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Found 77,821 Resources

Table used on The Oprah Winfrey Show

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A circular wrought iron and wood table (a) with a glass top (b) used on the set of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The table base is made from wrought iron, with four (4) legs resembling a reverse scroll style, positioned in cardinal directions. Wrought iron is also formed into a non-functional shelf with a scrollwork design forming heart shapes. Below the shelf a scalloped line of wrought iron runs around the circumference of the table. The top rim of the table base is made from wood stained a dark brown, with the center of the top left open to the wrought iron heart design.

A circular glass table top (b) with a beveled edge sits on top of the wooden rim of the table base.

Sign for Minton's Playhouse

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Historic neon sign from Minton's Playhouse. The sign has multicolored neon letters [MINTON'S PLAYHOUSE] secured to a blue metal background. The sign features five neon musical notes: one on either end of the moniker and three in the center.

Georgetown Starter jacket

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A navy, long-sleeve, padded Georgetown starter jacket. The jacket is made of a shiny navy nylon fabric and is lined with white nylon. The waistband, the cuffs on the sleeves, and the band around the neckline are made of a 2 1/2 inch thick navy, grey, and white striped rib-knit fabric. There is one (1) navy snap below the neckline, three (3) down the center of the jacket, and two (2) on the waistband. There are grey and white embroidered letters across the chest. [GEORG] on the proper right and [ETOWN] on the proper left. There is a 5 3/4 inch slanted no-flap pocket on either side of the jacket above the waistband.

There are two small, grey scuff marks on the proper right back of the jacket. The back of the jacket is solid navy.

There is a white label sewn inside the jacket below the neckline. The Starter logo is in blue. The words [STARTER / MADE IN U.S.A. / ADULT] are in red and the letters [XL] are in blue.

There is a second white label sewn inside the jacket on the proper left side above the waistband. The logo and the word [STARTER] are in blue. There is also the word [NAME] with a blank line [________] in blue. [SHELL & LINING: 100% NYLON] are written in red along with washing instructions.

The Starter logo, an [S] and a star are embroidered in navy and white on the proper left sleeve, just above the cuff.

Iberus : revista de la Sociedad Española de Malacología

Smithsonian Libraries
Biological abstracts 0006-3169

Also available online.


INVZ copy v. 20, no. 2 and supl. 6 purchased with funds from the S. Dillon Ripley Endowment.

Oral history interview with Lee Winslow Court, 1982 January 27-April 13

Archives of American Art
4 sound cassettes.

Transcript: 65 pages

An interview with Lee Winslow Court conducted 1982 January 27-April 13, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Court speaks of his education at the Massachusetts School of Art; painting in Rockport, Massachusetts; working as a designer for department stores; his involvement with art associations in Boston; his other work.

Oral history interview with Churchhill Lathrop, 1982 Feb. 25-1983 Jan. 26

Archives of American Art
10 sound files : digital, wav file

Transcript: 121 pages

An interview with Churchill Lathrop conducted 1982 Feb. 25-1983 Jan. 26, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Lathrop discusses his childhood in Montclair, N.J.; college at Rutgers; various jobs in the 1920s; attending Princeton University where he received his M.A. in art history and his teachers there, including Charles Rufus Morey and Frank Jewett Mather. He reviews his tenure at Dartmouth, discussing work with Artemas Packard, involvement with Dartmouth alumnus Nelson Rockefeller and his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller in building a collection of modern art at Dartmouth, visiting artist José Clemente Orozco and his mural painted for Baker Library, his directorship of the Dartmouth art galleries and work in planning the Hopkins Art Center, and Mrs. Aileen Osborn Webb's attempts to establish a graduate level design school at Dartmouth in the 1940s. He recalls acquaintances and colleagues, including Alfred Stieglitz, Adelbert Ames, A. Conger Goodyear, Dorothy Miller, Alfred Barr, Jr. and others at the Museum of Modern Art, and Hilla Rebay and others involved in the Guggenheim Museum of Non-Objective Paintings.

