Costumes

A publicity still from The Wizard of Oz. A lecturer at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. recently stumbled onto one of the costumes worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film.

Cool Finds

Judy Garland's Long-Lost 'Wizard of Oz' Dress Rediscovered After Decades

A lecturer at Catholic University discovered the rare costume wrapped in a trash bag in a drama department office

An oil-cloth cape worn by a young Republican during a late-night, torch-lit campaign march ahead of the 1880 presidential election.

When Young Americans Marched for Democracy Wearing Capes

In 1880, a new generation helped decide the closest popular vote in U.S. history

James Corden is no common place mouser as he takes on the role of Bustopher Jones, "The Cat we all greet as he walks down the street; his coat of fastidious black."

Purrfect or A-Paw-Ling? Why 'Cats' Still Gives Some Theatergoers Paws

Experts disagree on the hit musical's merits; four of the original production’s slinky, feline costumes are held by the Smithsonian

Celine Dion arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

How Well Did This Year's Met Gala Exemplify ‘Camp’?

The concept of camp goes far beyond what Susan Sontag wrote in her seminal essay

The giants and big heads have been a hit among Folklife Festival-goers, says performer Jesus Bach Marques. "They're amazed by our giants! For most of them, it's something really new."

Catalonia

For Hundreds of Years, Papier-Mâché Has Lent a Surreal Face to Catalan Culture

Street performers disguised as Giants and Big Heads blend reverence with ribaldry at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The chevrons on the Panther's early suit, and the tessellated triangles on his later model, hint at the "sacred geometry" of triangular forms common to several African cultures.

King T’Challa’s Black Panther Suit, a Bold Statement of Afrofuturist Pride, Comes to the Smithsonian

Pounce on the opportunity to celebrate contemporary African-African filmmaking at the National Museum of African American History and Culture this fall

Civil War reenactors fire a salute in a public parade.

Civil War Reenactments Were a Thing Even During the Civil War

These 'practice battles' are the root of today's Civil War reenactors

A suit worn by actor Lin-Manuel Miranda for the popular Broadway hit Hamilton  and a mid-1800s portrait of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton by Daniel Huntington arrive at the Smithsonian.

A Portrait of Eliza Hamilton and a Costume Worn by Lin-Manuel Miranda for 'Hamilton' Arrives at the Smithsonian

Paying homage to the spirit of philanthropy, the museum honors the Eliza Project and the Graham Windham orphanage

The sequins on the shoes are so delicate that conservators clean them with a Q-tip and a little cold water.

How Dorothy's Ruby Slippers Came to the Smithsonian

A successful Kickstarter Campaign funds efforts to bring back their sparkle and keep them ruby

Freeman Fisher Gosden and Charles Correll, c. 1935 (detail), as "Amos and Andy"

Commentary

The Long, Unfortunate History of Racial Parody in America

Art historian Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw discusses the painful performative origins

Ray Bolger's widow, Gwendolyn, donated the costume to the Smithsonian Institution after the comedian's death in 1987.

Smithsonian Will Stretch to Save Scarecrow’s Costume, Too

Turns out the Ruby Slippers were just the beginning of an epic journey of cultural preservation

Girls are saying "let it go" to princess costumes in favor of superheroes.

Trending Today

Kids Ditch Princess Costumes in Favor of Superheroes This Halloween

For the first time in over a decade, princesses falter on the charts

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love #TheShirt

Cool Finds

Mr. Darcy’s Wet Shirt is Coming to the United States

It’s the costume that launched an entire generation of Jane Austen lovers

The glamorous actress in the 1940s.

How Katharine Hepburn Became a Fashion Icon

Celebrate the Hollywood star with a look at her stellar costumes

The first official exhibition exclusively of Star Wars costumes, "Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume," opens at Seattle's EMP Museum on January 31, 2015.

Inside the Three-Decade Evolution of "Star Wars" Costumes

A Smithsonian traveling exhibition offers an unprecedented glimpse at costumes from a galaxy far, far away

Tony Award winner Geoffrey Holder's ingenious design used a skillet to complete the Tinman’s hat in the 1975 Broadway production of The Wiz.

Breaking Ground

The Tinman's Hat From "The Wiz" Offers Just a Hint of the Musical's Beating Heart

When the all-black musical production opened on Broadway 40 years ago, critics scoffed, but audiences embraced it

Fred Savage (right) and Josh Saviano (left) of "The Wonder Years" reunited at the American History Museum on December 2, 2014 to donate items, including the New York Jets jacket shown here in a publicity photo from around 1988.

Fred Savage and “The Wonder Years” Cast Reflect on Why Their Show Still Matters

The cast and crew of “The Wonder Years” reunited at the American History Museum today to donate costumes and other artifacts

A baby penguin and its parent greet the disguised rover.

New Research

Rovers Disguised as Baby Penguins Can Quietly Infiltrate Penguin Colonies

Normally wary penguins seem unfazed when there's a smartly dressed robot in their midst

Turn of the century thespians play their roles wearing Roman togas.

Halloween

No Costume? Grab A Sheet And Rock a Toga

Costume designer Mariah Hale explains how to wrap the perfect last-minute toga

New to the collections: Actor Reeve Carney's red and blue spandex bodysuit, which he wore while starring in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark' Suit Receives a Lifetime Encore at the American History Museum

After a two-year run on Broadway, the web-slinging stage show's iconic superhero costume is heading to the Smithsonian.