YOUR 2021 SMITHSONIAN POCKET GUIDE

Amazing Things Happen Here

From our museums in Washington, DC and New York City, to our traveling exhibitions in venues closer to home, to our website and mobile apps, you will always find something worthwhile to discover and enjoy.

This 2021 pocket guide offers a small sample of the thousands of things to see and do at the Smithsonian this year, all made possible thanks to the support of people like you.

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National Mall Map

SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS LOCATED ON OR NEAR THE NATIONAL MALL IN WASHINGTON, DC

The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils - Deep Time
In its new pose devouring a Triceratops, the Nation's T. rex is the centerpiece of the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time.

The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils - Deep Time

June 8, 2019 - Permanent, National Museum of Natural History

The new David H. Koch Hall of Fossils showcases the museum's unrivaled collection of 46 million fossils re-positioned in new, dramatic, more scientifically-accurate positions, and presents the most up-to-date scientific research on how life on Earth has evolved.

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Slavery and Freedom
Freedom papers and handmade tin carrying box belonging to Joseph Trammell, 1852. Gift of Elaine E. Thompson

Slavery and Freedom

September 24, 2016 - Permanent, National Museum of African American History and Culture

As the centerpiece of the museum, this exhibition explores the complex story of slavery and freedom, a story standing at the core of our national experience.

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Many Voices, One Nation
Photo: Joel Barlow

Many Voices, One Nation
The Great Leap of Faith

Summer 2017 - Permanent, National Museum of American History

At the heart of this nation lies a great search for balance between unity and pluralism. Many Voices: One Nation presents the five-hundred-year journey of how many distinct peoples and cultures met, mingled and created the culture of the United States.

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Americans
Photo: Indian Chief motorcycle on loan from the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Birmingham, Alabama. Photos by Matailong Du for the National Museum of the American Indian

Americans

January 18, 2018 – 2027, National Museum of the American Indian

American Indian represent less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, yet names and images of Indians are everywhere: military weapons, town names, advertising and that holiday in November. American invites visitors to take a closer look, and to ask why.

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Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer
Drawing, Wildness. Designed by Suzie Zuzek. © The Original I.P. LLC

Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints that Made the Fashion Brand

June 10, 2021 - January 2, 2022, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Between 1962 and 1985, prolific textile designer Suzie Zuzek (1920-2011) created over 1,500 designs for Key West Hand Print Fabrics in Key West, Florida, which were used by Lilly Pulitzer. The exhibition features more than 35 original watercolor and gouache design drawings by Zuzek, alongside finished screen-printed textiles and some of the fashions that made them famous, to reveal the nature and scope of Zuzek’s artistic contribution to the iconic Pulitzer style.

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Documenting Diversity
A calendar or "winter count" from 1904 drawn by Kiowa master illustrator Silver Horn.

Documenting Diversity: How Anthropologists Record Human Life

June 18, 2021 - July 18, 2021, National Museum of Natural History

Examine the ways anthropologists have recorded and shared their field observations using the technologies of their time. Drawing on rare print and archival collections of the National Anthropological Archives, Human Studies Film Archives, and Smithsonian Libraries, the exhibition demonstrates the continued relevance of these remarkable records of our global diversity for communities and scholars alike. We acknowledge the traditional landowners whose territory the Smithsonian inhabits, and the continued presence and resilience of Indigenous, Migrant, and Displaced communities and nations today.

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Anthony Rendon's YMCA Little League baseball card
Anthony Rendon's YMCA Little League baseball card. Gift of Bridget and Rene Rendon, National Museum of American History

ĄPleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues: En los barrios y las grandes ligas

July 2, 2021 - TBA, National Museum of American History

For nearly a century, baseball has been a crucial social and cultural force in Latino communities across the United States. And, for just as long, Latino/a players have had a huge impact on the game. ĄPleibol! examines how generations of Latinos/as have helped make the game what it is today. From youth and community teams to the Major League, the exhibition reveals how baseball brings people together regardless of race, class, or gender. These inspirational baseball stories re?ect larger themes in American history that connect us all, on and off the diamond.