Oral history interview with William H. Pierson, 1981 Mar. 11-1982 Jan. 14

Archives of American Art
8 sound files : digital, wav file

Transcript: 128 pages

An interview with William H. Pierson conducted 1981 Mar. 11-1982 Jan. 14, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Pierson speaks of his education at Yale Art School; becoming a drawing instructor at Yale; his graduate work at New York University; his World War II naval service in radar research; his doctoral studies at Yale on New England industrial architecture; teaching studio art and art history at William College, Williamstown, Mass.

Interview with Jae Jarrell

Archives of American Art
Digital File : 2 digital files : digital ;

Group interview with Jae Jarrell, a founder of African American artist collective AfriCOBRA, conducted by TV Land/Hudson Street Productions. The interview consists of 2 digital files found on a CD, including a digital sound file and a digital transcript.

Interview with Michael Harris

Archives of American Art
Digital File : 4 digital files : digital ;

Interview with Michael Harris, a founder of African American artist collective AfriCOBRA, conducted by TV Land/Hudson Street Productions. The interview consists of 4 digital files found on a CD, including digital sound files and a digital transcript.

Group interview with AfriCOBRA founders

Archives of American Art
Digital File : 4 digital files : digital ;

Group interview with the founders of African American artist collective AfriCOBRA conducted by TV Land/Hudson Street Productions. The interview consists of 4 digital files found on a CD, including digital sound files and a digital transcript.

Interview with Wadsworth Jarrell

Archives of American Art
Digital File : 6 digital files : digital ;

Interview with Wadsworth Jarrell, a founder of African American artist collective AfriCOBRA, conducted by TV Land/Hudson Street Productions. The interview consists of 6 digital files found on a CD, including digital sound files and a digital transcript.

Interview with Barbara Jones-Hogu

Archives of American Art
Digital File : 4 digital files ;

Interview with Barbara Jones-Hogu, a founder of African American artist collective AfriCOBRA, conducted by TV Land/Hudson Street Productions. The interview consists of 4 digital files found on a CD, including digital sound files and a digital transcript.

Interview with Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle

Archives of American Art
2 sound tape reels : analog ; 5 in. ; 58 min., 25 sec. Interview with Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle by Dorothy Gees Seckler for article "Audience is His Medium," Art in America 51 no. 1, February, 1963.

Interview with Hans Hofmann

Archives of American Art
1 sound tape reel : analog ; 5 in. ; 31 min., 26 sec. Interview with Hans Hofmann conducted by Dorothy Gees Seckler, circa 1962. Hofmann discusses his school in Munich, Germany, and his teaching. Seckler asks Hofmann about giving records to the Archives of American Art to be microfilmed.
Original recording is of poor sound quality.

Interview with Jean Cohen

Archives of American Art
1 sound cassette : analog ; 32 min., 22 sec. Interview with Jean Cohen conducted by Dorothy Gees Seckler at the Dunes near Provincetown, Massachusetts, August 24, 1967. Cohen discusses her artistic influences, including Abstract Expressionism, and her paintings.
Jean Cohen interview is found on cassette 2 of 2, side 2 of the Marcia Marcus interview, which is cataloged separately as Digital Item ID#13819.

Interview with Wolf Kahn

Archives of American Art
2 sound cassettes : analog ; 1 hr., 49 min., 29 sec.

Interview with Wolf Kahn conducted by Dorothy Gees Seckler in New York, New York, September 17, 1968. Kahn discusses his childhood in Nazi Germany, his first years in the United States, his education at the Hofmann School in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and his artistic influences and community.

A Uniquely Shaped Trade Catalog with a Story

Smithsonian Libraries
Searching the Trade Literature Collection for music related material will likely result in many records. This being the Smithsonian Year of Music, I decided to browse those trade catalogs. One more »

Oral history interview with John Louis Laurent, 1973 Apr. 6

Archives of American Art
1 sound file (1 hr., 25 min.) : digital, wav file

Transcript: 23 pages.

