This post was written by John Powell, Exhibit Developer/Writer with Smithsonian Exhibits. It first appeared on the Smithsonian Exhibits blog. Last year, Smithsonian Libraries celebrated its 50th anniversary as more »
The Smithsonian Libraries presents a new exhibition, “Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History beginning Nov. 7. “Magnificent Obsessions” will be on display through July 1, 2020.
“Magnificent Obsessions” tells the captivating stories of the book collectors whose diverse interests and passions helped shape—and continue to contribute to—the Smithsonian Libraries. Through rare books, manuscripts and other intriguing items from across the varied Libraries of the Smithsonian, the exhibition highlights the personal motivations and enduring impact of book collectors who were compelled to share their “magnificent obsessions” with the nation.
Come visit the Cultivating America’s Gardens exhibition in the National Museum of American History before it closes this August!
The exhibition officially opened in May 2017 and will be saying goodbye at the end of this summer. The exhibition highlights the establishment of botanical gardens and the history of gardening in America. On show are a collection of books and other objects from the Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens collections. Here you will be able to see a variety of beautiful, vintage illustrations, rare books and artifacts related to the history of American gardening. Many of the books on display have been digitized and are available online. They will stay available through the Smithsonian Libraries Digital Library collection even after the exhibition’s closing.
This post was written by Abigail Espiritu, a summer intern focusing on social media and the Libraries’ blog. This fall, Abigail will be entering her freshmen year at the University of Maryland where she will be majoring in journalism.
On August 8th, 2017, the Smithsonian Libraries opened their newest exhibition in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Dazzling Diversity: The Insect World. The exhibition is located on the Ground Floor of the museum, showcasing a selection of the Libraries’ very own books that go along with the “Dazzling Diversity” insect display featured in Objects of Wonder on the second floor of NMNH.
Cultivating America’s Gardens, our newest exhibition produced with Smithsonian Gardens is now open in the National Museum of American History and features many colorful seed catalogs from our collection. This post, highlighting seedsman John Lewis Childs, was written by social media intern Trudi J. Antoine.
While some children played games and chased the pavement, John Lewis Childs pursued a dream of playing in the dirt. Starting from the ground up, horticulturist and businessman, John Lewis Childs made his way as a young lad to East Hinsdale, a town bordering Queens, New York, with only a glimmer of where his path would take him. He was only seventeen.
The Preservation Department of the Smithsonian Libraries (SIL) has been preparing materials for the past year for the upcoming exhibition in the SIL Gallery, National Museum of American History, Cultivating America’s Gardens. Drawn mainly from the collections of the Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens, it is a cooperative curatorial effort of both units.
Amateurs and professionals, young and old, schoolchildren and scientists—Americans of every sort—have put their backs into gardening for a variety of motives: beauty, food, science and prestige. Americans garden to feed themselves and their families and to create a sense of place and beauty in their backyards and beyond. National parks, public parks and gardens and the individual plots of earth that people cultivate are all examples of their deep connections to the natural world. American garden making has evolved over time, shaped by history, social attitudes, the environment and new ideas.