Interior of the Entertainment Nation exhibition

Entertainment Nation

On View 3 West Ray and Dagmar Dolby Hall of American Culture

Entertainment has the power to captivate, inspire and transform us. It brings us together. We share it when we spontaneously recite lines from a favorite movie, dance to the same groove or recreate a national sports moment on a neighborhood street. It can also spur critical conversations, expose divides, and foster important historical change.   

Through the National Museum of American History’s extraordinary collection of theater, music, sports, movie and television objects, the exhibition Entertainment Nation features a powerful, ever-changing selection of objects and interactive experiences. Through the objects and their stories, the exhibition will explore how, for over 150 years, entertainment has provided a forum for important national conversations about who we are, and who we want to be.  

No other museum can tell the story of the country’s common entertainment experiences like the National Museum of American History. The museum's collection of 1.8 million objects documents the careers of such influential figures as Selena, Roberto Clemente, Kristi Yamaguchi, Mia Hamm, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, and Muhammad Ali. Its Broadway, television, and film collections document productions such as Hamilton, Rent, The Handmaid's Tale, M*A*S*H, Sesame Street, Star Wars, and many more. Through online resources as well as exhibitions on the National Mall such as Entertainment Nation, the museum will continue its mission to engage audiences in new and expanding ways.

A Preview of Entertainment Nation

Watch this 3-minute video to learn more about the exhibition, the objects that will be featured, and the team behind the show.

Blog Posts

Visit the museum's blog to discover many more stories from the history of entertainment.

Press Releases and News

Support Our Work

Philanthropic support from members of the Council for American History is vital to producing new exhibitions, providing educational programming, and preserving American treasures. Members receive an array of exclusive membership benefits in appreciation of their generosity, including invitations to exhibition opening celebrations.

Join the Council today and receive an invitation to attend Entertainment Nation’s opening!

The Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous donors whose support made this exhibition possible.

The Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family

Tom and Karen Rutledge
The History Channel
Dr. Stephanie Bennett-Smith
American Cruise Lines
Linda and Mike Curb
Golden Globe Foundation
Barry and Wendy Meyer

Andrew and Anya Shiva
William Randolph Hearst Foundation
Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
Jane Henson Foundation
Vin and Erica Di Bona
Don and Maggie Buchwald
Kiki Ramos Gindler and David Gindler
Google Arts & Culture
Enrique and Alejandra Segura
Steve Tisch