An interview with John Louis Laurent conducted 1973 Apr. 6, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Winging It

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Image features a wallpaper with mosaic-like design composed of butterfly wings. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.Thought it was time to show another wallpaper by Damien Hirst. Like many modern and contemporary artists who turn to wallpaper design, Hirst uses his artwork or installations as inspiration. This is based on the “Kaleidoscope” paintings Hirst began creating in 2001, where butterflies, or butterfly wings, were arranged in elaborate patterns and adhered to...

Meet the Director: Street Heroines' Alexandra Henry

Smithsonian American Art Museum
People stand in front of murals created by street artistsLearn more about the documentary that celebrates the vision and tenacity of women street artists.

Two Traps Where Woolly Mammoths Were Driven to Their Deaths Found in Mexico

Smithsonian Magazine

In the neighborhood of Tultepec, just north of Mexico City, plans were recently underway to convert a patch of land into a garbage dump. But during preparatory excavations, workers at the site found themselves digging up woolly mammoth bones—hundreds of them. Over the course of ten months of archaeological and anthropological work, experts were able to piece together a grim picture of what appears to have been a prehistoric hunting site. The team had, according to the Associated Press, stumbled upon two large man-made traps—pits where hunters drove woolly mammoths to their deaths.

Researchers with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced the discovery this week, saying that it lends “unprecedented context” to experts’ understanding of how ancient humans hunted woolly mammoths. The pits date to 15,000 years ago, each measuring 5.5 feet deep and 82 feet long, reports CNN's Jack Guy. Inside the pits were 824 mammoth bones, among them eight skulls, five jaws, a hundred vertebrae and 179 ribs. Experts say the remains correspond to at least 14 individual mammoths. Bones belonging to a camel and a horse were also found.

According to INAH researchers, the pits may have been vital tools for ensnaring a formidable prey; woolly mammoths, which went extinct some 4,000 years ago, could stand more than 11 feet tall and weigh up to eight tons. Experts think that groups of hunters, perhaps numbering between 20 and 30 people, would separate one individual from the herd and drive it towards the pits, possibly frightening it with torches and branches. Once inside the trap, the animal would be killed.

Some of the remains bore signs of butchering. Marks on the remains suggest, in fact, that mammoth rib bones were used to cut away the meat. Another bone found at the site seems to have been deployed as a polishing tool, possibly for stripping fat from skin. Skulls were flipped upside down, likely because ancient hunters would eat the mammoths’ tongues.

Other “megasites” where humans processed mammoth carcasses in large numbers have surfaced in Eurasia and North America, Adam N. Rountrey, a collection manager at the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, explains to Emily S. Rueb of the New York Times. But it hasn’t been clear whether humans were actively hunting the animals—perhaps with the help of dogs—or simply scavenging them after the animal died of natural causes. None of the previously known sites had been identified as man-made.

The Tultepec site, by contrast, offers “evidence of direct attacks on mammoths,” Luis Córdoba Barradas, the leader of the excavation, told reporters, according to the Guardian’s Jo Tuckman. Rountrey is more cautious, telling Rueb that experts “are looking forward to seeing a peer-reviewed publication that presents the evidence for human construction of the traps.”

Even Córdoba admits that much about the discovery remains mysterious. For instance, only right shoulder blades were found among the mammoth remains—what happened to the left ones, no one can say for certain. Perhaps, the INAH theorizes, a ritual element was at play, as seems to have been the case with other remains. According to CNN’s Guy, the bones of one mammoth were arranged in “symbolic formation,” and intriguingly, one of the bones showed signs of a healed fracture. Maybe the hunters had attempted to kill this animal multiple times, perhaps tracking it over the years.

"They must have considered it brave and ferocious,” Córdoba said, per Guy. And when they killed it, they “[showed] their respect with this particular arrangement."

Researchers think the newly unearthed pits may have been part of a chain of traps, a strategy that would have increased the hunters’ chances of snagging their prey. And this in turn means that additional traps—and the remains of whatever creatures they contain—could surface in the future.

Archaeologists Unearth Hollowed-Out Whale Vertebra Containing Human Jawbone, Remains of Newborn Lambs

Smithsonian Magazine

When archaeologists excavated a Scottish Iron Age site called the Cairns in 2016, they discovered a hollowed-out whale vertebra filled with a trio of unexpected objects: a human jaw bone and the remains of two newborn lambs. Dated to about the mid-2nd century A.D., the vessel was propped near the entrance of a broch, or type of roundhouse, and held in place by a pair of red deer antlers and a large grinding stone.

