Photographers

Nazis set an estimated 1,400 synagogues on fire during Kristallnacht.

These 84-Year-Old Nazi Photos Paint a Harrowing Picture of Kristallnacht

The images show mobs ransacking Jewish-owned homes, businesses and synagogues in 1938

This image of an axolotl highlights components of its nervous system

Art Meets Science

Stunning Images Reveal the Complex Beauty of Life Under a Microscope

Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography contest winners captured a gecko hand, breast tissue cells and dozens of other minuscule moments

Giraffe drinking with oxpecker birds in the background in South Africa

View 16 Breathtaking Images From the Nature Conservancy's Annual Photo Contest

The winning shots feature everything from glowing mushrooms to sauntering lions

Tillmans’ 2015 image of Frank Ocean was used on the cover of his critically-acclaimed album, Blonde.

Wolfgang Tillmans Looks Without Fear

The photographer’s largest-ever exhibition is now on view at the Museum of Modern Art

Four pairs of "human doubles" included in the study

Art Meets Science

Doppelgängers Don't Just Look Alike—They Also Share DNA

New research finds genetic and lifestyle similarities between unrelated pairs of "virtual twins"

Medical student Anna Searcy in 1897

Women Who Shaped History

These Trailblazers Were the Only Women in the Room Where It Happened

A new book spotlights 100 historical photographs of lone women hidden among groups of men

The shortlisted images range from showing Earth as blue marble against thousands of twinkling stars, distant nebulae, swirling galaxies, and stunning photos of the solar system.

Good News

View Amazing Shots of Space From the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest

Each shortlisted photo is in the running to win the grand prize and will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in London

A Union Pacific locomotive makes its way through Cajon Pass in Southern California. The “Building America” slogan is not just puffery: Union Pacific is the nation’s largest railroad, and was also one of the original companies responsible for constructing the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s.

These Photographs Capture the Indescribable Glory of Trains

America’s fascination with trains is fast-tracked in this study of passing freight

The image captured in South Texas shows cactus bees (Diadasia rinconis) in a rare and intimate moment as they swarm into a mating ball for a chance to mate with one female bee.
 

Good News

Winners of the 2022 Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition Announced

From mating bees to starfish devouring a sea lion, the photos captured the beauty and diversity of life on Earth

A self-portrait of Vivian Maier from 1953

How Vivian Maier, the Enigmatic Nanny Who Took 150,000 Photographs, Found Her Place in History

The late artist is getting her first full-scale exhibition in the United Kingdom this summer

Kim Phuc Phan Thi, the girl depicted in the 1972 photograph The Terror of War, and photographer Nick Ut in 2022

Fifty Years Later, Kim Phuc Phan Thi Is More Than 'Napalm Girl'

While the image freezes in time a moment of wartime horror, its subject has been moving forward

My Comrade documented the early careers of some of today’s most famous drag queens.

The Zine That Documented Drag’s Campy Coming of Age

The queer publication shone a joyous light on an underground culture during the darkest days of the HIV/AIDS crisis

In a 1929 column, Amelia Earhart name-checked Keating as an example of a woman in aviation who had beaten the odds, writing, "She photographs from the air and helps make the beautifully accurate maps which compose aerial surveys."

Untold Stories of American History

In 1920s New York, This Woman Typist Became a Pioneering Aerial Photographer

Edith Keating survived the Halifax Explosion and eventually took to the skies, marking a path for other women to fly in her wake

Georgia O’Keeffe poses at her home, Ghost Ranch, in New Mexico. The artist often drew on imagery of the American Southwest in her work. 

One-on-One

Unvarnished Photos of Georgia O'Keeffe Show the Elusive Painter in Her Element

Never-before-published photographs offer an intimate look at the iconic artist

Adorned in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, Victoria Franco takes part in a protest near Los Angeles City Hall on March 19, weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

How Ukrainian and Russian Immigrants View the War From Afar

To residents of Southern California with ties to the Eastern European nations, the conflict feels close to home

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These Are the Winners of Smithsonian Magazine's 19th Annual Photo Contest

From the beauty of bodies in motion to the symbiotic behaviors of insects, these photographers captured fascinating moments in time

Pruitt took roughly 88,000 photographs of life in and around Columbus, Mississippi, between 1916 and 1960. Pictured: a Black baptismal group on the bank of the Tombigbee River, circa 1930s

Chronicling the Triumphs—and Tragedies—of Life in the Deep South

A new book and traveling exhibition highlight the work of Mississippi photographer O.N. Pruitt

It’s been 70 years of instant photography, thanks to Edwin Land, on the left.

Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land Gave Us More Than Just Instant Photos

Seventy-five years after the game-changing camera was unveiled to the public, a scientist calls attention to Land's other technological breakthroughs

On July 21, 1963, Gloria Richardson was walking from a meeting when her would-be attacker ran at her with his brandished weapon leveled at her neck. She flat-palmed the blade of the bayonet, shoving it away from her body. 

Women Who Shaped History

How Gloria Richardson's Look of Righteous Indignation Became a Symbol of No Retreat

In 1963, the civil rights leader shoved aside a guardsman’s bayonet with disgust and defiance; photography preserved the charged moment

Aside from photography, James Van Der Zee was also a gifted musician who played both the piano and violin.

The Met Acquires Archive of Work by Harlem Renaissance Photographer James Van Der Zee

Working with the Studio Museum of Harlem, the museum is preserving the photographer’s images of 20th-century Black life

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