Calendar of Exhibitions and Events National Museum of American History April 2020

March 9, 2020

Effective March 14, the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., including the National Zoo, and in New York City have temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The Smithsonian's priority is to protect the safety and health of its staff, volunteers, and visitors.
Please visit for updates on our operating status.


“The Muppets Take American History”
Opens April 1; Ongoing
“Value of Money” and “First Ladies” exhibitions
First Floor, West and Third Floor, Center

In this series of special pop-up displays, Muppets from the collection will be appearing in various museum exhibitions. Miss Piggy will debut within “The First Ladies” and Count von Count in “The Value of Money.” Muppets and locations will change two to three times per year.
“The Only One in the Room”
New Perspectives Case
“American Enterprise” exhibition
Opens April 16; Closes March 2021
First Floor, West

The “Only One in the Room” New Perspectives case in the “American Enterprise” exhibition will illuminate eight businesswomen and entrepreneurs who broke through tremendous barriers in their industries to create, innovate and provide an opening for others to follow. This case offers an opportunity to explore the trials, triumphs and contexts of women such as Maggie Lena Walker, the first African American woman bank president; Lillian Vernon, founder of a major mail-order business; Sara Sunshine, part of the first wave of Hispanic advertising executives in the early 1960s; beauty innovator Rea Ann Silva and geneticist Mary Dell Chilton, who battled sexism in science. TV cooking pioneer Lena Richard; Rebecca Lukens, who made a success of a failing family business and Myrtle Tillie Ehrlich Weisberg Lewis, who developed one of the first diet food brands, are also featured. Each will be represented by one image and one artifact with additional information on a digital reader.
POSTPONED: “Cooking Up History: Melissa Clark’s Instant Pot Secrets”
Guest Chef: Melissa Clark
April 3; 1 p.m.
Wallace H Coulter Plaza Performance Kitchen
First Floor, West
Join New York Times food writer Melissa Clark and Smithsonian Food Historian Ashley Rose Young as they examine key kitchen technologies and culinary techniques using the Insta Pot that have made the home cook’s life easier. After the demonstration, Clark will sign copies of her cookbooks, which will be available for purchase on site. For more information, visit:

POSTPONED: “Innovative Lives: The Quickie Wheelchair Inventor”
April 1; 6 p.m.
Wallace H Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West
Registration required:
Join the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation for April's Innovative Lives program, which features Marilyn Hamilton, the creator of the Quickie Wheelchair. Registration is required for the free event, visit for more information.
CANCELLED: Jazz Appreciation Month
April 1-30
The museum celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) in April through events in the museum, partnered events around the world and the distribution of the annual JAM poster. Visit for more information.
POSTPONED: The Axelrod Quartet
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society
April 18 and 19; 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Purchase tickets here:
The Axelrod Quartet—Kenneth Slowik, harpsichord and fortepiano, and Mark Destrube, violin—will perform J. S. Bach's Partita in G Major and Sonata in C Minor, Joseph Haydn's Sonata in E Minor and the Mozart Sonata in D Major.

POSTPONED: History Alive! Theater Programs

The museum offers theater programs for visitors on a revolving schedule. Visitors should check with the Welcome desks or online for the schedule. For more information, visit:
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
Select 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.