Whose history is it?

Art, Opinion

For years I’d heard people expressing doubts as to whether the Smithsonian Institution actually needed a tenant devoted to black American history and culture. These misgivings didn’t come from whites only, but from black and brown people too.  The more knowledgeable—or, anyway, least blinkered—of such skepticism circled around whether such a place wouldn’t be redundant since there was already a …

The coming storm: American landscape painting and the Civil War

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, November/December 2012 | The role of the Civil War in redefining America is well known. What is less well understood is the profound way in which the conflict changed American Art. Between 1859, when war was imminent, and the war’s end in 1865 writers and artists created their works surrounded by, and sometimes suffocated by, the impact of …

Colonial-era chocolate still tastes good

Editorial Staff

Last month the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Mars, Incorporated hosted a symposium dedicated to the history of chocolate and it caught our attention. We’re almost all familiar with products like M&M’s, but we were surprised to learn that Mars has been researching and making “historic” chocolate since 2006 through its historic division. The resulting line of American …