Helping Artists Find Their Own Words

Have you ever wondered who writes the words that appear in labels and exhibit text? Here at Smithsonian Exhibits, we have writers that specialize in exhibits. Our in-house exhibit developers and writers (including yours truly) also get to create other exhibit-related texts, such as Interpretive Master Plans, exhibition development documents, or content outlines. Additionally, there’s …

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Mixing Old and New

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the amazing technology we have available at Smithsonian Exhibits, but one of the places we truly shine is in our ability to marry the old and the new. The Smithsonian Latino Center’s pop-up Day of the Dead exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian gave us …

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Invisible Artwork: The Mount Making Dilemma

In 2014 the National Museum of African American History and Culture acquired Kenya Robinson’s sculpture Commemorative Headdress of Her Journey Beyond Heaven. To most people this probably seems like a pretty straightforward endeavor: Artist makes something, museum acquires it, museum displays it, and then visitors reap the rewards. There’s one step in there that got …

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Happy Constitution Day!

We’re not sure if any of the major card companies make Constitution Day cards, but Smithsonian Exhibits graphic specialist—and comic book artist—Evan Keeling created two eight-page mini-comic books for the holiday. The comics will be handed out this upcoming Friday and Saturday as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Constitution Day Weekend. Constitution Day, appropriately enough, …

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A Little Bit of Everything: Interning at Smithsonian Exhibits

Guest post by Caroline Chang Smithsonian Exhibits often has interns throughout the year for ten-week periods. Like many college students, my internship ran from June through August. Since it is now August, my internship has ended and I’m preparing to return to school. I am a rising junior at Kenyon College where I am double …

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Interpretive Master Plans (Or How We Get There From Here)

Earlier this year, Smithsonian Exhibits collaborated with the Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC) on an interpretive master plan for their new gallery. Chances are, that if you read this far, you’re wondering what exactly is an interpretive master plan.   The short version is that it is a tool an organization uses to reach a specific goal. If …

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Home Run! The Babe Ruth Mural at National Portrait Gallery

It’s officially summer, and that means baseball. On June 24th, the National Portrait Gallery opened One Life: Babe Ruth. Our Graphics department created the mural seen at the entrance to the exhibit. If there’s one thing that these blog posts show, it’s that each project has its own challenges. For this project, we needed to …

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A Trip to Benin City, Nigeria

by guest blogger Paula Millet, Senior Exhibit Designer, Smithsonian Exhibits The Chief S.O. Alonge Traveling Exhibition is an exhibition, catalogue, and educational project organized and produced by the National Museum of African Art (NMAfA), Smithsonian Institution. Alonge was the official photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria. He also owned and operated the …

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Scaling Up: Making the Minuscule Accessible

A lot of the life on our planet is very, very small. Most of our planet is made up of water. These two ideas are easily memorized, but not as easily grasped. Life in One Cubic Foot at the National Museum of Natural History looks at where these two facts intersect. Scientists placed biocubes, cubes …

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Aesthetic Problem Solving: What Does Smithsonian Exhibits Look Like?

With a new name comes a new logo. That sounds simple enough, but a lot more goes into thoughtful design than changing some typefaces and colors. Creating a logo —essentially a visual identity— is an unusual challenge. There are many considerations to keep in mind. We started brainstorming the sort of image we wanted to …

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