Smithsonian Institution

Two unidentified Gullah Geechee women photographed by Lorenzo Dow Turner in the early 1930s

How the Memory of a Song Reunited Two Women Separated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

In 1990, scholars found a Sierra Leonean woman who remembered a nearly identical version of a tune passed down by a Georgia woman’s enslaved ancestors

Joro spiders aren't particularly bothered by the vibrations of a busy city environment.

Joro Spiders, Spreading in the Southeast, Can Survive Surprisingly Well in Cities

Unlike most spiders, the hustle and bustle of urban areas doesn’t seem to disturb the non-native Joros, a new study finds

Members of the National Negro Opera Company pose backstage during a 1941 performance of Aida.

The Founder of This Trailblazing Opera Company Put Black Singers at Center Stage

Mary Cardwell Dawson created unprecedented opportunities for aspiring Black musicians

The National Museum of Natural History holds the majority of the human remains in the Smithsonian's collections.

The Smithsonian’s Human Remains Task Force Calls for New Repatriation Policies

The report provides recommendations regarding the return of human remains in the Institution’s collections

To construct her sculptures, artist Phaan Howng used 3-D prints of plants in the Smithsonian Gardens collection, then mounted them onto a steel armature and base. They were then modified and finished with resin, resin foam, foam air dry clay, EVA foam and acrylic paint.

Fantastical Art Joins Hundreds of Blooming Orchids to Shed Light on Conservation Efforts

Smithsonian Gardens’ 28th annual orchid exhibition is underway at the Kogod Courtyard

While most of the fripperies at Tiffany & Co. were out of reach for average New Yorkers, Charles Lewis Tiffany priced his telegraph cable souvenirs at just 50 cents each—about $19 today.

To Make Tiffany & Co. a Household Name, the Luxury Brand's Founder Cashed in on the Trans-Atlantic Telegraph Craze

Charles Lewis Tiffany purchased the surplus cable from the 1858 venture, turning it into souvenirs that forever linked his name to the short-lived telecommunications milestone

Pioneering designer Clara Driscoll conceived this indelible lamp around the turn of the 20th century—with help from her fellow "Tiffany girls."

These Women Were the Real Geniuses Behind the Iconic Tiffany Lamps

A chic light fixture reveals how female designers remade the Tiffany brand—and went largely uncredited for nearly a century

Long before it was imbued with symbolic meaning in the zodiac and beyond, the dragon was an ambiguous silhouette adorning art forms.

Why Is the Year of the Dragon Considered So Lucky?

The only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon has long been associated with prosperity and imperial power

The full moon, as seen from Granada, Spain. A new study suggests the moon is shrinking, causing moonquakes that could interfere with planned lunar missions.

The Moon Is Shrinking, Causing Moonquakes at a Potential NASA Landing Site, Study Finds

Though the risk to astronauts is low, the shaking could cause landslides and impact potential long-term settlements at the lunar south pole

Genealogy researchers use military records, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, wills, legal and court documents, and census records to help piece together the past.

How the Smithsonian Is Helping Black Americans Trace Their Roots

Free sessions hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture offer visitors advice on researching their genealogy

The 1898 silent film Something Good‑Negro Kiss is often described as the earliest known on-screen depiction of Black intimacy. 

See Long-Lost Artifacts From Early Black Cinema

Now open in Detroit, "Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898–1971" showcases nearly 200 rare props, posters, photographs and more

This prototype of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter achieved the first successful free flight under simulated Martian conditions (on Earth) in 2016.

Prototype for Mars Helicopter Will Soon Be on Display at National Air and Space Museum

The surprisingly long-serving Ingenuity ended its historic service after breaking a rotor

Writer N. Scott Momaday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2019

N. Scott Momaday Built the Foundations of Native American Literature

Smithsonian scholars offer their reflections on the author, who died last week at age 89, and his impact on a new generation of Native writers

Farmers have shown a renewed interest in planting coffee in the shade of other plants. The resulting farms are visited by a multitude of creatures from ants to birds to bats.

How Shade Coffee Aids Conservation

When managed in the right way, the farms that provide our morning brew can be a refuge for plant and animal biodiversity

An expedition last fall captured a sonar image of a roughly plane-shaped object near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean, which the team suggests could be Amelia Earhart's vehicle.

Have Researchers Found Amelia Earhart's Long-Lost Plane?

A new sonar image shows an airplane-shaped object resting on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, not far from where Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, went missing in 1937

Researchers have developed a new video hardware and software system to show humans how insects and other animals experience color. Here, they show an orange-barred sulphur butterfly as it might look to a bird. (The insect appears yellow to humans.)

See the World Through the Eyes of Animals With These Stunning New Videos

By making ultraviolet light accessible to our eyes, a novel camera system reveals how insects, birds and other creatures experience color

Callum Turner (left) as John "Bucky" Egan and Austin Butler (right) as Gale "Buck" Cleven in "Masters of the Air"

The Real History Behind 'Masters of the Air' and the 100th Bomb Group

The long-awaited follow-up to "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" centers on an American aerial group nicknamed the "Bloody Hundredth"

This spring, Brood XIII and Brood XIX of periodical cicadas will emerge together for the first time since 1803.

Cicadas Are Coming: Rare 'Dual Emergence' Could Bring One Trillion of the Bugs This Year

The 13-year and 17-year broods that will emerge from underground this spring will be appearing together for the first time in 221 years

This May brings the Kunstsilo Nordic Art Museum to the southern Norwegian city of Kristiansand.

The Most Anticipated Museum Openings of 2024

Scheduled to launch this year are new institutions dedicated to astronomy, Nintendo and women artists

The envelope was sent twice: once on May 2, 1840, and again on May 4, 1840.

First Known Piece of Mail Sent Using a Stamp Goes to Auction

The 183-year-old envelope is a rare example of two early forms of prepaid postage: Mulready envelopes and adhesive stamps

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