Calendar of Events - August 2016

August 1, 2016

Editor’s Note: All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Visitors should be prepared for a security check upon entrance to the museum. Program attendees should arrive 30 minutes in advance. The museum will operate extended hours throughout the summer, staying open until 7:30 p.m. Exceptions apply; visit

Food History

FOOD in the Garden: Gardens & Community
Victory Garden at the corner of 12th Street and Constitution Ave. NW
Wednesday, Aug. 10; 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Join the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Gardens for an evening of tastes, talks and tours in the Victory Garden! From parks, to victory gardens and community plots, green spaces have offered not only beautiful and calming spaces but also a place for civic engagement. Join researchers and historians to take a look at how gardens and public green spaces have brought people together to build community, learn and heal throughout American history.

* Tickets $40 each:;
   Each ticket includes two drinks and a plate of garden fresh food.

Cooking Up History: Julia Child in the 1970s
Friday, Aug. 12; 2 p.m.

Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, Demonstration Kitchen
First Floor
For more information, visit:

In August, “Cooking Up History” will celebrate what would have been Julia Child’s 104th birthday with Sur La Table chef Lynne Just. The program will take a look at the recipes, ingredients and culinary traditions Child explored after she finished the second volume of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 1970 as well as the aftermath of the book’s success and her growing television career.

“Cooking Up History” showcases a guest chef and a Smithsonian host preparing a recipe while discussing its ingredients, culinary techniques and history. After a 45-minute demonstration, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a dish inspired by the demonstration in the museum’s Stars & Stripes Cafe.

Ask A Farmer
Wednesday, Aug. 5; 12 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, First Floor

Since the opening of the Innovation wing a year ago, Ask A Farmer has brought farmers from across the country into the museum through video chats in real time. On August 5, the museum will host a special group session with farmers whose land and farms have been in their family for generations about history, agriculture, and the future.

Objects Out of Storage

Places of Invention: Fort Collins, Colo.
Wednesday, Aug. 3; Noon – 1 p.m.
Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation, First Floor

The Places of Invention exhibition takes visitors on a journey through time and place across America to discover the stories of people who lived, worked, played, collaborated, adapted, took risks, solved problems and sometimes failed in the pursuit of something new. One of the stories and communities featured in the exhibition is clean energy inventions in Fort Collins, Colo. Curators will show off related objects from the national collections not ordinarily on display.

Back to School Objects – Dr. Richard Lodish American School Collection
Wednesday, Aug. 3; 1 – 3 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, First Floor

The “Dr. Richard Lodish American School Collection,” was donated to the museum in 2015 and includes education artifacts Dr. Lodish began purchasing in 1966 such as two 18th-century hornbooks that were used as teaching aids; a set of tuition cards for black students attending school in the Jim Crow South; geography samplers produced in 19th-century women’s academies; an early set of kindergarten materials by Milton Bradley; an original printing plate for a McGuffey Reader and corresponding reader; and a math toy known as “Consul, the Calculating Monkey.” Curators will show off objects from the collection not ordinarily on display.

Book Talk and Signing

A Treasury of Great Recipes
Thursday, Aug. 4; 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, First Floor

Victoria Price, daughter of horror film icon and food connoisseur Vincent Price, will speak about the legacy of “A Treasury of Great Recipes,” the beloved celebrity cookbook authored by Mary and Vincent Price that chronicles restaurants and recipes from around the world. Price will sign copies of the 50th anniversary edition, available for purchase, following the talk.

Featured Event

Hong Kong Film Festival
Saturday, Aug. 6; 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 7; 2 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor

The museum will co-host film screenings and discussions with the Hong Kong Film Festival. The festival showcases classic and recent films out of Hong Kong including comedies, dramas and low-budget science fiction.

  • Saturday, Aug. 6; 1 p.m. – “The Blade”
    “The Blade,” is Tsui Hark’s tribute to the martial arts films of his youth; a reimagining of director Chang Cheh’s 1967 landmark “The One-Armed Swordsman.”
  • Saturday, Aug. 6; 3:30 p.m. – “A Terra-Cotta Warrior”
    Inspired by various filmmakers from Kurosawa to Spielberg, “A Terra-Cotta Warrior” is a fantasy film two and a half years in the making.
  • Sunday, Aug. 7; 2 p.m. – “The Red Wolf”
    As the first African American to be inducted into the Hong Kong Stuntman’s Association, Bobby Samuels has worked with some of Hong Kong’s biggest movie stars. Join him to close out the festival with a screening and discussion of one of his films, the action film, “The Red Wolf.”

Smithsonian Sleepovers

Smithsonian Sleepovers at American History
Friday, Aug. 5; 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 12; 7 p.m.
Presidential Reception Suite, First Floor
Tickets Required: For more information, visit:

This Smithsonian Associates program invites children ages 8 to 12 and their grown-up companions to take part in a night that features tours, games, crafts, a film and more. For more information, call (202) 633-3030. 

About the Museum

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is continuing to renovate its west exhibition wing, developing galleries on democracy, immigration and migration and culture. For more information, visit The museum is located on Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th streets N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

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