Art Photography

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

Chuck Close Self-Portrait, dye diffusion transfer prints, 1989

Chuck Close, Artist Whose Photorealist Portraits Captivated America, Dies at 81

The painter, who faced accusations of sexual harassment later in life, continuously changed his artistic style

This small device flashes red if a visitor gets too close to an artwork or fails to wear their face mask correctly.

Innovation for Good

Italian Museum Uses Cameras to Track How Visitors Engage With Art

A new A.I. system hopes to help curators determine artworks' "attraction value" and optimize gallery layouts

Liz Orton photographed seeds sent to Kew Gardens in London as long as a century ago.

Art Meets Science

Take a Virtual Tour of Artworks Inspired by Efforts to Preserve Plant Biodiversity

A traveling exhibition showcases five artists whose creations engage with science and ecology

Ilse Bing, Selbstporträt mit Leica (Self-Portrait With Leica), 1931 gelatin silver print

Meet the Woman Photographers Who Cataloged the 20th Century

A major exhibition at the Met and the National Gallery of Art spotlights 120 international artists, from Homai Vyarawalla to Lee Miller

An installation view of "Automania" at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. The red car in front is a Cisitalia 202 GT Car (1946) designed by Italian firm Pininfarina; the green car in the background is a German "Beetle," a.k.a. a Volkswagen Type 1 Sedan (1949).  The lithograph on the wall is Watch the Fords Go By (1937) by A. M. Cassandre.

How the Automobile Changed the World, for Better or Worse

New MoMA exhibition explores artists' responses to the beauty, brutality and environmental devastation of cars and car culture

The Sound of Our Resurrection Is Stronger Than the Silence of Death is what McCormick and Calhoun call their picture of A Chosen Few Brass Band, photographed in the city’s Treme neighborhood in the 1980s.

Photographs Salvaged From Hurricane Katrina Recall Life in New Orleans

Making art out of disaster, two photographers reexamine these affectionate portraits of life in the Crescent City

Oil Spill #10, Oil Slick at Rip Tide, Gulf of Mexico, June 24, 2010 (detail) by Edward Burtynsky, 2010

The Sad Truths Behind These Unsettling Works of Art

A new exhibition reflects on the haunting aesthetics of human impact on the planet

JR's newest illusion seemingly opens up a ravine in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Dazzling Illusion Creates Gaping Canyon Beneath the Eiffel Tower

Street artist and photographer JR unveiled his latest large-scale installation last month

Presenting the winners of Smithsonian magazine's 18th annual photo contest

These Are the Winners of Smithsonian Magazine's 18th Annual Photo Contest

From India to Antarctica, these pictures capture the passion, solitude and surprise of a year unlike any other

Candida Alvarez's Estoy Bien (2017) provided the inspiration for the title of a new exhibition at El Museo del Barrio.

How a Sweeping Survey in NYC Redefines What It Means to Make 'Latinx' Art

A new triennial at El Museo del Barrio features a wide range of works by 42 artists and collectives

Left: Cara Romero, Wakeah, 2018, and right: Flor Garduño, Reina (Queen), 1989

Major Donation to MoMA Spotlights a Century of Women Photographers

Newly announced gift of 100 works by 76 artists runs the gamut from photojournalism to experimental images

Sergeant Major William L. Henderson and hospital steward Thomas H.S. Pennington of the 20th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment, as photographed by W.H. Leeson

How Photography Tells the Story of the Civil War's Black Soldiers

A new book by scholar Deborah Willis features more than 70 photos, as well as letters, journal entries and posters

Regina Valkenborgh's photograph features 2,953 arcs of light streaking across the sky, recording the sun’s rising and setting over eight years.

A Cider-Can 'Camera' Captured Eight Years in a Single Photograph

The ethereal snapshot, recorded by a drink can left in an observatory for almost a decade, may be the longest-exposure image ever taken

Kazumasa Ogawa, Chrysanthemum from Some Japanese Flowers. ca. 1894

Art Meets Science

How Has Photography's Relationship With Nature Evolved Over the Past 200 Years?

A new exhibition at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery features more than 100 works documenting the natural world

Left, Self-titled Adaptation of Le Rêve (1932), by Niko Luoma, 2015. Right, Le Rêve, by Pablo Picasso, 1932.

Recreating Modernist Artwork by Photograph

Niko Luoma takes a fresh look at paintings that may seem stale

Cindy Sherman, Untitled 584, 2017-2018

Why Photographer Cindy Sherman Is Still the Queen of Reinvention

A retrospective at Fondation Louis Vuitton highlights the artist's manipulation of femininity and identity

Audrey Flack, Spitfire, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 73 x 110.5 inches, Gift of Stuart M. Speiser from the Stuart M. Speiser Photorealist Collection

Smithsonian Voices

Take a Deep Dive Into This Awesome Example of 1970s Photorealism

Smithsonian's Carolyn Russo says to study this 1973 artwork by photorealist painter Audrey Flack is like looking at a plane spotting puzzle

When I felt strong enough to go out for a walk, out of desperation from being locked up in the flat, I would walk along the Thames on the large promenade that borders the river. It was a cool night in April, and the sun had left a searing purple and pink horizon line on the city. It is rare to see such colors linger at dusk and I had with me my Polaroid camera. I took a few shots and remember how silent and eerie the city felt. A ghost town is truly what it was. This image  was taken home and washed with water, sprayed with a foamy bleach and then doused with liquid hand sanitizer in the patches of foam.

Covid-19

Start With a Polaroid, Then Add Disinfectant. Here's the Result

A quarantined photographer makes the most of the harsh materials at hand to create a fragile portrait of life in a pandemic

The valiant Inez Milholland, standard-bearer in the nation’s struggle for female enfranchisement, is portrayed here by Isabella Serrano.

100 Years of Women at the Ballot Box

Recreating a Suffragist's Barnstorming Tour Through the American West

Inez Milholland Boissevain's campaign to win the vote for women inspires a dramatic homage a century later