Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: January 2020


Everyday Luxury: Silk Quilts from the National Collection
Closes Jan. 20
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Gallery
Second Floor, West

On view are rarely seen late 19th-century silk quilts from the museum’s collection. These textiles tell a little-known story about American industry, art, fads and marketing. The quilts were made to be seen rather than slept under and were sometimes called “parlor throws.”

American Stories
Closes Jan. 1
Second Floor, East

This exhibition offers a chronological look at the people, inventions, issues and events that shape the American story. “American Stories” showcases more than 100 historic and cultural touchstones of American history from the museum's vast holdings.


The Smithsonian Consort of Viols
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society
Jan. 4 and 5; 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Purchase tickets here:
The Smithsonian Consort of Viols—Kenneth Slowik, Lucine Musaelian, Zoe Weiss, Catherine Slowik, Arnie Tanimoto, Chelsea Bernstein, viols; Thomas MacCracken, viol & organ—will perform “In Nomine,” a program sampling a melody used by nearly 60 composers from Elizabethan times though 1680. For more information, visit:
The Axelrod String Quartet
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society
Jan. 25 and 26; 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Purchase tickets here:
The Axelrod Strong Quartet—Marc Destrubé & Marilyn McDonald, violins; James Dunham, viola; Kenneth Slowik, violoncello—will perform Joseph Hayden’s Op. 50 “The Frog,” the second of Benjamin Britten’s three quartets and the first of Beethoven’s three “Razumovsky” quartets. For more information, visit:

History Alive! Theater Programs

Justice Must be Done
Thursdays; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
"Within These Walls" exhibition
Second Floor, West
Attend an 1840 meeting of the Ipswich Female Anti-Slavery Society in abolitionist Lucy Caldwell’s Ipswich, Massachusetts home.
Meet the Wheelwoman
Fridays; Noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
First Floor, West
Meet wheelwoman Louise Gibson as she takes her bicycle on a journey to discover opportunities for women in the 1890s.
Votes for Women
Saturdays; Noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
Second Floor, West
Join a Silent Sentinel Suffragist on her way to the 1917 White House protests.


"Wegmans Wonderplace"
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West

The museum’s early learning gallery for children 0–6 connects important themes of the museum’s collections with children’s play and learning. Wonderplace provides young children with open-ended play opportunities that allow them to explore and learn at their own pace and interest level. For more information, please visit:

"Draper Spark!Lab"
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West

Draper Spark!Lab reveals the real story behind inventors’ work through hands-on activities infused with historical content that help kids ages 6-12 explore the history and process of invention. Hosted by the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Spark!Lab’s interdisciplinary activities appeal to varied learning styles and abilities and combine traditional STEM with art and creativity. For more details about current Spark!Lab activities, please visit

Interactive Carts
Daily; 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Throughout museum

Interactive carts throughout the Museum allow visitors to interact with history and learn more about our collections. Carts are available most days; daily schedules are available at the museum's Welcome Center on the second floor and the Information Desk on the first floor. More information on daily programs and events is available at


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 located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

Media only:
Rebecca Seel
(202) 633-3129
Valeska Hilbig
(202) 633-3129