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Missouri - Nature and Scientific Wonders

Smithsonian Magazine

Caves
More than 6,200 caves tunnel under Missouri, aptly called the Cave State. Several caves offer guided tours for visitors venturing to step below the surface and explore these natural wonders. Some are famous in history or legend, including the cave from Tom Sawyer, the hideout for outlaw Jesse James and the cave with the record for the most underground weddings. Others are noteworthy by nature. Onondaga Cave, for example, is a National Natural Landmark and recognized as one of the most spectacular caves in the country because of the quality of its formations.

Big Spring
More than 286 million gallons of water gush from Big Spring daily, making it one of the world's largest springs.

Ozarks National Scenic Riverway
Ozarks National Scenic Riverway is Missouri's largest national park and the nation's first national park area to protect a wild river system. The Riverway comprises 134 miles of the Current River and the Jacks Fork Rivers and offers picturesque places for canoeing, hiking, fishing and camping. Missouri has a total of over 50,000 miles of rivers and streams.

Lewis & Clark Missouri River Water Trail
The lower Missouri River offers the opportunity to paddle through history—following the trail of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The mapped water trail runs more than 500 miles through state conservation areas, state parks, federal lands and city parks. Katy Trail State Park, the longest rails-to-trails conversion project in the country, runs parallel to the river for over 150 miles. Access points to bed and breakfasts, shops and restaurants are close to the river's edge. There are many commercial campgrounds, boat clubs, marinas and bait-shops located along the river, providing supplies and a place to camp for the night.

Elephant Rocks State Park
The southeast region of Missouri boasts impressive granite rocks that date over a billion years. Elephant Rocks State Park is named for a particularly awesome rock formation where huge boulders stand end-to-end like a train of circus elephants—the largest a whopping 680 tons. A self-guiding trail (with Braille signage) winds among these geologic wonders.

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, located in the St. Francois Mountains, contains 7,448 scenic acres of remote wilderness. It also is home to 1,772-feet Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri, and Mina Sauk Falls, the state's tallest wet-weather waterfall, which drops 132 feet over a series of rocky ledges. Primitive camping, hiking and backpacking trails, an accessible overlook and picnicking are available to visitors.

Wintering Bald Eagles
Missouri is one of the leading states for wintering bald eagles. In the month of January, they can be spotted primarily along the Mississippi and Osage Rivers and near Missouri lakes. Eagle-watching hot spots include Lake of the Ozarks, Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, Clarksville, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Table Rock Lake and Truman Reservoir.

Audubon Great River Birding Trail
The Great River Road—winding 408 miles through Missouri along the Mississippi River from Iowa to Arkansas—is the spine of the Audubon Great River Birding Trail. This waterway is one of the nation's great flyways for waterfowl, shorebirds and neotropic migrants.

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge
Mingo National Wildlife Refuge's is the largest remaining tract of bottomland hardwood forest in southeast Missouri. The Mingo Swamp and adjacent hills are nestled in a linear basin formed in an ancient abandoned channel of the Mississippi River. The refuge includes 7,730 acres of federally designated wilderness and an abundance of native plants and wildlife. Mingo offers wildlife observation on a seasonal 20-mile auto tour route, hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting and environmental educational programs.

Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis has earned global recognition for its gardens, research and unparalleled efforts to catalog plants from the world's rain forests. Founded in 1859, it is the country's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation; a National Historic Landmark with 79 acres of beautiful gardens and historic structures. Outdoor and indoor displays include the Climatron tropical rain forest; Kemper Center for Home Gardening; Japanese Garden; George Washington Carver Garden; historic Tower Grove House; and the seasonal Doris I. Schnuck Children's Garden.

The EarthWays Home
A three-story Victorian residence built in 1885 has been renovated to showcase practical demonstrations of energy efficient systems, recycled products and waste reduction practices. Visitors to this St. Louis property experience hands-on applications of sustainable lifestyle choices. Many existing features in the EarthWays Home are readily available for general construction and renovation.

