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Folklife Festival Big Top Rises in D.C.

The circus is coming to the Smithsonian! The Big Top went up on the National Mall this week in preparation for the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival featuring “Circus Arts,” June 29-July 4 and July 6-9.

MarineGEO Field Campaign: Belize

Smithsonian’s MarineGEO (Marine Global Earth Observatory) conducts long-term research around the world on coastal marine ecosystems, including at their field station on Carrie Bow Cay in Belize.

Vibrant Nicolas Party landscapes embellish Hirshhorn’s third-floor circle gallery


Nicolas Party adds a few finishing touches to “sunrise, sunset,” a new mural at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Study shows Ancient California Indians Risked Toxins from bitumen-coated Bottles


Sabrina Sholts, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, examines a human skull in the museum’s collection for clues to its owner’s health history.

What is Sidedoor?

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a…Squirrel!


Plate from the Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the year 1856, Agriculture. Smithsonian Libraries.

Urban Nestwatch: A bird in the hand awakens a lifetime of wildlife awareness


Urban Nest Watch educator and bird bander Amanda Werrell discusses identification of a female northern cardinal with students from Lainie Ortiz’ second grade class at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington, Va.

“Mail Trolley” travels through brief, efficient era in city postal history


Washington, D.C. Railway Post Office trolley car #1 In October 1891, flourishing after a long period of Civil-War stagnation, the city of St.

From Treasure to Trash to Treasure


Luisa Cevese working on “Spreads Threads” mat; copyright Luisa Cevese Riedzioni Every year, New York City residents throw away 200,000 tons, and businesses throw away 8 million tons, of clothing.

Surprise: Distinctive new surgeonfish species makes an improbable debut


Six specimens of the new surgeonfish species “Acanthurus albimento” (above) were collected in northeastern Luzon during fish market surveys in the Philippines.

Why the Smithsonian has world’s largest whale bone collection

Did you know the Smithsonian’s museum support center is home to the largest collection of whale bones EVER?

Scientists Release Frogs Wearing Mini Radio Transmitters

Ninety Limosa harlequin frogs (Atelopus limosus) bred in human care are braving the elements of the wild after Smithsonian scientists sent them out into the Panamanian rainforest as part of their first-ever release trial.

Choreography comes to Smithsonian: Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company to interpret Portrait Gallery’s “The Face of Battle”


Members of Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company perform “After 1001 Nights,” which will have its world premiere at the National Portrait Gallery July 8.

Smithsonian staff support African American History Museum after noose found

Smithsonian staff gather at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to show their support and listen to Director Lonnie Bunch speak after a noose was found inside the museum on May 31.

I Wanna Rock!


Debra Baxter, “Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty),” 2015, quartz crystal and sterling silver.

DNA is trusty new weapon for detecting slime nets and other invasive parasites


Zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, lionfish in the Atlantic and pythons in the Everglades: Large creatures like these generally draw the spotlight when talking about ways to combat invasive species.

Do Stars Fall Quietly into Black Holes?


This artist’s impression shows a star crossing the event horizon of a supermassive black hole located in the center of a galaxy.

Chuchu: The Severance of Ties and Invocation

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is the first institution to acquire the deeply personal and visually mesmerizing video projections “Invocation: The Severance of Ties” (2015) and “Invocation: Release” (2015) by versatile multimedia artist Jim Chuchu, born 1982, Kenya.

“Inventing Utamaro” unveils dark truth to myth of popular Edo artist


“Snow at Fukagawa,” Kitagawa Utamaro (1753–1806) Japan, Edo period, ca. 1802–1806. Hanging scroll; color on paper (Okada Museum of Art Hakone, Japan) “Inventing Utamaro: A Japanese Masterpiece Rediscovered,” open recently at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M.

The Centennial of President John F. Kennedy’s Birth


Shirley Seltzer Cooper. Pastel on paper, 1961. Gift of Ted Cooper. Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Inaugurated in 1961, John F.


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