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Smithsonian Magazine As Art

Smithsonian Magazine

Introducing the Smithsonian Magazine App

Smithsonian Magazine
Behind the scenes of Smithsonian magazine's iPad app. To learn more about the app, visit:

Smithsonian Magazine Video Contest Highlights

Smithsonian Magazine
Five categories (People, Arts, Nature, Travel and Mobile) and a grand prize of $2,000. Submit your video today at

The 2016 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards

Smithsonian Magazine
This year's recipients range from a popular actor and comedian to a tech-savvy archaeologist

You're Invited to Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day!

Smithsonian Magazine

Free Admission at Participating Venues with Ticket on Saturday, September 24th, 2011.

The Museum Day Ticket provides FREE ADMISSION to one person, plus a guest.

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free.

For more information go to

Introducing Smithsonian Magazine on the iPad

Smithsonian Magazine

When reading Smithsonian’s Evotourism package, imagine taking in a high-resolution 360-degree panoramic tour of Kangaroo Island, Australia. Imagine watching footage of the 1980 explosion of Mount St. Helens while reading about the reforestation of the land surrounding the volcano. Imagine learning about the Orchid Olympics and simultaneously perusing dozens of stunning, detailed photos of different orchid species.

For the first time, all this is possible. This week will mark the latest stage in the evolution of Smithsonian in the magazine’s 41-year history: the introduction of the app for the iPad. Alongside the print version, Smithsonian is now offering an enhanced interactive version of the award-winning magazine. “This technology will change the nature of magazines in a fundamental way, while preserving the core experience of a magazine as curated content,” says Bill Allman, chief digital officer at Smithsonian Enterprises. “What’s great about these new tools is that they take a magazine like Smithsonian, in particular, to a whole other dimension.”

The app includes all the feature articles, departments and photography from the print edition, plus a number of app-only special features, like video, extra photos, supplementary interviews and interactive graphics. The entire magazine is viewable in both horizontal and vertical orientations, and has special menus for feature articles, departments and app-only extras.

“The app allows us to tell stories in a multimedia way,” Allman says. “We really have a whole new palette of tools—we can do sound, video, slide shows, interactive graphics, really anything.” Articles include many more photos than in the print version, helping to immerse the reader in the story. “Where you see one picture in the magazine, there might be three on the app that are equally as beautiful,” says Maria Keehan, Smithsonian’s art director.

Watch this video in the original article

Audio and video features are also used to enhance the app. “Some of the things are just flat out fun, like the motorcycle sound at the beginning of the Route 66 story,” Keehan says. “In our cover story on the Haleakala Crater in Hawaii, actually being able to hear a person’s voice—you can watch a video of Clifford Naeole chanting the traditional Hawaiian songs—is so incredible.” The app version of a story on the newly discovered “bark” of the red-bellied piranha includes the actual sound of the piranhas barking.

Interactive elements allow readers to dig more deeply into articles. “In the Evotourism package, for example, the Ashfall Fossil Beds story has a graphic of the fossils lying in the ground, and you can touch each fossil to see a graphic,” Allman says. “In a sense, the reader is now the author of that narrative, because they can go in any direction, and participate in the story in a way they couldn't before.” For “The Mystique of Route 66,” readers can tap on different spots on a map to see photography from each location along the legendary route.

Allman envisions countless possibilities for the future evolution of the app, such as integrating real-time features into articles—like Twitter feeds of figures in the story, updated continuously even months after the issue was published—or added customizable options, such as allowing readers to create their own archive of favorite articles. “This is a new way of storytelling that has heretofore been unavailable to us,” he says. “It’s as big of a shift as it was going from black-and-white to color.”

Smithsonian Magazine's Most Powerful Photos of the Year

Smithsonian Magazine
Our photography editors select their favorites from a year full of stunning photojournalism

Smithsonian Magazine Video Contest Highlights 2.0

Smithsonian Magazine
Five categories (People, Arts, Nature, Travel and Mobile) and a grand prize of $2,000. Submit your video today at

Smithsonian Magazine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Smithsonian is a monthly subscription magazine that takes a fresh look at history, the arts, science, and the environment. Regular columns highlight events and exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution's museums and galleries, the National Zoo, and research facilities.

