looted by British forces during an 1897 raid of Benin City.

Germany Will Return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria in 2022

Culture Minister Monika Grütters describes the move as a "historic milestone"

Beginning next month, visitors will be able to meet baby panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person.When the Zoo opens on May 21, visitors will be able to meet baby panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person. But fair warning—he might be napping.

Smithsonian Announces the Zoo and Seven Museums Open in May

You'll finally be able to see the baby panda in person; here's our comprehensive list of what's on view and tips for visiting

Jim McDowell holds his jug, “Emmett Till.”

Smithsonian Voices

How a Pioneering Ceramicist Is Using Pottery to Reclaim Black History

Jim McDowell, known to many simply as “the Black Potter,” is a ceramicist who specializes in a craft with deep connections to lost histories

Simone Leigh, an American sculptor, will represent the United States at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022.

Meet the First Black Woman to Represent the U.S. at the Art World's Biggest Fair

Simone Leigh, whose large-scale ceramics explore black female subjectivity, will exhibit her work at the 2022 Venice Biennale

Celebrate Mother's Day With These Artworks From the Smithsonian Collections

These paintings, sculptures and illustrations honor the bonds of motherhood

Spectacular offerings include (clockwise from top left): John Singer Sargent; art in response to the Age of Humans; Preston Singletary; Yayoi Kusama; and the mighty influence of Alexander von Humboldt.

Twenty Smithsonian Shows to See in 2020

Women inventors, baseball stamps and a new Kusama Infinity Room are among the offerings

AMA #WCW by Dada Khanyisa, 2018

How the Heroes of Africa Triumphed Against All Odds

At the African Art Museum the inspiring stories of 50 individuals from the continent are honored in classical and contemporary works of art

(Clockwise from left) Michela Puddu, Elias Sime, Richard Yim and Miranda Wang

Eight Innovators to Watch in 2020

From plastic recycling pioneers to landmine foes, these dreamers have big plans for the coming year

In 1897, British troops looted thousands of pieces of culturally significant art, which came to reside in private and public collections, including this cooper plaque (detail) now held at the Smithsonian Institution.

As African Art Thrives, Museums Grapple With Legacy of Colonialism

Museum leaders met in Washington D.C. to talk about what's next for the continent's cultural sector

Sai Mado (The Distant Gaze) (detail) by Aida Muluneh, Ethiopia, 2016

Women's Voices Ring With a Resounding Roar in This New Show

The African Art Museum raises the profile of female artists showcasing their works from its collections

“As the times have become increasingly more political, people have begun projecting more politicalness into the work,” notes artist Jeffrey Gibson, who is a featured artist this week at the National Portrait Gallery's "Identify" program.

Artist Jeffrey Gibson’s Artwork Activates Overlooked Histories and Marginalized Identities

The National Portrait Gallery’s “Identify” performance showcases the multimedia artist’s masterful 50-person drumming event

Lead curator Tom Joyce traveled to Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Republic of Bénin and Togo (above: blacksmiths Kao Kossi and Ide Essozimna) to conduct research, film a half-dozen videos and help amass the 225 objects in the show.

How Blacksmiths Forged a Powerful Status Across the Continent of Africa

Iron tools, weapons, musical instruments and sculptures tell a tale of centuries of the craft’s influence

Gold tells the "story that colonialism sought to deny, of indigenous, structured, wonderful, cultured civilizations," says the Smithsonian's Gus Casely-Hayford.

Why There Is More to Gold Than Meets the Eye

The Smithsonian’s Gus Casely-Hayford says the precious metal was both a foundation for massive West African empires and a cultural touchstone


Smithsonian Voices

Works of Pioneering Photographer Constance Stuart Larrabee to Be Digitized

The work of Constance Stuart Larrabee, a pioneering photographer, will soon be digitized

Mansa Musa as seen in the Catalan Atlas.

Cool Finds

New Exhibition Highlights Story of the Richest Man Who Ever Lived

Read about Mansa Musa, emperor of Mali, who once disrupted Egypt's economy just by passing through

The Panda Cams had to be turned off during the shutdown and so for the past month, the crown jewel of the National Zoo has been hidden from the public.

Smithsonian Staffers Scramble to Make Up Time Lost During Government Shutdown

Workers are back, the museums are open, the pandas are well, but officials say the ramifications of the shutdown are far from over

With elaborate coiffures and scarves and ceremonial garb, all the way down to beautifully designed sandals and the tinkling of gold bracelets, Senegalese women usefashion for sociopolitical and economic ends as well as celebrating their own history.

In Senegal, Female Empowerment, Prestige and Wealth Is Measured in Glittering Gold

The African Art Museum's new exhibition delves into a tradition that is both ravishingly beautiful and hauntingly fraught

"The seemingly rigid frontiers that have come to define places like Africa and Asia," says the museum's director Gus Casely Hayford, "are in fact remarkably fluid, connected through the intersections of art, commerce and culture."

First Major Swahili Coast Art Show Reveals a Diverse World of Cultural Exchange and Influence

At the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum, international influences commingle to create a farrago of artisanal splendors

Costume designer Ruth Carter says she found inspiration in the tradition and costume of African peoples. She thrilled over Ndebele neck rings, Suri face paint, and Zulu headgear and blankets and asked her crew to stay true to these traditions.

The New Director of the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum Reflects on the Look and Fashion of <em>Black Panther</em>

The blockbuster movie borrowed from multiple African peoples to create a unique Wakandan style

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