COVID-19 Culture

The Ladder (Sun or Moon), Illuminate SF, 1066 Market St., by Ivan Navarro, 2020.

More Than 40 Light Installations Have San Francisco Aglow During the Holidays

Illuminate SF's Festival of Light spreads across 17 of the city's neighborhoods

The winner (and one guest) will be invited to attend the Mona Lisa's annual inspection—one of the few times the work emerges from behind bullet-proof glass.

How You Could Be One of the Only People in the Room With the 'Mona Lisa'

A Christie's auction benefitting the Louvre offers a winning bidder the chance to attend the painting's annual inspection

The website identifies Iceland’s Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon as one of the world's most relaxing soundscapes.

Take a Free Audio Tour of the World's Most Relaxing Destinations

From bird songs in an Indian jungle to the flowing waves of a Sardinian beach, a new tool spotlights 50 soothing soundscapes

Left, 19th century visitors view Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) by Emanuel Leutze; right, 21st- century visitors gaze upon the same work.

Celebrating 150 Years of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

An exhibition and a slate of virtual offerings commemorate the history of the iconic New York City institution

With air temperature at -17 degrees Celsius and water at 1 degree Celsius, Finns take a dip in an unfrozen hole of water after a sauna session in Vaasa, Finland.

What Americans Can Learn From Winter-Loving Cultures

With large indoor gatherings off-limits, the Covid-19 pandemic is giving everyone more reason to stay outside

This month's picks include Mantel Pieces, The Dead Are Arising and A Series of Fortunate Events.

How the Alphabet Got Its Order, Malcolm X and Other New Books to Read

These five October releases may have been lost in the news cycle

This 2016 image shows one of the instruments included in Amnon Weinstein's Violins of Hope collection, which features pre-World War II violins once owned by Jewish musicians and music lovers.

Pandemic Temporarily Silences Violins That Survived the Holocaust

Organizers found ways to make the instruments' voices heard after the cancellation of planned concerts in California

The museum is located in Copenhagen's historic center.

The World's First Happiness Museum Opens in Denmark

The Nordic country is consistently ranked among the planet's happiest

Rock legend Chuck Berry drove his 1973 Cadillac 
Eldorado onto a St. Louis stage in Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll, a 1987 documentary.

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch on How the Institution Builds Its Collections

Finding the next awe-inspiring artifact requires flexibility, help from the community—and a healthy dose of good luck

“When so many books are published,” debut author Natasha Randall tells BBC News, “there is an awful lot of noise you have to compete with.”

Why U.K. Publishers Released 600 Books in a Single Day

Dubbed "Super Thursday," the barrage of books includes many titles delayed by Covid-19

An open-air school in the Netherlands shows how the concept spread throughout Europe.

When Tuberculosis Struck the World, Schools Went Outside

A century ago, a deadly disease sparked a novel concept: teaching in the great outdoors to keep kids safe

Club Cardinal users can decorate their own dorm rooms.

Stanford University Students Flock to a Virtual Campus

A new digital platform allows students to explore campus and connect in Zoom rooms during the school's Covid-19 shutdown

Commuters wearing face masks walk to work in Tokyo on April 7.

How a Japanese Museum Is Documenting Life During Covid-19

New exhibition features everyday objects that would have been unfamiliar before the pandemic

For nearly four decades, Alexander has lived on various heating grates in Southwest D.C., which is why he introduced himself as “Alexander the Grate.”

A Street-Wise Philosopher Explains What It Means to Be Homeless Amid the Pandemic

Smithsonian Folklorist James Deutsch interviews the Washington D.C. man, "Alexander the Grate," about living in the "interstices of the infrastructure"

The new artworks unveiled in the garden, including We Come in Peace by Huma Bhabha, 2018, offers visitors the opportunity to "engage with timely issues through art," says the museum's director Melissa Chiu.

Two Monumental Sculptures Welcome Visitors Back to the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

Both artworks evoke peace in the time of pandemic

A Diné child begins her much-anticipated school year online in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Here's What Going Back to School Looks Like in Indian Country During the Pandemic

Native students, teachers, parents and school administrators share their concerns

The Metcalfs—Joni, 57, and Derek, 60—married in August 1983 and raised four children. When Derek lost his job with the federal government, they eventually ended up living in the streets. Recently, they found permanent housing.

A Washington, D.C. Couple Shares How the Pandemic Complicates Homelessness

Smithsonian curator James Deutsch speaks with the Metcalfs, who have long lived on the streets

A "wine window" in Florence

Centuries-Old 'Wine Windows' Open for Business in Florence

A low-risk alternative to curbside pickup, the portals may have helped fight an outbreak of bubonic plague in the 1630s

All this could be yours—for the right price. An auction for this North Dakota Cold War-era missile site begins on August 11.

You Could Own an Abandoned Cold War Missile Site in North Dakota

The 50-acre fixer-upper has potential as a tourist attraction or a pandemic bunker

Susie and Paul Sensmeier of Christiansburg, Virginia, got front row seats to the arrival of the first drone-shipped home delivery in the fall of 2019.

This Drone Made the First Home Delivery in the United States

Wing’s tether-toting drone delivered a winter vest to a retiree in Virginia and now its headed to the Air and Space Museum

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