The Saint Louis Zoo
The Saint Louis Zoo is a renowned leader in animal conservation projects and innovative captive breeding strategy to ensure the survival world's most endangered species. Named "America's #1 Zoo" by Zagat Survey's family travel guide, the 90-acre zoo is home to 17,900 exotic animals, many of them rare and endangered. The Penguin and Puffin Coast offers a spectacular underwater view of those oceanic birds. There's also an underwater view of hippos. Asian elephants, Children's Zoo, Insectarium, Conservation Carousel and the Cypress Swamp are highlights.

Butterfly House & Education Center
This Chesterfield attraction builds awareness of natural world through the observation of butterflies, their habitats, life cycles and role in the world's ecosystem. More than a thousand live tropical butterflies fly freely in the glass conservatory. Butterfly House visitors can watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis, visit the Native Habitat Garden and view a variety of insect exhibits.

Shaw Nature Reserve
Shaw Nature Reserve, a 2,400-acre experimental ecological reserve, lies 35 miles west of St. Louis. Its restored plant and animal habitats feature tall-grass prairies, glades, wetlands, savannas, and woodlands. Fourteen miles of trails take visitors through the reserve and to the Meramec River.

World Bird Sanctuary
Missouri's World Bird Sanctuary preserves the earth's biological diversity and secures the future of threatened bird species in their natural environments through education, captive breeding, field studies and rehabilitation. With self-guided displays of live eagles, owls, hawks, vultures, parrots, falcons, reptiles and other mammals on 305 peaceful acres, it's a true wildlife encounter.

Wild Canid Survival and Research Center
Funded by Marlin Perkins in 1971, the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center occupies 63 isolated wooded acres about 20 miles southwest of St. Louis. This premier wolf conservation, education, reproduction and research center contains red and Mexican gray wolves, African wild dogs and swift foxes living in packs within natural enclosures. Visitors are welcomed for year-round day and evening programs by advanced reservation.

Powell Gardens
Set on 915 acres of lush, rolling hills and windswept meadows in Kingsville, Powell Gardens offers breathtaking display gardens, interesting architecture, a nature trail and a year-round calendar of special events and classes for the entire family. Garden features include the Island Garden, the Perennial Garden, the Rock and Waterfall Garden, the Wildflower Meadow, a chapel, an indoor conservatory, the ever-changing Terrace Gardens and native plantings.

Forest Park
Rich in cultural heritage, St. Louis's Forest Park is equally significant from a naturalistic perspective. In a city where 80 percent of the land has been developed for business, industry or residential uses, the park serves as a natural oasis for the city, an important source of green space, a respite for migrating birds, and an integrated ecosystem where humans and nature interact.

Katy Trail State Park
The longest rails-to-trails conversion project in the country, Katy Trail State Park caters to the active traveler. The 225-mile trail, built along the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, begins in St. Charles and ends in Clinton. The trail takes visitors through some of the most scenic areas of the state, offering views of towering bluffs, rolling hills and glistening rivers. Following the ambling trail across Missouri, nature lovers can enjoy a wide assortment of wildlife in its natural habitat. History buffs can delight in exploring the small towns that once thrived along the railroad corridor and step back in time as they travel between St. Charles and Boonville, an official segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Communities along the trail offer a range of services to visitors.

Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area
Located six miles southwest of Columbia, near McBaine, Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area contains 4,269 acres of wetland and 10 miles of stream frontage. The marshes supply year-round habitat for migrating and wintering birds, as well as a permanent home for a large variety of wildlife.

Lights in the Dark

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Producers and designers of contemporary wallpaper are constantly pushing the boundaries of the medium, creating forms beyond what is generally accepted or imagined when one envisions wallpaper. For LED Wallpaper the combined efforts of Ingo Maurer and Architects Paper produced a method of design that had not been integrated into wallpaper up until this point....