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Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020
Resident Alien by Hung Liu, 1988. Oil on canvas. Collection of the San Jose Museum of Art; gift of the Lipman Family Foundation. © Hung Liu

Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020

August 27, 2021 - May 29, 2022, National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery presents the first major large-scale retrospective of work by Hung Liu, the internationally acclaimed Chinese-born American artist. Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020 features more than 50 artworks spanning Liu’s time in Maoist China in the 1960s, her immigration to California in the 1980s, and the height of her career today. Having lived through wars, political revolutions, exile and displacement, Liu presents a complex, multifaceted picture of an Asian Pacific American experience. Her portraits offer a personal yet universal look at themes of feminism, history and personal memory, migration and immigration, and the freedom of self-expression. This is the first time the museum will celebrate an Asian American woman with a solo exhibition.

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Early Camera Portraits
Lucy Stone by an unidentified photographer, half-plate daguerreotype, c. 1855. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Women of Progress: Early Camera Portraits

June 14, 2019 - June 13, 2021, National Portrait Gallery

In mid-nineteenth-century America, the growing presence of women in public life coincided with the rise of portrait photography. This exhibition of daguerreotypes and ambrotypes from the 1840s and 1850s features portraits of early feminist icons, women’s rights advocates Margaret Fuller and Lucy Stone, abolitionist Lucretia Mott, and best-selling author Harriet Beecher Stowe.

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Inka Road

The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire

June 26, 2015 - June 27, 2021, National Museum of the American Indian

Construction of the Inka Road stands as one of the monumental engineering achievements in history. A network more than 20,000 miles long, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, the Great Inka Road linked Cusco, the administrative capital and spiritual center of the Inka world, to the farthest reaches of its empire. The road continues to serve contemporary Andean communities across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile as a sacred space and symbol of cultural continuity. In 2014, the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, recognized the Inka Road as a World Heritage site. The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire explores the foundations of the Inka Road in earlier Andean cultures, technologies that made building the road possible, the cosmology and political organization of the Inka world and the legacy of the Inka Empire during the colonial period and in the present day.

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Bells
Bell (bo) with birds and dragons, from a set of four, China, Shanxi province, State of Jin, Houma foundry, Eastern Zhou dynasty, late Spring and Autumn period, ca. 500450 BCE, Purchase—Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Freer Gallery of Art F1941.9; Two bells (bo) with felines and dragons, possibly from a set of four, North China, Eastern Zhou dynasty,late Spring and Autumn period, ca. 550500 BCE, Gift of Arthur M. Sackler Arthur M. Sackler Gallery S1987.274, 307; Bell (bo) with felines and dragons, China, Shanxi province, State of Jin, Houma foundry, Eastern Zhou dynasty, late Spring and Autumn period, ca. 550500 BCE, Gift of Arthur M. Sackler Arthur M. Sackler Gallery S1987.282.

Resound: Bells of Ancient China

October 14, 2017 - July 5, 2021, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Musical innovations in the Bronze Age meld with today’s digital technology in this interactive exploration of ancient Chinese bells. Thousands of years ago, Chinese musicians worked with foundry technicians to cast matched sets of bronze bells of different sizes to produce a range of tones. They developed oval-shaped bells that, depending on where they were struck, produced two distinct pitches with an intentional interval between them. Resound investigates this advancement with displays of early instruments including a graduated set of matched bells discovered together in a Chinese tomb, videos of ancient bells being played, and chances for visitors to compose their own music on virtual bronze bells.

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Frederic Edwin Church - The Natural Bridge, Virginia
Frederic Edwin Church, The Natural Bridge, Virginia, 1852, oil on canvas, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Gift of Thomas Fortune Ryan

Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture

September 18, 2020 - July 11, 2021, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Alexander von Humboldt was arguably the most important naturalist of the 19th century. Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture places American art squarely in the center of a conversation on Humboldt’s lasting influence on the way we think about our relationship to our environment. Humboldt’s quest to understand the universe—his concern for climate change, his taxonomic curiosity centered on New World species of flora and fauna, and his belief that the arts were as important as the sciences for conveying the resultant sense of wonder in the interlocking aspects of our planet—make this a project evocative of how art illuminates some of the issues central to our relationship with nature and our stewardship of this planet.

