Skip to Content

Found 33 Resources

Coelachne pulchella Aiton

NMNH - Botany Dept.

Endiandra glauca Aiton

NMNH - Botany Dept.

Dimeria acinaciformis Aiton

NMNH - Botany Dept.
Fragmentary material of type specimen ex herb. Brit. Mus.

Ischaemum fragile Aiton

NMNH - Botany Dept.
Fragementary material of type specimen ex herb Brit. Mus.

Secret of the Garden

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Daniel Marot, architect, decorative designer and engraver fled, like many other Huguenot workers, from France to Holland due to the revocation of the Edict of the Nantes in 1685.  The Edict had offered measures to ensure religious liberty and its revocation sent shock waves through Protestant communities who were no longer protected.  Bringing his talent...

Aruba - Landmarks and Points of Interest

Smithsonian Magazine

Oranjestad is Aruba's capital city and, as such, contains the bulk of the island's urban activity. Plaza Daniel Leo is the city's heart. Here, among the multicolored Dutch colonial buildings, visitors shop, visitors dine, shop and mix with locals. Cruise ships dock here regularly, spilling hundreds of tourists onto the main waterfront boulevard. Wilhelmena Park features a marble sculpture of its namesake, the Netherlands' queen mother, along with tropical gardens.

Oranjestad is home to most of Aruba's museums, which trace the island's cultural and industrial development from the earliest Indian settlements to present day. The Archaeological Museum of Aruba houses a collection of ancient artifacts, tools and art. The Aruba Historical Museum, housed in the island's oldest structure, Fort Zoutman, offers a view into the daily lives of the island's first settlers. Aruba's first coins are on display at the Numismatic Museum, along with historic coins from all over the world. The Aruba Aloe Museum and Factory explores the plant's importance to the island's economic development and the way in which it is harvested and processed.

Stretching north from Oranjestad up the west coast of the island, are the highly developed Eagle Beach and Palm Beach areas. These strips are home to most of the island's low- and high-rise resorts, lined up neatly one after the other, and lead to the northernmost tip of the island, where tourists flock to see the California Lighthouse. One of Aruba's most recognizable sights, the lighthouse was built in 1914 after the steamship California wrecked off the island's shores. The lighthouse is not far from Tierra del Sol, an 18-hole professional golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II.

The Old Dutch Windmill, a favorite of Aruban postcard makers, is an authentic relic from the early 1800s, when it actually operated in Holland. It was then moved to the Netherlands, from where it eventually made its final journey to Aruba in 1960. It opened in the mid-1970s as a restaurant.

Aruba's second-largest city, San Nicolas, sits on the opposite end of the island, on the southeastern tip. This city's development was closely related to the nearby oil refinery, which, during World War II, supplied a great deal of fuel to the Allies. The city was, in its heyday, known for its nightlife, and the famous 1940s Charlie's Bar still exists today.

Roman Catholicism is the main religion of Aruba, and there are two historic churches worth visiting. The bright yellow Chapel of Alta Vista is reached by a long, winding road lined by cross markers representing the stations of the cross. Built in 1750 and reconstructed in 1953, the tiny chapel affords sweeping views of the surrounding sea from its perch on the northeastern tip of the island. Closer to downtown Oranjestad, the Santa Ana Church was built in 1776 and is noted for its hand-carved, neo-Gothic oak altar.

Offshore, there are several accessible shipwrecks, particularly along the southeastern coast of the island, which are popular dive destinations. And, of course, the Caribbean water's surface is a popular playground for water-sports enthusiasts of all stripes.

Painted Icon, Diptych

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
Wooden icon with two painted rectangular panels, painted by Daniel Berhanemeskel. The carved wooden case was purchased by the artist in Addis Ababa. It is made with two panels, attached on one side with black twine. The outer side of each panel is unpainted and carved with intricate designs. The inner side is flat and painted in vivid colors. It includes 4 figures: Left panel, figure on left: St. Yared, a 6th century deacon said to be the first composer of hymns for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He received his musical gift from the Holy Trinity, represented by the three birds, each giving him one form of music. Translation of Ge'ez text above the figure: "The Holy Trinity appeared to Saint Yared as three birds and gave him three different song types: Ge'ez, Ezil and Ararai". Left panel, figure on right: St. Yared chants a hymn keeping rhythmic accompaniment with a sistrum (s'enas'el) in his left hand and a prayer stick (maqwamiya) in his right.Translation of Ge'ez text above the figure: "St. Yared while he is signing" Translation of Ge'ez text below him: "Books written by St. Yared, Tsomedgua, Degua, zemmare (hymns sung at the end of the mass) and Mewasit (hymns sung at funerals)" Right Panel, figure on left: St. Gabra Manfas Qeddus, who is thought to be a historic figure who lived in the 13th or 14th century. Living in the wilderness around Mount Zeqwala in the central highlands, his piety was recognized even by wild animals. Clothed in a cloak of bird feathers he prays standing upright like a pillar stretching forth his hands to God. Translation of Ge'ez above the figure: "St. Gabra Manfas Qeddus praying". Right panel, figure on right: St. Takla Haymanat, who was a late 13th century saint who founded the Debra Libanos monastery in the central highlands. As a result of praying for seven years standing on one foot, the other foot withered and fell off. His wings signify his attainment of the monastic ideal, where heaven and earth are united. Translation of Ge'ez text above the figure:"St. Takla Haymanat praying". Icons are commissioned for gifts to churches, sought after by individual priests and monks, and purchased by visitors to Ethiopia who want an example of this living religious painting tradition.