In This Case: 42nd Street Nocturne

Smithsonian American Art Museum
ThumbnailAs a visual for our film series Movies at SAAM, we've been using Xavier Barile's 42nd Street Nocturne. But did you know this painting hangs in the Luce Foundation Center? Situated in case 36B, Barile's small impressionistic painting shows New York City's 42nd Street Apollo Theatre aglow beneath a starry sky. Not only does this piece exemplify mid-20th-century American art, but it touches on key themes found within the history of film.

Histoire naturelle du Sénégal : coquillages : avec la relation abrégée d'un voyage fait en ce pays, pendant les années 1749, 50, 51, 52 & 53 / par M. Adanson ... ; ouvrage orné de figures

Smithsonian Libraries
Carte generale du Senegal, dated 1756, is unnumbered plate.

Woodcut title vignette (type ornament), head- and tail-pieces, initials.

Includes index.

Errata: p. [7], first paging group.

Signatures: pi⁴ A-Z⁴ 2A⁴(-2A4) a-m⁴, ²A-2L⁴ 2M².

Devonian fishes of Iowa / by Charles R. Eastman

Smithsonian Libraries
"From Iowa geological survey, vol. XVIII, Annual report, 1907."

Eighth Air Force : tactical development, August 1942-May 1945 / prepared by Eighth Air Force and Army Air Force Evaluation Board (European Theater of Operations)

Smithsonian Libraries
"[P]repared under the direction of Major General Orvil A. Anderson ..." --Leaf ii recto.

Imprint from verso of title leaf, which is dated "July 1945."

The text is a photocopy of the original type-written manuscript.

Leaves i-iii are numbered on recto side only; page numbering on each side of the leaves begins with iv.

The folded plate (frontispiece) is accompanied by a printed tissue guard-sheet used as an illustrative overlay.

Did Edvard Munch Find a Supernatural Power in Color?

Smithsonian Magazine
A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art places Munch’s palette in context

Hieronymi Cardani, præstantissimi mathematici, philosophi, ac medici Artis magnæ, sive, De regulis algebraicis ..

Smithsonian Libraries
Imprint from colophon.

Also available online.

Stationer's label: C.E. Rappaport, Roma.

Dibner gift.

Elecresource

Living in a World of Nursery Rhymes

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
143054_4722c7f649732d9b_b[1]As one of the best-known British decorative artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Walter Crane’s design touched upon the fields of books, textiles, wallpaper, stained glass, and ceramics. Children’s education played a considerably important part in the subject matter of Crane’s book illustration and wallpaper designs. In 1875, Crane (1845-1915) was commissioned by Jeffrey...

The genus Colpomenia Derbès et Solier (Phaeophyta) in the Gulf of California / Michael J. Wynne and James N. Norris

Smithsonian Libraries
Four species of the brown algal genus Colpomenia Derbès et Solier (Scytosiphonales) are recognized as occurring within the Gulf of California: C. sinuosa (Roth) Derbès et Solier, C. tuberculata Saunders, C. ramosa Taylor, and C. phaeodactyla, new species. Some of the specimens interpreted by Dawson (1944) as Rosenvingea intricata are now referred to C. ramosa Taylor. Although recorded from the Pacific coast of Baja California, C. ramosa has not yet been reported within the Gulf. Interrelationships of the species complex of Colpomenia with related genera such as Iyengaria Boergesen, Rosenvingea Boergesen, and Scytosiphon C. Agardh are discussed.

Something New and Something Blue

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Just wanted to highlight something new for the Wallcoverings department. This is an actual textile produced in a weight appropriate for walls. The heavier weight allows this to be pasted and applied directly to the wall just like wallpaper without the need for a paper backing. Swirl is a non-repeating design of coiled colored fibers...

Statue of St. George Undergoes ‘Unrestoration’ to Salvage Botched Paint Job

Smithsonian Magazine

When a botched restoration attempt of a 500-year-old sculpture of St. George in northern Spain went viral last summer, commentators couldn't resist weighing in: The well-meaning paint job, many pointed out, made the wooden statue look more like Tintin than a legendary dragon slayer.

