Smithsonian Institution

US National Portrait Gallery unveils painting of Oprah Winfrey

The portrait, showing the influential media personality in a striking purple dress, was painted by Chicago artist Shawn Michael Warren

The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum acquired more than 80 works over the past year

Ranging from painting to installation and beyond, the latest additions to the museum's holdings include contemporary voices as well as legends like Nam June Paik and Robert Irwin

Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter's portrait goes on view at National Portrait Gallery

The pastel double-portrait of President Jimmy Carter's recently deceased wife was drawn by Robert Clark Templeton

Federally funded museums in the US brace for government shutdown

The Smithsonian Institution and National Gallery of Art are making plans for continuing operations amid a government shutdown that appears increasingly likely

Jenny Holzer to project quotes about democracy in DC to celebrate Art in Embassies anniversary

The work will appear on the facades of two museums on the Mall, a “very resonant location for democracy in America”

Republican lawmakers move to block funding for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino

Under a new bill, the planned museum, which was created by an act of Congress in 2020, would be banned from receiving federal funding

Smithsonian under fire for abrupt cancellation of Asian American literary festival

The institution cited “unforeseen circumstances”, leaving angry participants with debt and many unanswered questions

American Women’s History Museum founding director Nancy Yao withdraws from role

Yao, who was picked to lead the new Smithsonian museum through design and construction, said she needs to prioritise her family

Smithsonian picks architect for $130m Bezos Learning Center on Washington, DC's National Mall

The new education annex of the National Air and Space Museum will be funded through a $200m gift from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Museum lawyers weigh in on diversity initiatives, joint acquisitions and more at industry conference

The annual gathering organised by the American Law Institute and co-sponsored by the Smithsonian took place recently in Philadelphia

Kimchi and K-pop: National Museum of Asian Art marks centenary with festival

The Washington, DC, institution wants to better connect with Asian American communities

Smithsonian women’s history museum names its first director

Nancy Yao, the director of New York’s Museum of Chinese in America, will take the helm at the in-development Washington, DC museum in June

Restitutionanalysis

Digital shadows: what happens to an artefact's data after it is restituted?

Museums are stepping up efforts to return physical objects to their original owners—but repatriation policies often do not consider the digital information associated with them

Smithsonian to display 77 looted artefacts from Yemen in shared stewardship agreement

The artefacts will go on view at the National Museum of Asian Art, rather than be returned to Yemen, due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there

The Smithsonian and MTV are launching a reality television art competition

The winner of “The Exhibit” will receive $100,000 and a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum

Leaderscomment

'Black History Month is not a checkbox—museums need to work on yearlong, holistic programming'

As Black History Month begins in the US, arts administrator and historian Tsione Wolde-Michael gives three key points for institutions to consider

Biden picks rising star at the Smithsonian to head presidential arts committee dissolved by the Trump administration

Tsione Wolde-Michael, director of the Center for Restorative History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, is the first Black leader of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

US campaign group sues Smithsonian over return of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

Restitution Study Group have lost their first legal battle but insist the case is still pending

Forthcoming Smithsonian American Women's History Museum receives $1m donation

The donation is the museum’s first corporate gift, from Zurich-based insurance giant Swiss Re

Jill Biden presides over groundbreaking party for Hirshhorn Museum’s controversial sculpture garden revamp

The project’s architect, artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, told attendees at the celebratory event that he repeatedly thought the project would be abandoned due to opposition

Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC picks architects for major revamp of its building and plaza

The renovation, to be executed in part by the architecture firm that designed the building’s original construction in 1974, comes after a contentious project to renovate its sculpture garden

Smithsonian selects preferred sites for long-awaited Latino and women’s museums

The site selections must be approved or rejected by the US Congress by the end of the year

Trove of Benin bronzes in US museum collections repatriated to Nigeria

The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum marked the return of the sculptures with a ceremony in Washington, DC

Legislation to create national LGBTQ museum in Washington, DC introduced to US Congress

Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin introduced legislation to establish the National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture within the Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian reveals shortlisted designs for $130m Bezos Learning Center at National Air and Space Museum

The institution is welcoming public feedback on proposals from five anonymous architecture firms bidding for the project on the National Mall

Whistler’s famed Peacock Room, ‘vibrant and revamped’, reopens following major conservation project

The historic interior, with its elaborate avian ornamentation, has undergone months of cleaning and restoration to shore up worn elements and return others to their original lustre

Donald Trump’s political action committee gives Smithsonian $650,000 to pay for presidential portrait commission

The funds will cover nearly the entire cost of commissioning official portraits of the former president and former first lady Melania Trump for the National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian's hunt for sites for national Latino and women’s museums narrowed down to four locations

The institution will announce the selected Washington, DC sites for the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum by the end of the year

Smithsonian adopts new ‘ethical returns policy’ to handle artefacts with problematic histories

The new policy, adopted by all Smithsonian museums on 29 April, will allow each institution to tailor it to their particular collections and provenance considerations