From patterns etched into the skin of an ancient mummy to the colorful designs that adorn people today, tattoos are not just skin deep; they tell us about individuals and their cultures—and offer insights into what it is to be human. Marilyn Epstein sat down with anthropologist Lars Krutak of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to learn more about the history and the future of this intimate art.
Ten years later, objects collected in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina help personify the imapct of that horrific natural disaster, Erin Blasco reflects on the experience of the late David Shayt, who traveled with photographer Hugh Talman to the Gulf Coast, and explains why he chose to preserve what he did.
UPDATED WITH THE WINNER! The trash talk is heating up even in the shade being thrown by competitors as we move to Round Two of the Smithsonian Summer Showdown. Cast your vote for the most Seriously Amazing contender!
A rare photo proves to be the earliest ever taken of the Smithsonian Castle. It goes on display today, the 169th anniversary of our founding.
At the Smithsonian, you’re always prepared for “other duties as assigned.” But some duties you can never be fully prepared for.
The Smithsonian has been in the bones business for quite a while. Learn how the accomplishments of a gentleman paleontologist who excavated sites in a coat and tie still resonate within the walls of the Natural History Museum: The Enduring Contributions of James W. Gidley.
Old-fashioned field work and new-fangled technology reveal the identities of four prominent citizens of the first English colony in America and raise some intriguing questions about how they lived and why they died.
After 3 billion miles and nine and a half years, NASA’s New Horizons has passed Pluto and entered the farthest reaches of our galaxy. Dr. Scott Kenyon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, tells us what we know and what we hope to learn from this dark and frigid ball of ice.
The Smithsonian’s first ever Kickstarter campaign offers a chance for citizens of Earth to conserve, digitize and display Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit for explorers everywhere.
Dr. David Skorton, 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian, held his first all-staff meeting July 16. He shared something of his philosophy and expressed how important it is to work together in a way that allows the Smithsonian to help make the world a better place.