Thanks to a roughly $34,000 USD “unrestoration” project, the statue—housed at St. Michael’s Church in the northern Spanish province of Navarra—has resumed a semblance of its original, 16th-century appearance. As Palko Karasz reports for The New York Times, experts from the local government’s culture department stripped the sculpture of its showy paint layers, assessed damage inflicted by the use of materials and processes “completely incompatible with the restoration of works of art,” and largely restored the walnut wood saint to his pre-2018 state.

But while Carlos Martínez Álava, head of the historic heritage department, tells the Guardian’s Sam Jones that the statue “has the same colors [seen] before last year’s extremely unfortunate intervention,” the fact remains, he says, that “we’ve lost part of the original paint along the way.”

Martínez Álava adds, “The bits of paint that were lost have been filled in and from a distance it all looks the same. But when you get up close, you can see very clear what’s original and what’s not.”

The initial spruce-up was reportedly conducted by a local handicrafts teacher untrained in the art of restoration. According to a statement by ACRE, Spain’s national organization of professional art restorers, the artist applied several layers of plaster, repainted the figure, and sanded its surface, effectively erasing the entirety of its “historical footprint.” The original artist had used a unique polychrome technique. According to London’s National Gallery, Spanish sculptors of the 16th and 17th centuries carved their statues and covered them in white gesso but were prohibited from actually painting the figurines, which were later gilded and refined by specially trained artisans.

In 2012, a similarly botched restoration of this "Ecce Homo" painting attracted international attention (Public domain/fair use)

In a statement posted to Twitter soon after the story broke, Koldo Leoz, mayor of Estella—the town where the statue has long stood in a church alcove—wrote that he did not doubt the goodwill of either the artist or the pastor who commissioned the work, but that nevertheless the effort had resulted in an “irreparable loss.”

Agence France-Presse notes that the local parish, which acted without the authorization of the region’s heritage institution, and the individual responsible for the work both faced steep fines for their role in the fiasco; they will both have to pay around $6,840, each.

The mayor, for his part, told the Guardian that Estella did not enjoy the boost in publicity associated with the restoration. “We don’t want to attract visitors because of the poor treatment of our heritage,” he said. “We haven’t publicized it and nor will we.”

Comparatively, the Spanish town of Borja was able to capitalize on its notoriety after a 1930s fresco of Jesus titled “Ecce Homo” received a restoration that left the religious figure more monkey than man. Since the 2012 incident, the painting has not only inspired memes, and one comic opera, but also drew tourists to the town, which now welcomes four times the number of visitors seen before the “restoration.” Cecilia Giménez, the amateur painter who worked on the fresco, became an internet sensation, managing to sell an original work on eBay for around $1,400.

Fernando Carrera, a spokesperson for ACRE, tells AFP the St. George sculpture’s pastel makeover is just “the tip of the iceberg of so many cases that don’t appear in the press.” Indeed, it’s worth noting that the story was just one of several botched restoration attempts to come to light last year: In September, for example, a local shopkeeper painted a trio of 15th-century religious figures in bright shades of fuchsia, turquoise and magenta, leading ACRE to once more denounce “this continued plunder in our country.”

As Carrera concludes, “There is a problem in management of Spain's historical heritage.”

Bossa Nova Became a Turning Point in Brazilian Culture. João Gilberto Helped Launch It

Smithsonian Magazine

Brazil’s best-known form of music is the samba, the drum-heavy, rhythmically intricate and danceable genre that powers Carnival. But in 1955, when João Gilberto locked himself in the bathroom of his sister’s house and began quietly playing samba beats on his nylon string guitar, another national music was born: bossa nova, or "new style." With that Gilberto co-founded the sound of post-War sophistication. Now, Felix Contreras at NPR reports, Gilberto has died in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 88.

