Smithsonian

The installation Create to Free Yourselves: Abraham Lincoln and the History of Freeing Slaves in America by Georges Adéagbo (above) will be on view at President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C. through February 15.

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At Abraham Lincoln's Cottage, Artist Georges Adéagbo Pays Homage to the Great Emancipator

The award-winning Beninese artist unveils a work dedicated to the president’s “generosity of heart”

C-3PO and R2-D2 from the 1983 Star Wars — Return of the Jedi takes center stage at the new exhibition "Entertainment Nation / Nación de Espectáculo" on long-time view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Stars Are Aligned at the National Museum of American History

Banged-Up, but Still Sassy, R2-D2 and C-3PO Are Back and Thrilling Fans

Actor Jimmy Vee says climbing inside the droid costume, now on view at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, is like entering “your own world"

At the Natural History Museum, "Cellphone: Unseen Connections" opens June 23; at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, "Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols" goes on view May 13; and "Ay-Ō's Happy Rainbow Hell" is part of the National Museum of Asian Art's centennial exhibitions, opening March 25.

Twenty-Three Smithsonian Shows to See in 2023

A rare Bible, George Clinton's colorful wig, Disney World history and Japanese ghosts debut this year

Philip Pearlstein (above in his studio, June 1971) was "unwaveringly interested in the landscape of the body,” says Stephanie Stebich, the director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

Philip Pearlstein Painted the Naked Truth

Smithsonian curators remember the celebrated artist, who died last month at 98, and who viewed humanity with biting realism

Family Portrait from the series "The Lams of Ludlow Street," by Thomas Holton, 2004

How These Contemporary Artists Are Redefining Family and Kinship

Explore the enduring bonds and intimacies of modern love at the National Portrait Gallery

Hector Guimard, who gained acclaim from his work with the Paris Métro subway system, is the subject of an exhibition on view at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Meet the Designer of the Fanciful Subway Entrances to the Paris Métro

The celebrated architect Hector Guimard was also a passionate advocate for workers’ rights, even as he honed his reputation in the business of luxury

A team led by Laurits Skov and Benjamin Peter from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology sequenced nuclear, mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA of 13 Neanderthal individuals. From these sequences, they determined that two of the Neanderthals represent a father-daughter pair and that another two are cousins.

Fourteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2022

Smithsonian paleoanthropologists reveal the year’s most riveting findings about our close relatives and ancestors

The 1989 photograph, Maya Lin working on Civil Rights Memorial by Adam Stoltman, is among numerous works including 3D models, sketchbooks, personal papers and family photos in the exhibition, "One Life: Maya Lin," at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. 

The Private World of the Public Artist Maya Lin

A biographical exhibition reveals the profound origins of her intensely engaging art

Living in an era when wealthy Gilded Age Americans assembled large collections of Western European art, Freer aimed to carve out a position by collecting something new and different.

Why the U.S. Rejected—Then Embraced—a Detroit Industrialist's Rare Collection of Asian Art

The legacy of voracious collector Charles Lang Freer, a good friend of James McNeill Whistler, is marked by tension and irony

Emmett Lewis' ancestor Cudjo Lewis was one of the last survivors of the Clotilda.

These Descendants Never Forgot the Story of the Last American Slave Ship

A new Netflix documentary follows the families of the "Clotilda" captives as they grapple with how their past informs their future

The ceremony arrives amid a worldwide push to repatriate objects removed from their countries of origin under troubling circumstances.

Albuquerque Museum Returns Long-Forgotten Cache of Sculptures to Mexico

The objects, which date to between 300 and 600 B.C.E., sat in a storage box for 15 years

Nick Pyenson, the Smithsonian Institution’s curator of fossil marine mammals, compares the skeletons of ancient whales to the life-sized model of a North Atlantic right whale displayed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Whales have been evolving for more than 50 million years, and long before becoming ocean-dwelling giants, the earliest cetaceans walked on land. 

This Cliff Face Is Packed With Fossilized Whale Remains

An exposed prehistoric seafloor is a hotspot for relics, and now an international team is helping unravel their mysteries

The life-size exhibit presents an inclusive vision of women excelling in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Smithsonian Honors Female Scientists With 120 Bright Orange Statues

The 3-D–printed figures will be displayed on the National Mall in celebration of Women's History Month

Smithsonian's most-read stories of 2021 included an explainer on crocodile evolution, a profile of a teen inventor and a feature on Viking explorer Gudrid the Far Traveler.

Our Top Ten Stories of 2021

From archaeological finds to an invasive weed to Roman bathrooms, these were our most-read articles of the year

This 16th- or 17th-century copper alloy plaque—one of the ten Benin Bronzes removed from view—depicts a high-ranking warrior flanked by musicians and a page holding a ceremonial sword.

History of Now

Why the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art Removed Its Benin Bronzes From View

Displaying the looted artworks does "a huge amount of harm,” says director Ngaire Blankenberg, who has affirmed her commitment to repatriating the objects

In October, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displayed this vandalized, bullet-ridden marker—one of three placed at the Mississippi site where, in 1955, police found the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till.

Why Museums Are Primed to Address Racism, Inequality in the U.S.

Smithsonian leaders discuss how the Institution can be a powerful place for investigating and addressing society’s most difficult issues

A humpback whale feeds on sand lance in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

Some Whales Can Eat Upwards of 16 Tons of Tiny Shrimp a Day

The giant mammals consume enormous quantities of marine organisms, three times more than previously thought, then their poop fertilizes the sea

The internationally recognized paper artist Jiyong Chung works in the Korean craft of Joomchi (above: Balance IV, detail), a technique that was born of necessity centuries ago.

Three Craft Artists Share How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Life and Art

Traditional and innovative specialists make ready for the upcoming virtual Smithsonian Craft Show and Sale

Flight attendant Lorraine Bay carefully recorded every flight she worked in this log book, found near the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

September 11

Thirty-One Smithsonian Artifacts That Tell the Story of 9/11

From a Pentagon rescuer's uniform to a Flight 93 crew log, these objects commemorate the 20th anniversary of a national tragedy

Simone Biles (pictured) and Naomi Osaka, both Black athletes at the top of their sports, have been vocal about their struggles with mental health.

Race in America

The Relationship Between Race and Wellness Has Never Been More Pressing

A new Smithsonian initiative kicks off this week with a virtual summit examining these urgent issues

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