From the Collections

“This room is one of the masterworks of late 19th-century art and design, says the museum’s curator of American Art Diana Greenwold.

Whistler’s 'Peacock Room' Open After Weeks of Restoration

The story behind the Smithsonian’s showstopper is one of a major dust-up between the artist and his patron

The Bell X-1, a miracle of form and function.

How the Bell X-1 Ushered in the Supersonic Age

The speeding-bullet design propelled Chuck Yeager into history

The signpost of hometowns for each of the characters in the sitcom "M*A*S*H" is now held in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where it will go on view December 9.

Fifty Years and TV's 'M*A*S*H' Still Draws Audiences

Fans are making plans to visit the Smithsonian this December when the show's signature signpost goes on view in the new exhibition "Entertainment Nation"

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

At American Fossil Quarry, on privately owned land near Kemmerer, Wyoming, hammer- and chisel-wielding visitors pay $69 to $89 to spend up to four hours hunting for fossils. Finders, keepers.

Evotourism ®

The 50 Million-Year-Old Treasures of Fossil Lake

In a forbidding Wyoming desert, scientists and fortune hunters search for the surprisingly intact remains of horses and other creatures that lived long ago

Head of a Negro Woman, 1946, by Elizabeth Catlett.

Women Who Shaped History

How Elizabeth Catlett Lifted Up Black Women Through Art

The pioneering sculptor defied trends to honor the daily lives of her subjects

Between March 19 and April 17, 1964, Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock (above: at the start of her journey at Ohio's Port Columbus Airport) flew her single-engine Cessna 180, dubbed "Charlie," solo around the globe setting a world record.

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World?

When the National Air and Space Museum reopens October 14, Geraldine Mock’s Cessna 180 soars in the new exhibition, "We All Fly"

Actress Nichelle Nichols was starred as Lt. Uhura, the chief communications officer aboard the Starship Enterprise, in the 1960s science fiction television program "Star Trek."

How Nichelle Nichols Launched Real-Time Opportunities for Women in Space

When NASA asked for help, the actress said: 'I will bring you the most qualified people on the planet'

In the upcoming exhibition, "Nation of Speed," the Sharp DR 90 Nemesis (above: museum workers install the aircraft in the new gallery) will go on view when the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum reopens this fall. 

How the Nemesis Air Racers Redefined Speed

For Jon and Patricia Sharp, crafting and flying the sleek airplanes was as much about sport as it was about ingenuity

The trident, also known as the tryzub, is ubiquitous in modern Ukraine, but its origins lie in the medieval period.

How Medieval Money Shaped Ukraine’s Modern Identity

The country's distinct history is revealed in banknotes, coins and other monetary objects, says the Smithsonian’s curator of numismatics

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) recently acquired David Hammons' iconic African American Flag, which is now on view in the exhibition "Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience."

How a Celebrated Artist Redesigned the Stars and Stripes to Mark His Pride in Black America

David Hammons' 'African American Flag' is newly acquired and on view at NMAAHC

Roughly two million years old, this tool, known as the Kanjera stone, was part of a new Stone Age technology that helped make better-fed, smarter hominins.
  

This Is the Oldest Human-Made Object in the Smithsonian Collections

Roughly two million years ago, simple items like the Kanjera tool sparked a revolution in the way humans lived

In her new historic novel, Brooks reimagines the life of the itinerant artist Thomas J. Scott, who rendered the distinguished race horse in the oil painting, Portrait of Lexington, ca. 1857, a work that Smithsonian curator Eleanor Harvey describes as "visually riveting."

The Lost Story of Lexington, the Record-Breaking Thoroughbred, Races Back to Life

For her latest novel “Horse,” the Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks found inspiration in the Smithsonian collections

Tom Cruise revives his Top Gun role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the new film arriving in theaters May 27.

'Top Gun' Is Back. But Is the Elite Navy Fighter Pilot School Really Like the Movies?

The Smithsonian’s Chris Browne flew the much-feared F-14, and as a former TOPGUN student, knows well the power of a Navy-trained fighter pilot

In August 1994, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro announced a reprieve in the enforcement of laws governing emigration (above: a homemade raft sets off from the coast near Havana on August 22, 1994) and as a result nearly 35,000 left the island.  

A Makeshift Raft Speaks to the Risks Cubans Took to Escape Their Homeland

In the mid-1990s, tens of thousands left in boats or handcrafted floats facing treacherous waters in search of a better life

A taxidermied Cumulina holds a block of toy cheese.

The Mouse That Squeaked Its Way Into Scientific History

Forget Dolly the Sheep. The birth of a mouse named Cumulina 25 years ago launched a genetic revolution

Cookbook author Grace Young set out to raise awareness of the struggle that Chinatown's business owners were facing, recording her “Coronavirus Stories”—short on-the-spot video interviews with members of the community.

Grace Young, Who Documented the Toll of Anti-Asian Hate on NYC's Chinatown, Receives Julia Child Award

A $50,000 grant is awarded to the culinary historian for her advocacy of Chinese-American culture and cuisine

The National Museum of American History and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced the joint acquisition of the historic kit envisioned by activist Martha Goddard.

Invented by a Woman Activist, an Early 1970s Rape Kit Arrives at the Smithsonian

Martha Goddard didn’t receive much recognition—instead she got the job done

The natural colors of a stoneware tea bowl from Japan and dating to 1510-1530 "speak of the spaces where Zen Buddhists practiced," says the Reverend Inryū Bobbi Poncé-Barger, a priest for the All Beings Zen Sangha in Washington, D.C.

How to Find Wholeness in the Cracks of a 16th-Century Tea Bowl

A new exhibition, “Mind Over Matter,” invites viewers to pause and connect with the teachings of Zen Buddhism

Materials and manufacturing details of the specially made suit of America's first space traveler were extensively analyzed before being prepared for display on a customized mannequin.

The Second Man in Space Had a Wee Wish—That He'd Used the Bathroom Before Blasting Off

Alan B. Shepard's historic Mercury spacesuit undergoes hours of conservation work for its debut when the National Air and Space Museum opens this fall

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