The Smithsonian Libraries opens its new exhibition “Whales: From Bone to Book” in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History May 25. This exhibition is a collaboration between the Libraries and the museum’s Department of Paleobiology. “Bone to Book” will be on display through April 2014.
Earth’s biodiversity is under constant threat as loss of habitat leads to the extinction of species. Thousands of species—plants and animals—are disappearing every year, and one of the most endangered is the rhinoceros. The Smithsonian Institution takes part in a global effort dedicated to the survival of endangered species and their habitats, and through its collections and staff, the Smithsonian Libraries participates in this work by supporting and enhancing research in wildlife conservation biology. It has opened the exhibition “Fascinating-Endangered RHINO,” which will be on display from September through April 30, 2013, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Continue reading
For the past two summers, three art libraries, the Hirshhorn Library (HMSG), the African Art Library (NMAA), and the American Art Library/National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG) have hosted graduate library student interns through the Smithsonian Libraries Professional Development Internship to work on the three libraries’ artists’ book collections. Continue reading
Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads has been a popular attraction at the Hirshhorn since its arrival in April. Surrounding the fountain in the center of the Hirshhorn, the zodiac heads have an interactive appeal as viewers pose for pictures in front of their zodiac animal. Much like Western astrological signs, the Chinese zodiac signs also have specific characteristics and traits assigned to them – both good and bad. A person’s zodiac symbol was (and is) culturally significant in many parts of Asia, where a person’s zodiac sign is sometimes seriously considered when entering a relationship.
This cultural significance is something that Ai Weiwei likes to utilize in many of his works to communicate his messages, often indicated by referencing objects that are almost synonymous with Chinese traditions and values. Continue reading