Smithsonian Podcast

"Sidedoor" host Lizzie Peabody creaks across museum attic floorboards and sneaks into an old house in the woods (above: What lurks inside the Sellman House at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center?) to investigate the spooky stories that only a few dare to tell.

The Ghosts Who Haunt the Smithsonian

Mysterious tales head up podcast offerings for late October and November

This month, Portraits, a podcast from the National Portrait Gallery, revisits "Finding Cleopatra," a Sidedoor episode with host Lizzie Peabody exploring the life of the artist Edmonia Lewis (above: a photographic portrait by Henry Rocher, c. 1890).

Cleopatra’s Iconoclastic Sculptor Was Her Own Kind of Queen

Smithsonian podcasts delve into the life of Edmonia Lewis, how astronauts sleep, the evolution of the human brain; and drop in on painter Kay WalkingStick

In “Postage Pairings,” from the National Portrait Gallery, host Kim Sajet speaks with the Smithsonian's Daniel Piazza, curator of philately, about postage stamps (left: 29c single, july 30, 1993) reproduced from portraits (right: Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Siffred Duplessis, c. 1785).

The Revolutionary Role Mail Played in America’s Fight for Independence

Hear about the colonial period postal service in the latest "Portraits" podcast

Audre Lorde lectures students at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Women Who Shaped History

You May Have Borrowed These Terms from Black Feminism

Two curators have turned co-hosts in the podcast, “Collected,” a six-part examination of the origins of self-care, identity politics, and intersectionality

Despite the Russian invasion, traditional Ukrainian folk singers performed as part of the celebrations for Kyiv Day  on May 28, 2022.

Can Cultural Treasures in Occupied Ukraine Be Saved?

The podcast 'Sidedoor' goes behind-the-scenes with the Smithsonian Culture Rescue Initiative and its heroic efforts to safeguard the nation’s heritage

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery boasts the only public collection of images depicting every single U.S. president throughout history.

The Thorny Politics of Presidential Portraiture

In a new podcast, the National Portrait Gallery reveals that a portrait is being commissioned of the former president

Paredon Records produced music that was literally revolutionary.

From the 'Sidedoor' Podcast: How a Woman-Led Record Label Spread Songs of Protest and Revolution

This episode from the sixth season of the Smithsonian's "Sidedoor" podcast delves into the history of Barbara Dane's revolutionary Paredon Records

In an explosion of green and gold, Elaine de Kooning's portrayal of President John F. Kennedy holds pride of place at the National Portrait Gallery in its exhibition "America's Presidents."

Why Elaine de Kooning's Portrait of JFK Broke All the Rules

After the assassination, the grief-stricken artist painted the president’s image obsessively; finally saying she caught only "a glimpse" of him

Queen Liliʻuokalani (above: circa 1891) became the first and only queen regnant of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1891 and shepherded the country through a period of intense growth.

100 Years of Women at the Ballot Box

How the 19th Amendment Complicated the Status and Role of Women in Hawai'i

For generations, women played a central role in government and leadership. Then, the United States came along

When the Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, first saw the new image of Harriet Tubman (above, detail), she said: "She's young!"

Why Harriet Tubman’s Heroic Military Career Is Now Easier to Envision

The strong, youthful visage of the famed underground railroad conductor is the subject of the Portrait Gallery’s podcast “Portraits”

In the past decade or so, the number of podcasts to choose from has soared.

Education During Coronavirus

Eighteen Podcasts to Listen to in 2020

Need podcast recommendations for travel or the treadmill? Here’s what Smithsonian experts listen to

The late journalist Cokie Roberts recently visited the Smithsonian to discuss some of the presidents' wives in a new podcast "Portraits." If only, she remarked the First Ladies had been painted when they were young and vivacious, before they had gray hair.

Why Cokie Roberts Admired Dolley Madison

The legendary newswoman, who died at 75, appeared on a Smithsonian podcast earlier this summer to speak about a favorite topic, the first ladies

Unlike seeds of other plants, orchid seeds (above, a seed packet) do not contain the nutrition they need to sprout. They get it from fungi.

Why the Conservation of Orchids Is No Simple Matter

Smithsonian's Sidedoor podcast visits with researchers working to understand the conditions these threatened plants need to grow

In 2010, Cabico founded "Capturing Fire," a three-day international poetry festival for queer-identifying writers with the goal of encouraging more discussions and awareness about the queer experience.

Why Spoken Word Artist Regie Cabico Calls Himself an 'Accidental Poet'

The renowned slam poetry artist is performing at Smithsonian’s Asian American Literature Festival in August and is featured in the latest Sidedoor podcast

In a new Smithsonian Sidedoor episode, Cheech Marin talks about his dedication to elevating Chicano art, especially the kind that reflects an inventive and survivalist attitude.

Why the Chicano Underdog Aesthetic ‘Rasquachismo’ Is Finally Having Its Day

Next up for the podcast Sidedoor, actor and director Cheech Marin opines on the Chicano art sensibility that is defiant, tacky and wildly creative

In June of 1878, just a few years after he was acquitted for murder, Eadweard Muybridge made history at a racetrack in Palo Alto, California.

How a 19th-Century Photographer Made the First 'GIF' of a Galloping Horse

Eadweard Muybridge photographed a horse in different stages of its gallop, a new Smithsonian podcast documents the groundbreaking feat

Thanksgiving tells the story of a landmark moment of coexistence, multiculturalism and even neighborliness (above: The First Thanksgiving, 1621, Jean Leon G. Ferris) when Native Americans taught Pilgrims to farm, and shared a meal with them after a successful harvest in 1621.

How an Unremarkable 'Brunch in the Forest' Turned Into the Thanksgiving We Know

A new Sidedoor podcast dives into the holiday's origins

“What I also want people to understand is that as difficult as this history is, it's ripe with optimism," says the museum's director Lonnie Bunch. "Because if you can survive that cabin, there's a lot more you can survive.”

This South Carolina Cabin Is Now a Crown Jewel in the Smithsonian Collections

The 16- by 20-foot dwelling once housed the enslaved; a new podcast tells its story

As the first serious scientist to study the legendary creature, Krantz risked his career and reputation on a subject that many consider a joke. And while the museum remembers him as a man who loved science so much that he donated his body to it, another community remembers Krantz as a pioneer in the study of Sasquatch.

The Scientist Grover Krantz Risked It All. . .Chasing Bigfoot

The dedicated anthropologist donated his body to science and it’s on display, but his legacy is complicated

Mosquito researcher Kelly Bennett, turkey baster in hand, is on the prowl, collecting specimens for study

Hunting Deadly Mosquitoes in Panama

The latest podcast “Sidedoor” travels with Smithsonian experts on the trail of the buzzing beasts known as the Aedes

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