A selective guide to the many Smithsonian exhibitions currently on view. For a complete listing, please visit our calendar.
Barbara Kruger: Belief + Doubt
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
This site-specific installation by Barbara Kruger (American, b. Newark, NJ, 1945) wraps the entire lower-level lobby in text-printed white vinyl against fields of black and red. Covering the walls, floor, and escalator sides, this immersive piece explores themes of democracy, doubt, and belief. The resulting environment is a visually spectacular hall of voices that envelops visitors as they descend from the ground level. Reading becomes a whole-body experience, with phrases revealing themselves only as the spectator circulates through the space.
Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image
Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, North
In this rotating gallery dedicated to the media arts, the museum takes stock of the cutting-edge tools and materials used by video artists during the past 50 years. This installation features key artworks from the history of video art and works by a new generation of artists on the cutting edge of new media art practices.
The following works are on view:
- John Baldessari, Six Colorful Inside Jobs (1977)
- Bruce Nauman, Walk with Contrapposto (1968)
- Charlemagne Palestine, Running Outburst (1975)
- Bill Viola, The Fall into Paradise (2005)
African Mosaic: Building a Collection
National Museum of African Art
Like a colorful mosaic made from a thousand pieces of brilliant glass, African Mosaic features some 100 objects that represent 10 years of building a permanent collection and reflect the diversity and outstanding quality of Africa's arts. On view are a variety of objects from gold jewelry and wooden figures to a coffin in the shape of a cell phone.
The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins: What Does It Mean To Be Human?
National Museum of Natural History
1st Floor, Northwest Wing (Halls 11 & 12)
This major exhibition hall focuses on the story of human origins and probes the ecological and genetic connections that human beings have had with the natural world over time. It examines the shared framework of humankind—the biological and cultural history we all share—as well as the differences that exist and preoccupy us today.
- An amphitheater show featuring One Species Living Worldwide
- "Changing the World," a special gallery where visitors can address pressing questions and issues surrounding climate change and humans' impact on the Earth
- Interactive snapshots in time using the actual field site where research is being conducted
- An interactive human family tree showcasing 6 million years of evolutionary evidence from around the world
- A time tunnel depicting life and environments over the past 6 million years
Related catalogue: What Does It Mean To Be Human, by Rick Potts: $24.95 (paper)
Related mobile app for iPhone and Android: MEanderthal
The museum marked its 100th anniversary on the National Mall with the opening of this new exhibition hall on the same date when the museum opened to the public: March 17, 1910.
Discover What Your Favorite Museum Has to Offer
Whether it's your first visit, or your 51st, there's always something new to see. Don't miss these featured exhibits - and check each museum for their complete schedule of special collections.