Smithsonian magazine 6th Annual Photo Contest Winners Jigsaw Puzzle

Smithsonian Magazine

Once the puzzle has loaded, you can choose between the Grand Prize winner, the five category winners along with the Readers' Choice winner by selecting the image from the list then clicking Load/Restart. If you get stuck, select a puzzle piece, click the Hint button and a piece it connects to will flash. Enjoy!

Smithsonian magazine 7th Annual Photo Contest Winners Jigsaw Puzzle

Smithsonian Magazine

Once the puzzle has loaded, you can choose between the Grand Prize winner, the five category winners along with the Readers' Choice winner by selecting the image from the list then clicking Load/Restart. If you get stuck, select a puzzle piece, click the Hint button and a piece it connects to will flash. Enjoy!

Smithsonian magazine 5th Annual Photo Contest Winners Jigsaw Puzzle

Smithsonian Magazine

Once the puzzle has loaded, you can choose between the Grand Prize winner, the five category winners along with the Readers' Choice winner by selecting the image from the list then clicking Load/Restart. If you get stuck, select a puzzle piece, click the Hint button and a piece it connects to will flash. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Smithsonian Magazine!

Smithsonian Institution Archives

"Smithsonian" magazine cover, April 1970, Smithsonian Institution Archives'EdwardThis month marks the 45th anniversary of Smithsonian magazine. The subscription-only publication was initially available to Smithsonian Associates members for $10 per year. The first issue exceeded a circulation of 200,000 and was unique in that it encompassed science, arts, and the humanities in a single magazine. Subject matter in the April 1970 issue included the relationship between the Earth and humankind; the breeding of elephants on Ceylon; the destruction of the Pacific coral reefs by the crown-of-thorns starfish; the centennial of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; education in a multimedia environment; the University of Maryland's Black Studies program; the revival of the ancient craft of macramé; and overpopulation predictions by John B. Calhoun based upon experiments with rats and mice. The issue also included commentary by Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, book reviews, and a listing of Smithsonian events.

Edward K. Thompson served as the first editor of Smithsonian, c. 1969-1979, and was awarded the Joseph Henry Medal in 1973 for exceptional service to the Smithsonian Institution.

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Give Peace a Listen with Smithsonian Folkways Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine

The Mbiko Aisa Farmers Group. Photo by Richard Sobol

In the latest issue of Smithsonian Folkways Magazine, Boston-based musicologist Jeffrey Summit begins his essay on the Ugandan coffee cooperative Peace Kawomera with two tragedies: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Boston Marathon bombing of April 15, 2013. Summit recorded the music of Peace Kawomera after the former and returned home in the aftermath of the latter. “In the wake of violence in my own city,” he writes, “I have been revisiting the music of this interfaith cooperative, and reflecting about the power and responsibility of each of us to create a climate of peace in our communities.”

Peace, the theme of the Spring/Summer issue, is of course a timeless ideal, but Summit’s words throw its current timeliness into stark relief. The issue takes an “international approach,” says managing editor Meredith Holmgren, “mak linkages of community peace around the world.”

Pete Seeger performs at a peace rally in New York City, 1965. Photo by Diana Davies, courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

The cover story, “Peace Songs of the 1960s,” brings the theme home to American readers and, in a Smithsonian Folkways first, compiles full versions of cited tracks in an embedded playlist. An essay by historian Ronald Cohen contextualizes these songs, including Bob Dylan’s “I Will Not Go Down Under the Ground” and Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction,” under the specter of nuclear proliferation and the Vietnam War. Also featured is a video interview with legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, whose songs were often made popular by other artists.

Former United Nations official Michael Cassandra discusses Nobel Voices for Disarmament: 1901-2001, a compilation of new and archival spoken-word recordings by notable proponents of peace. Michael Douglas, an Academy Award-winning actor and UN Messenger of Peace, narrates the album, which includes the voices of President Bill Clinton, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Progressive-era activist Jane Addams. The piece is accompanied by a multimedia lesson plan, which Holmgren says will become a recurring feature of the magazine.