“All this treatment appears to have been part of the measures employed to perform an act of closure of the broch,” reads a statement from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute.

A new DNA analysis conducted by researchers at the institute adds a new piece to this perplexing puzzle. As Huw Williams reports for BBC News, the team’s preliminary findings suggest the bone belongs to a fin whale. Given the fact that fin whales are the second largest whale species on Earth, UHI archaeologist Martin Carruthers says this determination may help archaeologists address a much-debated question: Did Iron Age Scots actively hunt the massive whales, or did they simply make the most of animals swept ashore?

Per the press release, the team—made up of Carruthers, Western Carolina University’s Vicki Szabo, St. Mary’s University’s Brenna Frasier and UHI’s Ingrid Mainland—analyzed the fin whale bone as part of a larger project exploring the use of whale bones in the western Atlantic over the last 1,000 years. Earlier this year, the researchers tested relevant finds from both the Cairns and Mine Howe, a separate archaeological site on Scotland’s Orkney Islands.

The whale remains found among the roughly 100 marine animal bones unearthed at the Cairns constitute one of the world’s largest troves of prehistoric whale bones. DNA analysis shows the bones came from larger species including sperm, humpback and minke whales, as well as smaller species like dolphins and porpoises.

“[That assemblage is] what you'd expect, I suppose, if you saw them as being quite opportunistic in terms of what came across their path,” Carruthers tells Williams. “But the other thing is, there are preferences for certain types. And that may indicate that they are being a bit more discerning and picky.”

The suggestion that Iron Age Scots hunted whales isn’t completely farfetched: After all, rock art found at the Bangu-Dae archaeological site in South Korea and dated to 6,000 B.C. depicts harpoon-wielding humans in pursuit of sperm whales, right whales and humpbacks. And as National Geographic points out, people in Norway and Japan may have started hunting whales as early as 4,000 years ago. The Inuit and Basque also boast long-held whaling traditions.

Still, the team notes in the press release, it remains unlikely that Iron Age Orkney villagers were actually capable of taking down a fin whale. The animal can grow to a length of more than 85 feet and swim at speeds of up to 28 miles per hour; as the researchers write, “The fin whale was only really hunted in large numbers [after] the explosive harpoon was invented [in the mid-19th century].”

Moving forward, the team hopes to investigate how the Cairns community utilized the whales obtained. According to BBC News’ Williams, additional DNA analysis could reveal relationships between butchered whales, or perhaps even identify scattered bones as the remains of a single animal.

NASA Opens Pristine Tube of Moon Dust From the Apollo Missions

Smithsonian Magazine

NASA scientists recently opened a sample tube of rock and soil collected on the moon during Apollo 17. The tube remained unopened for nearly 47 years, and it is the first time NASA scientists have broken in to a fresh moon sample in over four decades. Researchers are using the lunar dirt to test next-generation sampling tools in preparation for the next time humans fly to the moon.

The sample tube holds about 15 ounces of lunar regolith, or loose rocky material from the surface. Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt collected the material during mission in December of 1972, NASA’s last crewed mission to the moon. The sample, 73002, was taken from a two-foot-long tube that the astronauts drove into a landslide deposit in a feature called the Lara Crater. A second sample, 73001, is scheduled to be opened in January

Both will be analyzed as part of the Apollo Next-Generation Sample Analysis, or ANGSA, initiative.

“We are able to make measurements today that were just not possible during the years of the Apollo program,” Sarah Noble, ANGSA program scientist, says in a statement. “The analysis of these samples will maximize the science return from Apollo, as well as enable a new generation of scientists and curators to refine their techniques and help prepare future explorers for lunar missions anticipated in the 2020s and beyond.”

Sample 73002 has been sealed since it was collected, but not in vacuum conditions. Before removal, researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, created a high-resolution 3D image of the dust and crushed rock within the tube. The sample is being removed from the tube using special tools inside an enclosure filled with ultra-pure nitrogen. The sample will then be divided into quarter-inch segments and distributed to various research teams.

