Art History

In this 2017 photo, employees set up scaffolding to remove stained-glass windows depicting Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson at Washington National Cathedral.

National Cathedral to Replace Confederate-Themed Stained Glass With Art Dedicated to Racial Justice

Artist Kerry James Marshall will create two new windows for the historic Washington, D.C. church

Researchers estimate that ancient builders used roughly 226,085,379 square feet of rock, dirt and adobe to construct the three main pyramid complexes in Teotihuacán's city center. Pictured here is the Pyramid of the Sun.

Mexico's Ancient Inhabitants Moved Land and Bent Rivers to Build Teotihuacán

Architects of the Mesoamerican city transformed the landscape in ways that continue to impact modern development today, a new study finds

The painting is part of a series created by Baroque artist Cesare Dandini around the 1630s.

Cool Finds

Baroque Masterpiece Spent Six Decades Hidden in Plain Sight

Art historian Tom Ruggio was visiting a church in New York when he spotted the long-overlooked religious painting

The newly authenticated sketch (left) and the final drawing, titled Worn Out (right)

Cool Finds

Newly Identified Vincent van Gogh Drawing Goes on View for the First Time

The Dutch Impressionist created the pencil sketch in 1882

Whether the ten hand and footprints constitute art is up for debate, scholars say.

Cool Finds

These 200,000-Year-Old Hand and Footprints Could Be the World's Earliest Cave Art

Found at a hot spring on the Tibetan Plateau, the impressions were likely left by hominin children

William Trost Richards, Along the Shore, 1903

The Sights and Sounds of the Sea Have Inspired American Artists for Generations

Exhibition spotlights crashing waves, maritime voyages and seafaring vessels painted by Georgia O'Keeffe, Normal Rockwell and Jacob Lawrence

Despite heavy erosion, the camels remain visible some seven millennia after their creation.

Life-Size Camel Sculptures in Saudi Arabia Are Older Than Stonehenge, Pyramids of Giza

New research suggests the animal reliefs date to between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago

Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Omai, circa 1776

The Polynesian 'Prince' Who Took 18th-Century England by Storm

A new nonfiction release revisits the life of Mai, the first Pacific Islander to visit Britain

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced plans to remove the sculpture last summer, but a lawsuit filed by locals delayed the process until this week.

History of Now

Richmond Removes Robert E. Lee Statue, Largest Confederate Sculpture in the U.S.

Workers sawed the controversial monument into pieces before transporting it to an undisclosed Virginia storage facility

In October 2020, authorities in Mexico City set up metal fences (pictured here) to protect a statue of Christopher Columbus from protesters. Officials later removed the sculpture, ostensibly for restoration.

Monument to Indigenous Women Will Replace Columbus Statue in Mexico City

Named after the Nahuatl word for "water," the sculpture will depict a member of the Mesoamerican Olmec civilization

For the study, researchers analyzed three shoes found in the Renaissance artist's house.

How Tall Was Michelangelo? Surprisingly Short, Study Suggests

New analysis of the artist's (probable) shoes indicates that he stood 5 feet 2 inches tall

Kevin Bubriski, World Trade Center Series, New York City, 2001, gelatin silver print

Smithsonian Voices

The Art of Remembering 9/11

Learn about five artworks in SAAM's collection and the stories they tell us about 9/11

Three firefighters—George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Bill Eisengrein—raising the American flag on September 11, 2001. This last of the series remains the most striking, yet least-known depiction of this scene.

September 11

A Lesser-Known Photo of an Iconic 9/11 Moment Brings Shades of Gray to the Day's Memory

On the 20th anniversary of the attacks, photographers who immortalized the famous scene reflect on what their images capture and what remains out of frame

Frederick Hurten Rhead, panel for overmantel, 1910

First Museum Dedicated to American Arts and Crafts Movement Opens in Florida

Proponents of the artistic philosophy pushed back against industrial production and embraced handcraftsmanship

Workers discovered a trove of rare gold coins, pictured here, in the walls of a historic French mansion in 2019. Now, the coins are going up for auction.

Cool Finds

Trove of 239 Rare Gold Coins Discovered in Walls of French Mansion

Renovators discovered a hidden box and pouch stuffed with rare gold coins, minted during the reigns of French Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV

Mickalene Thomas,  Jet Blue #25 (detail), 2021

Mickalene Thomas' Dazzling Collages Reclaim Black Women's Bodies

A four-part exhibition premiering this fall showcases the contemporary artist's multimedia portrayals of Black femininity

Jacques-Louis David, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836), 1788

Art Meets Science

Iconic Portrait of French Chemist and His Wife Once Looked Entirely Different

Jacques-Louis David's 1789 painting originally depicted Antoine and Marie Anne Lavoisier as wealthy elites, not modern scientists

Five-year-old Astrid Cooper poses with one of her artworks. Astrid co-curated an upcoming exhibition at the Edge arts center in Bath, England, with her father, Will.

Art Exhibition Gives New Meaning to the Phrase 'My Kid Could've Done That'

Curator Will Cooper and his 5-year-old daughter, Astrid, invited 15 British artists and their children to contribute original artworks

Joan Mitchell in her Paris studio in 1956

The Poetry and Passion of Joan Mitchell's Abstract Expressionist Paintings

A traveling exhibition will unite 80 works by the acclaimed artist, who thrived in 1950s New York despite widespread sexism

In Paul Henry’s own words, he hoped to capture “the very soul of Ireland” in his paintings.

Cool Finds

Rare Impressionist Landscapes Found in Storage Unit Could Sell for $60,000

Created by artist Paul Henry, the oil paintings depict the Irish countryside

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