In the Recording Spotlight is Peace Kawomera (Delicious Peace), the Fair Trade coffee co-op of Jewish, Christian and Muslim farmers—who happen to be excellent musicians as well. The collaboration, formed in response to 9/11, has proven both economically and artistically fruitful, underscoring the “importance of peace to economic prosperity,” says Holmgren. The article by Jeffrey Summit comes with photographs by Richard Sobol and video of a Peace Kawomera live performance.

This issue also marks the debut of “From the Field,” a Smithsonian Folkways Magazine partnership with the Society for Ethnomusicology which presents recent ethnomusicological field research to a general audience. The first installment, “Carnival of Memory: Songs of Protest and Remembrance in the Andes,” documents the music of Peruvian villages devastated by civil war in the 1980s. “People often seemed more willing to sing about the conflict than they were to talk about it,” writes ethnomusicologist Jonathan Ritter; their music helps them commemorate and come to grips with the violence. A photo slideshow and video recording situate these testimonial songs within the Andean carnival genre of pumpin. For Holmgren, the story exemplifies the difficult task of sustaining peace. “Peace isn’t something that happens,” she says. “It’s a process.”

The Hummingbirds of Huancapi perform at a pumpin song contest in Huancaraylla, Fajardo Province, Ayacucho, Peru. Photo by Jonathan Ritter

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Smithsonian Magazine

Michael Caruso Steps Down as Editor in Chief of Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine

It is with fondness and appreciation for his accomplishments that I announce that Michael Caruso, the Editor in Chief of Smithsonian magazine and the Vice President of Live Events, is stepping down from his position at the end of June.

During his seven-year tenure, Smithsonian, one of the largest magazines in the country, was a finalist for four National Magazine Awards, including two for General Excellence. Michael published such celebrated writers as Susan Orlean, Ian Frazier, William Vollman, Jane Smiley, Jesmyn Ward, Paul Theroux, Walter Isaacson, Isabel Wilkerson, Elizabeth Kolbert, Tony Horwitz, Geraldine Brooks, Sally Jenkins, Gary Shteyngart, Mark Bowden, Franz Lidz and Jeff MacGregor. Caruso also oversees, Air and Space magazine and Smithsonian Books.

As Vice President of Live Events for Smithsonian Enterprises, Caruso created several signature events, including the American Ingenuity Awards, the Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival and Future Con. The American Ingenuity Awards, now in its eighth year, has been called the “Academy Awards of Innovation” and the “Golden Globes of the Intellect.” Recent winners have included Janelle Monae, John Legend, the founding members of March for Our Lives, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeff Bezos, John Krasinski, Bill Hader, St. Vincent, David Lynch and Ava DuVernay.

The Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival features more than 50 events spanning most of the Smithsonian’s major museums, as well as other venues in Washington, D.C. Highlights have included drones flying inside the National Air and Space Museum, concerts by Jewel and Esperanza Spalding, and an on-stage interview with Quincy Jones.

Future Con, an annual event that is now part of Washington, D.C.’s Awesome Con, chose the theme of “science meets science fiction” and in the past has featured Star Trek captains William Shatner and Patrick Stewart, Dr. Who (David Tennant), the author of “The Martian” and the director of “Deadpool,” as well as geneticists, roboticists, astrobiologists, oceanographers and astronauts.

Michael is widely respected for his creativity, integrity, wit and passion. He has been in the forefront in bringing the Smithsonian to new audiences and has built a world-class team at Smithsonian Enterprises. He is a colleague and friend who will truly be missed.

The Smithsonian magazine senior staff led by Terence Monmaney (Deputy Editor), Maria Keehan (Art Director) and Debra Rosenberg (Director of Editorial Operations) will continue the magazine’s operation during the interim.

Smithsonian Myths

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Highlights

Smithsonian Magazine

Destination: Smithsonian

Smithsonian Magazine

Capturing Churchill

If we stare long enough into Winston Churchill's face, the soft, jowly visage of the man who literally saved the Western world from Nazi tyranny, is it possible to see courage and intellect personified?

Since World War II, thousands of artists have thought so, struggling to capture this modern-day hero on film and canvas, in stone and mixed media. From the vaults of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum, we have assembled a gallery of eight intriguing portraits.

"...There is nothing here but what you see," Churchill once said in his famous iron curtain speech. We will leave it to you to determine whether you can see more than mere features, but rather the resolute embodiment of victory itself.

National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian American Art Museum

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