Philanthropy

A single-page, typed letter dated July 21, 2010 from David Rockefeller. It begins: "Philanthropists, at their best, try to address serious societal problems and occasionally come up with innovations that lead to enduring change. In the end, success requires much more than financial resources, although money is, of course, essential." It continues fora total of four paragraphs.
In March, David Rockefeller died at the extraordinary age of 101. He was one of the first signers of the Giving Pledge, a commitment by...
Two young girls look through the glass of a museum display to gaze at a blue bucket among other objects like a pair of boots or a bust of a man.
I don't like to dodge questions, but that's what I did when someone asked me which object is my favorite in the museum's new exhibition on...
Wooden box with hole in it for birds and wire mesh around opening. There are lichens growing on the top of it. A nail or screw is visible on one side.
If you had asked me to guess the first object I would add to the museum's new philanthropy collection, I never would have said a Virginia...
Portrait of a woman with short brown/black hair, black glasses, a grey top, a delicate necklace, and a nice smile.
"Congratulations! Say, what does a curator do anyway?" "Philanthropy? So, you're in development?" Over the past few months I've heard those...
An old woman, a young woman, a girl and a baby sitting in the living room of an 1860s home
Have you ever been to a bake sale? Or perhaps a craft fair or auction for charity? What about a raffle for charity with a beautiful quilt...
Museum case containing woman's gown, marble bust, nurse's cap, and small painting. Each item has a label.
America Participates is the museum's 2016 theme: But what does "participation" actually look like? We interviewed David Allison, director...
Illustration in black, grey, and brown of mother cradling one child in her skirt, among rubble, while the other holds his belly, probably hungry. (Detail)
April 6, 2016, marks the 99th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. Although the country would not be drawn into combat until...
 Printed portrait of Elizabeth Keckley included in her autobiography "Behind the Scenes"
This month, we've been exploring how American women made their place in the marketplace by participating in business and consumption....
Color print with image of a group of many men posing in a room with older gentlemen in middle along with a few women in six or seven children. The room has high ceilings and four windows along with a portrait. They are all wearing sashes and aprons that match.
How do you come to truly know someone? How do you know if they are who they claim to be?These questions were at the heart of a major shift...
Black and white illustration of woman with her hair in an up-do with flowers. Dress is off-the-shoulder style, short sleeved. Her hands are place peacefully one and top of the other.
Long before Hollywood actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn became iconic stars, popular female opera singers of the early...
Color illustration showing many tall, white tents, a stage with a speaker, an audience of men and women. In the left side of the image, a woman tends a kettle on a fire.
For many, "the Second Great Awakening" is one of those historical terms from a dusty textbook that sounds vaguely familiar, but the details...
Scan of citizenship document
After opening the new innovation floor of the west wing this summer, the museum is looking forward to the second floor, which will open in...
Khaki uniform with skirt and collared jacket. Large brown buttons and two breast pockets. Brown lace-up boots with small heel. Brown hate with ribbon around it.
I came back from my eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., with a Rosie the Riveter poster from the museum store here (not...
Photo of quilt panels
Americans have often banded together for the common good. That could mean marching on the National Mall to protest injustice or...
Case with objects inside
"In the United States associations are established to promote public order, commerce, industry, morality, and religion; for there is no end...
Hat with portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin's reputation for invention and inventiveness looms large in our national imagination: Franklin stoves, Poor Richard's...
With each new season, a new crop of interns comes to the National Museum of American History. Two museum supporters, Bette and Lindsey...
Photograph of the museum's exterior
The museum is excited to be opening its transformed first floor of the west wing this summer, including the Patrick F. Taylor...
Teachers look at historic books
We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of A. James Clark, the driving force behind Clark Construction Group, LLC. The story...