yesterday at 17:33. Facebook
Live now: Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the books of Conrad Gesner, who helped lay the foundations of modern zoology, in the Natural History Rare Book Library at Smithsonian Libraries. #GesnerDay
yesterday at 13:02. Facebook
We're challenging children ages 18 months to eight years to explore what portraiture truly is, in a new space at our National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Creating a children's space for play and portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery
03/23/2017 at 18:23. Facebook
Mavis the dog's letter to the artist owner (which was dictated to the artist's husband) is mostly the phrase “woef, woef”—or, loosely translated from Dutch, "woof, woof.”

It's one of the charming finds we discovered from reading artists' mail in Smithsonian's Archives of American Art.

For National Puppy Day, a letter to artist Trude Guermonprez from her dog Mavis
03/23/2017 at 13:14. Facebook
The team at our National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution helped NASA find a target for their InSight probe, scheduled to land on the surface of Mars in 2018 and collect data on the planet.

How to pick the perfect landing spot for a probe going to Mars
03/22/2017 at 15:13. Facebook
“Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity." - Yayoi Kusama

We're celebrating Yayoi Kusama's 88th birthday today with our Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden! Explore a 360-degree view of her “Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.”

More about #InfiniteKusama at

Courtesy of David...
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03/22/2017 at 13:18. Facebook
For thousands of years, Chumash women have been making baskets for domestic use. Juana Basilia Sitmelelene was among the weavers who created designs identical to those on Spanish colonial coins.

Only six of these baskets remain. This one in Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian doesn't bear her name, but we're able to learn more about the piece and its artist. #5womenartists...
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The skilled women weavers behind some of the finest baskets in the world
03/21/2017 at 13:06. Facebook
When Amy Purdy was 19, both her legs were amputated below the knee due to a sudden illness and septic shock. Two years later, she competed in a national snowboarding championship and medaled in three events.

Learn more about Purdy and other athletes who compete in adaptive sports from our National Museum of American History.

How athletes with disabilities have embraced the spirit of innovation
03/21/2017 at 04:10. Facebook
“That would be a terrible way to keep a rose,” says our Smithsonian Gardens horticulturalist about the new "Beauty and the Beast" movie. But fantasy plot aide, she can tell you what type of rose it is and how to keep yours around—no enchantment necessary.

The Beast's Enchanted Rose Lasted a Decade. How Long Can a Real One Last?
03/20/2017 at 20:46. Facebook
Happy first day of spring! We're getting garden inspiration from this 1899 seed catalog cover in our Smithsonian Libraries.

Browse hundreds of seed catalog covers online: [ Link ]
03/20/2017 at 13:34. Facebook
Janet Harmon Bragg faced adversity nearly all her life, not only because she was African American but also because she was a woman. #WomensHistoryMonth #HiddenHerstory

Janet Harmon Bragg, the first female African American aviator to hold a commercial pilot’s license
03/18/2017 at 22:40. Facebook
Today we remember musician Chuck Berry. He drove this Cadillac on stage at the Fox Theater in St. Louis, the same theater that turned him away as a child because he was African American. It's now in our Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! The word "shamrock" first appeared in plays and poetry in the 1500s, but do we actually know its true story? Smithsonian Magazine has the science behind the shamrock.

No One Really Knows What a Shamrock Is
Winter weather blues? Take a virtual tour of Smithsonian Gardens no matter the season, with Smithsonian Magazine.

You Don't Need to Wait for Spring to Enjoy the Smithsonian Gardens
This poster claims "it's summer somewhere in the world." But there's 97 days until summer here...not that we're counting.

This poster, in our National Museum of American History's collection, was designed by John Van Hamersveld for the movie "The Endless Summer."
It's closed today, but you can still see how animals enjoy the snow at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

What happens at the National Zoo when it snows?
Snow status: All our D.C. museums are scheduled to open at noon today.❄

Update: The National Zoo and the Udvar-Hazy Center will be closed.

(“A Winter Morning–Shovelling Out” from Every Saturday, 1871, by Winslow Homer from Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery)
Discovering this new species started in 1973 with a shrew found in Costa Rica, but so far it's the only one of its kind.

The Naming of the Shrew: New Species Discovered from Single Specimen
What is "rasquachismo"? It can be hard to explain, especially as a term in the art world.

According to our Latino collections specialist at Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, "A more accurate answer to what is rasquachismo is mostly anecdotal: it’s about the back story as much as the artwork or object itself.”

A lesson in "rasquachismo" art: Chicano aesthetics and underdog attitude
A member of a 1962 Antarctic expedition gets to know the locals. This Smithsonian Institution Archives photo was taken while Smithsonian curator Waldo L. Schmitt was collecting during the Palmer Peninsula Survey. #ThrowbackThursday
#InternationalWomensDay poster from 1975, printed by the Women’s Graphics Collective, in our Cooper Hewitt.

Four Chicago-based women designers founded the group in 1970, bringing together women designers and activists to produce art that advanced the goals of the women’s movement. More about the piece and their organization: