In 2007, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Star Wars," the U.S. Postal Service created hundreds of R2-D2 mailboxes.
This one joined our @nationalpostalmuseum collection. It shares a connection with our @airandspacemuseum, which includes objects from entertainment that show how spaceflight (even fictional) has influenced pop culture.
You can visit the droid mailbox at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.
“Politically and socially, we are at the edge of another precipice. And those of us who are artists must charge into the fray, leading a charge to turn a tide.” — artist #MarkBradford
Bradford's monumental installation “Pickett’s Charge,” inspired by a historic Gettysburg masterpiece, encircles nearly 400 feet around the entire third floor of our @hirshhorn.
He took Paul Philippoteaux’s landmark 1883 cyclorama of the Civil War battle and wove its imagery into a dynamic visual experience using the museum's round architecture.
With his hallmark technique of collage, Bradford includes elements from the original 1883 painting among multiple layers of paper. By cutting, tearing and scraping through the layers, he reveals hidden textures and complexities below. “Pickett’s Charge” weaves past and present, clear and abstract—challenging linear narratives of history and encouraging you to think about how these stories, complicated or contradictory, change over time. #atHirshhorn
Happy first night of #Hanukkah! This Statue of Liberty menorah was made by an immigrant who escaped Nazi Germany and started collecting souvenirs in his new country.
After Manfred Anson came to the U.S. in the 1960s, he amassed *thousands* of pieces of memorabilia of the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and the Capitol.
He used the souvenirs to design a menorah for the centennial of the Statue of Liberty in 1986.
One of the first lamps cast, and the one that he made for his family, is now in our @amhistorymuseum's collection. Each statuette has important dates from Jewish history.
In the male-dominated music industry of the 1940s and 1950s, violinist Ginger Smock was a trailblazer, paving the way for future jazz violinists and female musicians.
Smock was born in 1920, and at age 10 she played the Hollywood Bowl. She was the only African-American member of the Los Angeles Junior Philharmonic. As a young adult, she became a protégé of veteran jazz violinist Stuff Smith.
But in LA’s black jazz scene on Central Avenue, female musicians didn't have many opportunities—until World War II and the draft left bandleaders and club owners short-handed.
Smock established herself as an artist and bandleader, and after the war she found a groundbreaking role in the new medium of television, with her group the Hollywood Sepia Tones and hosting her own show.
Despite her accomplishments, Smock never received wide recognition. She struggled against discrimination throughout her career, both as a black woman and as an improvising violinist during a period in jazz history when violin soloists were becoming increasingly rare.
This Robert S. Scurlock photograph of "Ginger and Her Violin" from 1954 is in our @nmaahc, which also has Smock's violin in the collection. #HiddenHerstory
Seventy-six years ago, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor.
This amphibious seaplane—the Sikorsky JRS-1—is the only aircraft in our @airandspacemuseum that was there on Dec. 7, 1941.
It's now on display at the museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.
#NoShaveNovember? Not in 17th-century Russia, when Peter the Great outlawed facial hair in 1698.
He tried to modernize and westernize Russia, and wanted his countrymen to be clean-shaven like their European counterparts.
So he imposed a hefty tax on beards, which was on the books until 1772. If you could afford it, you paid the tax and got a token to show you'd paid for the right to have a beard.
The ban was taken seriously: If you were caught without your beard token, your facial hair could be cut off on the spot.
This Russian beard token from 1705 is now part of the National Numismatic Collection at our @amhistorymuseum.
It looks like a sunset landscape, but this is a piece of petrified wood in our @smithsoniannmnh's collection.
It's from Arizona, where silica-rich groundwater permeated the wood with fine-grained quartz. What started as living matter is now nearly all quartz.
Impurities in the quartz (like iron and carbon) produce colors in the petrified wood.
You'll see a lot of these if you're hitting #BlackFriday sales today.
This 1914 cash register (made by the aptly named National Cash Register Company) was used in a Marshall Field & Company department store.
Department stores were slow to install cash registers as supervisors could not easily monitor cashiers, spread throughout the store, for honesty and efficiency.
Now the model is in our @amhistorymuseum's collection.
As #Thanksgiving approaches, we're also celebrating #Catsgiving with this early 1900s photo of a fetching feline.
It's from @smithsoniangardens' Archives of American Gardens in the Thomas W. Sears Collection, which documents the work of the landscape architect and amateur photographer from Brookline, Massachusetts.
The collection includes more than 4,600 black and white glass negatives and glass lantern slides, c. 1900 to 1966, though few images are captioned or dated specifically. Most are of private and public gardens—plus this cat.