The bossa nova style arrived at a time Brazil aspired to take a larger place on the international stage under the leadership of President Juscelino Kubitschek in the 1950s. A new generation of middle-class and wealthy people moved away from the raucous sounds of samba and embraced the quieter, café-friendly sounds of bossa nova. The new, urbane genre included the complex rhythms of samba with the percussion parts played on quieter nylon-stringed guitars. The compositions infused traditional Brazilian beats with American pop and jazz sensibility kitted out with flutes, saxophones and breathy vocalists singing nuanced lyrics.

Gilberto’s road to stardom was precarious. Born in 1931 in the Brazilian state of Bahia to a businessman and amateur musician, he left boarding school at age 15 to play guitar full time, following the pop music conventions of the day, Ben Ratliff at The New York Times reports. In 1950, he moved to Rio, gigging around the city for several years. But Gilberto ran into money problems when he refused to play in noisy clubs where people “talked too much.” He grew his hair long and showed up to performances in dirty, wrinkled clothes. A friend eventually got him a long-term gig at a hotel in Porto Alegre. After about seven months there, he ended up in his sister’s bathroom in the city of Diamantina in the state of Minas Gerais.

He returned to Rio in 1957, where a music arranger, Antônio Carlos Jobim, heard Gilberto’s new guitar rhythms. He worked with the guitarist to apply the new style to his song “Chega de Saudade,” which became Gilberto’s first bossa nova hit in 1958.

“He imitated a whole samba ensemble,” guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves told authors Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha in their 1998 book The Brazilian Sound, reports Ratliff, “with his thumb doing the bass drum, and his fingers doing the tamborims and ganzás and agogôs.”

Between 1959 and 1961, Gilberto recorded three influential albums that served as some of the founding blueprints for bossa nova style. Not much of a songwriter himself, Gilberto applied his sound to songs by others, most notably Jobim, who collaborated with the artist throughout his career.

By the mid-1960s, with a military dictatorship now installed in Brazil, authorities clamped down on bossa nova at home. But Gilberto had moved to the United States, where he stayed until 1980, and his style influenced a generation of musicians in the U.S., which was undergoing its own bossa nova craze (U.S. musicians followed the genre's conventions, very, very loosely--see Elvis's 1963 song "Bossa Nova Baby.")

In particular, saxophonist Stan Getz, who released an album in 1962 called Jazz Samba influenced by Gilberto, collaborated with the musician, releasing the touchstone album Getz/Gilberto, which included several tunes now considered jazz standards. Not only did Getz/Gilberto spend 96 weeks on the charts, it won four Grammy awards, including Best Album of the Year.

It was the tune "Garota de Ipanema (Girl From Ipanema)” that broke true bossa nova sound into the global mainstream. The song, a collaboration of Gilberto, Getz and Gilberto’s then wife, Astrud, became one of the best-selling jazz records of all time. To give some perspective, CNN reports that it’s believed to be, in fact, the second most-recorded pop song ever, behind the Beatles’ “Yesterday.”

Despite his influence on other musicians and later generations, Gilberto’s musical output was low. Over 60 years, he recorded just 10 studio albums, Ratliff reports. Instead, Gilberto released many live performances. CNN reports Gilberto last performed in public in 2008. In recent years, he stayed out of the public eye at his home in Rio where he dealt with a raft of lawsuits that accrued over his long career.

Bossa nova, his legacy, is now considered a major turning point in Brazilian culture. “It changed everything, for every young musician in Brazil,” Castro-Neves once said, according to Randall Roberts at The Los Angeles Times. “Once we heard what João was doing with the guitar and the voice, we all had to find a way to figure out how he did it.”

Surveys in Groswater Bay and excavations at Hart Chalet / William W. Fitzhugh ; produced by Jacob Marchman and Chelsi Slotten

Smithsonian Libraries
Title from cover.

Spiral bound.

Also available online.

ANTH copy 39088019930379 signed by the author.