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Mitsitam Cafe

Mitsitam Café

National Museum of the American Indian

This cafe features Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains.

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Sweet Home Cafe

Sweet Home Café

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Sweet Home Café showcases the rich culture and history of the African American people with traditional, authentic offerings as well as present-day food traditions. * Access to the museum is limited and entry pass may be required

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Castle Cafe

Castle Café

Smithsonian Castle

An assortment of fresh baked goods, gelato and fresh fruit makes the Castle Café the perfect place for a quick snack. The café also offers a seasonal selection of sandwiches, salads, and soups.

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Dolcezza

Dolcezza at the Hirshhorn

Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden

Located in the courtyard of the museum, Dolcezza offers locally sourced and handcrafted gelato, specialty espresso drinks, and gourmet pastries in a stunning contemporary setting designed by world-renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend that you check with each venue about its operating status before visiting an exhibition.

Habitat

Habitat

The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology, Newark, Ohio

June 5, 2021 - December 7, 2022

Habitat tell diverse stories about habitats and the plants, animals, and humans that call them home. But they all share one big idea: Protecting habitats protects life. Created to compliment the breadth of subjects and research areas at the Smithsonian, the exhibition features twelve thematic sections with eye-catching designs with meaningful interpretation

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A New Moon Rises
Rugged Lunar Highs and Lows. This large cliff, part of the wall of Antoniadi crater, rises 4 kilometers (2.5 miles). Some lunar mountains rise more than twice that height. Courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University.

A New Moon Rises

Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, Lake Charles, Louisiana

June 11, 2021 - September 6, 2021

The Moon is not the same place as when astronauts last stepped foot on it. A New Moon Rises features amazing, large-scale, high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface taken between 2009 and 2015 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). These images provide unique visual data to help answer our questions about the Moon's formation, its continuing geological evolution, and its relationship to Earth and the solar system. A New Moon Rises will include over 50 photographs, three videos, one interactive, and files to produce seven additional images, five 3-D models of craters, labels and environmental wall vinyl.

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March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963. Courtesy of National Archives

Voices And Votes: Democracy In America

The Center for Rural Development, Somerset, Kentucky

June 19, 2021 - July 24, 2021

When American revolutionaries waged a war for independence they took a leap of faith that sent ripple effects across generations. They embraced a radical idea of establishing a government that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy, but in its citizens. That great leap sparked questions that continue to impact Americans: who has the right to vote, what are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens, and whose voices will be heard? Voices and Votes: Democracy in America will be a springboard for discussions about those very questions and how they are reflected in local stories.

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Men of Change
Untitled photograph of father and son at Lake Michigan, 1946-1948. Photo by Wayne F. Miller. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Magnum Photo

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.

African American Museum, Dallas, Texas

June 26, 2021 - September 12, 2021

Through literary and historic quotes, poetry, original works of art, dramatically back-lit photographs, the creation of a dynamic space that encourages self-reflection, and exhibition text written with a vibrant 21st century cadence, this innovative exhibition weaves together the historical and the contemporary to illuminate the importance of these men, within the context of rich community traditions. It invites visitors to consider predominant narratives and engage in the authentic stories of history, politics, art, culture and activism. Likewise, twenty-five contemporary artists were invited to reflect and celebrate the significance of ground-breaking individuals through their own creative vision. These works of art serve as counterpoint to the sumptuously backlit photographs and inspiring quotes, and together honor the truth of the African American experience in history and today.

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Smithsonian Online Exhibits

Online Exhibits

Can't make it to the museums in person? Explore Smithsonian exhibits online!

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Smithsonian Blogs

Smithsonian Blogs

Staff, interns, volunteers and others share insights and stories that provide a closer look at the Smithsonian's collections, research and more in Smithsonian blogs.

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Smithsonian Learning Lab

Learning Lab

Discover more than a million resources, create personal collections and educational experiences, and share your work.

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Smithsonian Science Education Center

Smithsonian Science Education Center

Students of all ages can learn science from the Smithsonian Science Education Center's videos, games, blog posts, ebooks and more.

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All of the amazing things in this pocket guide, along with everything else the Smithsonian has to offer, is possible thanks to generous supporters like you.