Celebrities

Actress Nichelle Nichols was starred as Lt. Uhura, the chief communications officer aboard the Starship Enterprise, in the 1960s science fiction television program "Star Trek."

How Nichelle Nichols Launched Real-Time Opportunities for Women in Space

When NASA asked for help, the actress said: 'I will bring you the most qualified people on the planet'

Left: Photo of the dress from a Bonhams auction listing. Right: Father Gilbert Hartke with the gifted garment

There’s No Place Like Home—but What’s the Right Place for Dorothy's Dress From 'The Wizard of Oz'?

Donated to the head of Catholic University’s drama department in 1973, the garment's ownership is now at the center of a legal dispute

Actress Blake Lively wore a Statue of Liberty–inspired gown whose copper bow unfurled into a blue-green train.

Gilded Age Excess Lived on at the 2022 Met Gala

Celebrities paid tribute to the era of extravagance through gold-adorned ensembles, splashy headdresses and more

At the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, the story of the Watergate whistleblower Martha Mitchell (detail, oil on canvas, Jan De Ruth, 1970) from Pine Bluff, Arkansas—who pundits dubbed the "Mouth of the South"—is revisited in a new exhibition, "Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue."

Martha Mitchell Was the Brash 'Mouth of the South' That Roared

A portrait reveals the dignity behind the maligned woman who stepped up to tell the truth

Joseph Mikulec, the “Globe-Trotter” whose toes touched six continents, collected the signatures of such luminaries as Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Edward VIII, Mary Pickford and Teddy Roosevelt.

The Man Who Walked Around the World, Collecting the Autographs of the Rich and Famous

In the early 1900s, Joseph Mikulec traveled some 175,000 miles on foot, gathering 60,000 signatures in a leather-bound album that is now up for sale

Lucille Ball in 1938

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the Real Lucille Ball?

"I Love Lucy" is having a moment—but we're still not ready to see its star and creator clearly

The Godfather was named Best Motion Picture–Drama in the 1973 Golden Globe Awards and Best Picture in the Academy Awards.

Studio Executives Did Not Want Marlon Brando for the Title Role in 'The Godfather'

On the film's 50th anniversary, a Smithsonian historian reflects on the cultural phenomenon of the blockbuster hit

The award-winning actress, director and entrepreneur Monalisa Chinda is also host of the nationally sindicated television talk show "You & I with Monalisa." 

Photographer Iké Udé Is Retelling Africa's Narrative With the Power of Portraiture

A new show celebrates the stars of Nigeria's Nollywood, the country’s vibrant $3 billion film industry

Vivian Carter (center) and her husband, Jimmy Bracken (far right), launched Vee Jay Records in 1953.

The Black Record Label That Introduced the Beatles to America

Over its 13-year run, Vee Jay built a roster that left a lasting impact on every genre of music

Betty White poses with a parrot at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2014.

Good News

Animal Shelters See an Influx of Donations in Honor of Betty White

Fans donated thousands of dollars to local animal shelters on what would have been her 100th birthday

A Louis Wain illustration of cats singing carols

See Louis Wain's Exuberant Cat Art at the Hospital Where He Spent His Later Years

The Victorian artist's famous feline portraits are on view at England's Bethlem Museum of the Mind

Brown was known as the Godfather of Soul and the Hardest Working Man in Show Business.

James Brown's Estate Has Sold After 15-Year Dispute

The estimated $90 million deal will go mostly toward a scholarship fund for children from South Carolina and Georgia

Bob Dylan, One Too Many, 2020

See Bob Dylan's Cinematic Paintings, Welded Sculptures and More

A comprehensive collection of the iconic songwriter's visual art is on display for the first time in the United States

Singer-songwriter and visual artist Solange has launched a free library of rare works by Black authors, available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis.

Singer and Artist Solange Debuts Free Library of Rare Books by Black Authors

Readers in the U.S. can borrow 50 titles, including collections of poems by Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes and a sci-fi novel by Octavia Butler

Poet and Met Gala co-chair Amanda Gorman channeled the Statue of Liberty in this sheer blue Vera Wang dress. Her clutch, emblazoned with the phrase "Give Us Your Tired," references Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus," which is inscribed on a plaque at the American landmark.

Met Gala Asks What Is American Fashion—and Who Gets to Define It?

From inaugural poet Amanda Gorman to pop star Billie Eilish, here's how stars interpreted this year's theme

This slice of marzipan was likely cut from the top or side of a single-tier cake sent to Clarence House for the enjoyment of the queen mother's staff.

You Could Own a Slice of Princess Diana's Wedding Cake

The not-so-edible, 40-year-old piece of royal history is expected to fetch more than $300 at auction

Before donating the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, the jeweler Harry Winston had Bradford Bachrach photograph Eleanor Kidd—the face of Lucky Strike cigarettes—wearing 
the gem in 1958.

The Story Behind the Photography Studio That Captured America

For generations, Bachrach Photographers made everyone, from JFK to Duke Ellington to everyday people, look great

Cher stands with Kaavan, the elephant she helped rescue.

How Cher Helped Rescue the World's Loneliest Elephant

A new documentary follows the five year struggle to save an elephant named Kaavan from abuse—and seeks to inspire similar efforts around the world

Matthew McConaughey joins Gayle King for a Smithsonian Asssociates Streaming event on February 10 to discuss his new memoir.

Smithsonian Voices

An Evening With Matthew McConaughey and 26 Other Virtual Smithsonian Events in February

An evening with Matthew McConaughey, multi-part courses, studio arts classes and virtual study tours

Singer Jenny Lind was widely known as the "Swedish Nightingale."

When Opera Star Jenny Lind Came to America, She Witnessed a Nation Torn Apart Over Slavery

Born 200 years ago, the Swedish soprano embarked on headline-grabbing tour that shared the spotlight with a political maelstrom

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