The White House Was, in Fact, Built by Slaves

Smithsonian Magazine

When First Lady Michelle Obama took the stage during the first night of the Democratic National Convention, she talked about how it felt to be a black woman waking up in the White House every morning—a building constructed with slave labor. It was a powerful moment in her speech, hearkening back to the generations of African-Americans forced into bondage in this country. Up until a few decades ago, little attention was paid to looking into who actually laid the foundations and put up the walls of the White House. But what documentation exists today shows that many of Washington, D.C.’s most iconic government buildings, including the White House, were built by slaves.

In 2005, Congress put together a task force to shed light on the subject. After months of research, the commission announced that while it would never be able to tell the full story of the slaves who built these buildings, there was no doubt that they were intricately involved in the work, Alexander Lane reported for PolitiFact.

“Indifference by earlier historians, poor record keeping, and the silence of the voiceless classes have impeded our ability in the twenty-first century to understand fully the contributions and privations of those who toiled over the seven decades from the first cornerstone laying to the day of emancipation in the District of Columbia,” Senate Historian Richard Baker and Chief of the House of Representatives Office of History and Preservation Kenneth Kato wrote in a foreword to the report.

From a geographical standpoint alone, it should come as no surprise that slave laborers were used to build the nation’s capital. Washington, D.C., was built on landed ceded to the federal government by Virginia and Maryland, and at the time the Potomac region was home to almost half of the country’s 750,000 slaves, Lane reports.

While the White House Historical Association reports that the D.C. commissioners originally tried to bring cheap workers over from Europe to build the new capital, their recruitment efforts fell short. As a result, they forced local slaves to provide the labor, often renting workers from their masters for year-long periods of time.

“Slaves were likely involved in all aspects of construction, including carpentry, masonry, carting, rafting, plastering, glazing and painting, the task force reported,” Lane writes. “And slaves appear to have shouldered alone the grueling work of sawing logs and stones.”

The payroll to slaveowners shows that the government did not own slaves, but that it did hire them from their masters. Slave carpenters Ben, Daniel, and Peter were noted as owned by James Hoban. (National Archives and Records Administration)

In addition to constructing the buildings, slaves also worked the quarries where the stones for the government buildings came from. Ironically, the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the Capitol dome was made with the help of Philip Reid, a man enslaved by sculptor Thomas Crawford, who was commissioned to build the statue. According to the Architect of the Capitol, Reid was paid $1.25 a day by the federal government for his contributions.

“There is no telling how many stories that have been lost because, as a country, we didn’t value these stories,” historian and reporter Jesse J. Holland tells “We’re always learning more about the presidents as we go forward and we’ll also learn more about the people who cooked their meals and dressed them.”

Correspondence, Harrington - Moser 1848-1924

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Thomas B. Brumbaugh research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1876-1994 (bulk 1960s-1994); e Also located at; a Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Healy was an American academic painter during the 19th century who painted mostly portraits, including a rather well-known one of Abraham Lincoln seated, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He studied in Paris, and worked in Paris, Rome, and Boston. Healy was prolific, painting as many as 50 portraits in a single year, including a series of American presidents, and group pictures depicting congressmen and other famous political figures. The picture depicts Senator Daniel Webster's (MA) reply in Senate to Senator Robert Hayne (SC) in 1830. They debated the issue of states' rights and nullification, and Webster defended a strong national government, famously declaring, "The motto should not be 'Liberty first, and Union afterwards,' but 'Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!'"

Hon. George C. Washington was born in Virginia in 1789 and died in Georgetown, D.C. in 1854. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, served in the Maryland legislature, and served several terms representing Montgomery County in Congress.

Eastman Johnson was an American painter who co-founded the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Johnson painted many influential Americans of his day, and his style was influenced by the Dutch masters, earning him the title of "The American Rembrandt."He was born in Maine in 1824, but moved to Washington, D.C., where he completed many of his portraits. Johnson lived among Native American tribes and opened a studio in New York.

George Willoughby Maynard was an American painter who started his career by completing murals in Boston's Trinity Church. He later did many murals in the Library of Congress.

Ambrose McEvoy painted figures, landscapes, and portraits in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a founder-member of the National Portrait Society in England, and painted a number of portraits of soldiers and sailors, which are now in the Imperial War Museum.

Edward StanleyMercer was an English artist who studied at the Slade School of Art, along with time in Holland, Spain, and Italy. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, and was a member of both the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.

In the letter, Ambrose McEvoy mentions that he has "written to Harold Speed," who was an English painter of oil and watercolor landscapes and portraits. Speed (1872-1957) studied art at the Royal Academy Schools and was elected a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Speed exhibited at the Royal Academy.

James Henry Moser was born in Ontario, Canada, who worked as an illustrator and landscape painter in oil and watercolor. In Washington, D.C., he was awarded the first Corcoran Prize by the Washington Watercolor Club. He was an art critic for the Washington Times, Post, and Herald, and did freelance illustrations for Harper's, among other publications. Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, the First Lady, purchased one of Moser's pieces, "A Sunny Morning at Salisbury Beach," to hang in the White House living room. He died in 1913 after having suffered a stroke earlier that year.

Gift of Susan A. Hobbs.

This folder is an amalgamation of letters written and recieved by prominent figures in 19th and 20th century American art. Included in the folder are letters from George P. Healy, Eastman Johnson, George W. Maynard, Ambrose McEvoy, and James Henry Moser.
25-33 of 33 Resources