The second sample, 73001, was collected in a special vacuum-sealed tube. The researchers hope they will be able to capture and analyze any gases released from that sample when it is opened early next year.

Last March, NASA announced that nine labs would receive bits of the samples. They will look at various properties, including how volatile molecules, like water, are stored on the lunar surface, what organic materials are found on the moon, and the effects of “space weathering,” or how the moon’s environment shapes its geology. Other teams will use the samples to study the geologic history of the moon, the timeline of meteorite impacts and how much volcanic activity there was on the moon in the past.

“By studying these precious lunar samples for the first time, a new generation of scientists will help advance our understanding of our lunar neighbor and prepare for the next era of exploration of the moon and beyond," says Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “This exploration will bring with it new and unique samples into the best labs right here on Earth.”

Science News’s Lisa Grossman reports that NASA has about 842 pounds of moon rocks, dust and core samples collected during the six Apollo moon landings between 1969 and 1972. Since then, 50,000 samples of moon material have been studied at 500 labs in 15 countries. Even still, over 80 percent of the moon material has not been touched, and most of it is stored in a specially built lab in Houston.

As technology has improved over the last 50 years, those samples have revolutionized our understanding of the moon. Just in the last decade, Grossman reports, researchers studying the samples have found hundreds of times more water in moon dust than previously recorded. Geologists have also studied the samples to map how the moon’s magnetic fields have changed over time, which clues them in on what was going on in the moon’s interior.

“Getting samples from another part of the moon would revolutionize our understanding of the moon and of the solar system, just like the Apollo samples did,” Ryan Zeigler, Johnson Space Center’s Apollo sample curator, tells Grossman.

Currently, the next lunar sample return is scheduled to happen relatively soon as part of the Artemis program, a mission to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024. Some critics, however, believe that program’s timeline is too optimistic and may be impacted by politics down on Earth. In any case, NASA still has several hundred pounds of moon samples left from Apollo, in case scientists need to focus on those for a little bit longer.

Jim Crow Compounded the Grief of African American Mothers Whose Sons Were Killed in World War I

Smithsonian Magazine

In the summer of 1930, Mrs. Louise Kimbro, a 57-year-old African American woman from Columbus, Ohio, boarded a train for New York City. She was one of 6,685 women who accepted the government’s invitation to join the Gold Star Mothers and Widows pilgrimage between 1930 and 1933. Her son, Private Martin A. Kimbro, had died of meningitis in May 1919 while serving with a U.S. Army labor battalion in France, and his body lay buried in one of the new overseas military cemeteries. Now she would see his grave for the first time.

The journey was enabled by legislation signed by President Calvin Coolidge on March 2, 1929, just before he left office. It authorized mothers and unmarried widows of deceased American soldiers, sailors, and marines buried in Europe to visit their loved ones’ final resting places. All reasonable expenses for their journey were paid for by the nation.

Newspapers promoted the democratic spirit of the event, reminding the public that all the women, regardless of religion, social status, income, or place of birth, were guests of the U.S. government and would be treated equally. In early 1930, however, President Herbert Hoover’s administration announced that “in the interests of the pilgrims themselves,” the women would be divided into racially separate groups but that “no discrimination whatever will be made.” Every group would receive equal accommodation, care and consideration.

Hoover’s staff did not anticipate the political backlash awaiting the War Department once these intentions were revealed. Inviting African American women to participate on these terms required their acquiescence to the same segregated conditions under which their sons and husbands had served during the war. The ensuing protest by the black community, though largely forgotten today, prefigured events from the civil rights movement decades later.

Walter White, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), held a press conference in New York City just as the first ship carrying white women to the cemeteries was sailing out of the nearby harbor. He explained that his organization had written to all eligible black Gold Star mothers and widows encouraging them to boycott the pilgrimage if the government refused to change its segregation policy.