ANTH copy 39088019930379 has publication year of 2016 handwritten on the cover.

Elecresource

Art of the Arab World : [catalogue of an exhibition] / Freer Gallery of Art ; Esin Atıl

Smithsonian Libraries
Added t.p.: Funūn al-ʻālam al-ʻArabī.

The Great Flying Saucer Mystery of 1966

Smithsonian Magazine
When policemen spotted a "flying saucer" in 1966, an official investigation declared it was an optical illusion created by swamp gas

Behind the History of Chinese Ornament

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Examples of Chinese Ornament Selected from Objects in the South Kensington Museum and Other Collections (figure 1) was written by Owen Jones (1809-1874), one of the most influential English architects, designers, and design theorists of the nineteenth century. Jones selected 100 full-color plates sourced from the motifs of Chinese ceramics, cloisonné works, and carpet designs,...

AI Project Produces New Styles of Art

Smithsonian Magazine

Artificial intelligence is getting pretty good at besting humans in things like chess and Go and dominating at trivia. Now, AI is moving into the arts, aping van Gogh’s style and creating a truly trippy art form called Inceptionism. A new AI project is continuing to push the envelope with an algorithm that only produces original styles of art, and Chris Baraniuk at New Scientist reports that the product gets equal or higher ratings than human-generated artwork.

Researchers from Rutgers University, the College of Charleston and Facebook’s AI Lab collaborated on the system, which is a type of generative adversarial network or GAN, which uses two independent neural networks to critique each other. In this case, one of the systems is a generator network, which creates pieces of art. The other network is the “discriminator” network, which is trained on 81,500 images from the WikiArt database, spanning centuries of painting. The algorithm learned how to tell the difference between a piece of art versus a photograph or diagram, and it also learned how to identify different styles of art, for instance impressionism versus pop art.

The MIT Technology Review reports that the first network created random images, then received analysis from the discriminator network. Over time, it learned to reproduce different art styles from history. But the researchers wanted to see if the system could do more than just mimic humans, so they asked the generator to produce images that would be recognized as art, but did not fit any particular school of art. In other words, they asked it to do what human artists do—use the past as a foundation, but interpret that to create its own style.

At the same time, researchers didn’t want the AI to just create something random. They worked to train the AI to find the sweet spot between low-arousal images (read: boring) and high-arousal images (read: too busy, ugly or jarring). “You want to have something really creative and striking – but at the same time not go too far and make something that isn’t aesthetically pleasing,” Rutgers computer science professor and project lead, Ahmed Elgammal, tells Baraniuk. The research appears on arXiv.

The team wanted to find out how convincing its AI artist was, so they displayed some of the AI artwork on the crowd-sourcing site Mechanical Turk along with historical Abstract Expressionism and images from Art Basel's 2016 show in Basel, Switzerland, reports MIT Technology Review.

The researchers had users rate the art, asking how much they liked it, how novel it was, and whether they believed it was made by a human or a machine. It turns out, the AI art rated higher in aesthetics than than the art from Basel, and found "more inspiring." The viewers also had difficulty telling the difference between the computer-generated art and the Basel offerings, though they were able to differentiate between the historical Abstract Expressionism and the AI work. “We leave open how to interpret the human subjects’ responses that ranked the CAN [Creative Adversarial Network] art better than the Art Basel samples in different aspects,” the researchers write in the study.

As such networks improve, the definition of art and creativity will also change. MIT Technology Review asks, for instance, whether the project is simply an algorithm that has learned to exploit human emotions and not truly creative.

One thing is certain: it will never cut off an ear for love.

In San Francisco, One Wet Winter Can Switch Up Bay’s Invasive Species

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Winter rains make Bay less salty, knocking back some invaders by Kristen Minogue For many Californians, last year’s wet winter triggered a case of whiplash. After five years of drought, rain from October 2016 to February 2017 broke more than a century of records thanks to a series of “Pineapple Express” storms, referring to atmospheric […]
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