Consequently, hundreds of cards were sent to the secretary of war with signatures protesting the government’s plan, along with a separate letter directed to the president, vehemently objecting to the proposal. Signed petitions from around the nation began arriving at the War Department, claiming that “the high principles of 1918 seemed to have been forgotten.” Others reminded policy makers that “colored boys fought side by side with the white and they deserved the due respect.”

Gold Star Pilgrims with Col. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. (center) aboard ship in 1931. Although nearly 1,600 African American mothers and widows were eligible to travel to Europe, fewer than 200 participated, partly because of the segregated nature of the program. (National Archives and Records Administration)

One resentful Philadelphia mother asked, “Must these noble women be jim-crowed, [and] humiliated on such a sacred occasion?” Undeterred, the Hoover administration insisted that “mothers and widows would prefer to seek solace in their grief from companions of their own race.”

But this rebuttal failed to satisfy black mothers, who continued to send in their petitions as part of the NAACP’s efforts. They claimed they would decline to go at all unless the segregation ruling was abolished and all women could participate on equal terms. The NAACP campaign, threats that black voters would switch to the Democrats, and even the adept pen of W. E. B. Du Bois ultimately failed to alter the government’s stance.

In a sharp assault, Du Bois referred to the more than 6,000 African Americans whose “Black hands buried the putrid bodies of white American soldiers in France. [Yet,] Black mothers cannot go with white mothers to look at the graves.” Walter White had hoped that when the mothers and widows understood the separate conditions governing their travel, they would “repudiate the trip.” For some mothers, however, refusing the government’s invitation was one sacrifice too many. Most seem to have signed the petition without intending to forfeit this unique offer. When they were forced to choose between motherhood and activism, motherhood prevailed.

The number of eligible African American women was, in the event, too small to influence policy. Approximately 1,593 black mothers and widows were deemed eligible to make the pilgrimage. Many declined, largely because of ill-health, death or remarriage. Only 233 accepted the invitation, and fewer than 200 actually sailed.

For those who went, traveling posed challenges: most of the women were mothers in their 60s, but a number were over 70 and in failing health. Some were so poor that they were unable to buy even the suitcase necessary for the trip, and most had never traveled so far on their own. And for women like Louise Kimbro, who endured a 24-hour train journey across a segregated nation before boarding a ship to Europe, there were additional hardships involved.

With no luggage racks in the “colored” section of the train, passengers were forced to cram their suitcases around their feet in the crowded compartments. “Colored” train bathrooms were smaller and lacked the amenities of the “whites” bathrooms, and while traveling through Southern states, women were required to move to “colored only” railcars so that white passengers could board.

On arrival in New York, African American women were accommodated at the YWCA hostel, rather than the more comfortable Hotel Pennsylvania where white pilgrims stayed. The African American women who embarked on the SS American Merchant, a freighter-passenger vessel (rather than a luxury liner), hailed from a variety of states and social backgrounds, from illiterate women to college graduates. They were escorted by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Sr., the army’s highest-ranking black officer.

Once they landed in France, separate trains carried African American and white pilgrims to Paris, where they were welcomed at the station by the trumpeted notes of “Mammy,” played by Nobel Sissle’s orchestra. The African American women enjoyed many of the same elegant restaurants and receptions offered on the white women’s itinerary but were again lodged in different hotels, since French hoteliers hesitated to accept black women for fear of offending some of their white American clientele.

Most women returned from their pilgrimage without regrets. One Georgia mother told reporters, “Every effort was made to get me not to come. I think it is a shame that some mothers were induced not to come by people who had nothing to lose, and who, if they were in our places, would certainly have come.” No one seems to have publicly challenged those who accepted the government’s offer, which required of them a compromise that white mothers and widows had not been asked to make.

It is estimated that 23 women, their identities no longer known, refused the invitation at the urging of the NAACP. Although they may not have achieved their objective of an integrated pilgrimage, this minority of older and mostly poor, uneducated black women had challenged the injustices of Jim Crow and succeeded in shifting the balance of power nationally by questioning the hypocrisy of the program and the violation of the democratic principles over which the war had been fought.

Excerpt from "Gold Star Mothers" by Lisa M. Budreau, We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity, © Smithsonian Institution

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