Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: November 2019


“Elephants and Us”
Opens Nov. 1
Small Documents Gallery
Second Floor, East

The exhibition “Elephants and Us: Considering Extinction” explores Americans’ relationship with elephants over time. Visitors will be able to consider the role of U.S. ivory consumption in the decline in elephant populations and the U.S. efforts to combat the species’ loss through legislation, conservation and scientific study.

Felicia Day and John Hurt Artifacts On View
Opens Nov. 14
New Acquisitions Cases
Third Floor, West

A costume worn by Felicia Day from the web series “The Guild” and a guitar from blues musician John Hurt will be displayed in the museum's popular culture New Acquisitions cases.


Singing Bindings with Smithsonian Libraries
Nov. 5; 6:30 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Some musical manuscripts were repurposed centuries ago as book bindings. This event will explore this practice with discussions on Gregorian chants and an original composition inspired by the bindings. Books with musical bindings will be on display.
Joe Bataan and Oliver Wang Dialogue
Nov. 5; Noon – 1 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West

Joe Bataan helped pioneer the Latin boogaloo genre of music in New York in the late 1960’s. Music journalist and author Oliver Wang will interview Bataan about his career through boogaloo, salsa, disco, and hip hop. This program is held in conjunction with the Smithsonian Year of Music.

The fifth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend takes place from Nov. 7-9 and will bring together food innovators, entrepreneurs, chefs, scholars and enthusiasts to engage with museum visitors around the theme “Power Through Food.” With a special focus on migrant and refugee women and organizations, the weekend will explore how their food-related enterprises are helping create sustainable livelihoods and stronger communities.
The Food History Weekend will encompass cooking demonstrations, hands-on learning, dynamic conversations, Smithsonian collections, a black-tie gala and beer history. For more information, please visit:
Smithsonian Food History Gala
Nov. 7
Ticketed event

Chef José Andrés will accept the Julia Child Award during this year’s gala. The black-tie event starts with a cocktail reception and is followed by a formal seated dinner. The menu will be designed by Chef José Andrés with the appropriate wine and beer pairings. Tickets are $500 and the event benefits the museum’s Food History Initiative. For more information, please visit:
Food History Festival
Nov. 8 – 9

The Food History Festival spans two days of hands-on activities, live demonstrations, talks and stories with a special focus on migrant and refugee women and organizations. Chefs, local organizations, experts, museum curators, entrepreneurs and more will be on hand to spark conversation, lead activities and dig into food history with museum visitors of all ages. Most activities are free but require complimentary tickets. For more information, please visit: Programs include:
Deep-dish Dialogues
Warner Bros. Theater
First Floor, Center
Free tickets required:
For more information, visit:
Note: Some events are oversubscribed
Culinary Game Changers and the Julia Child Award
Friday, Nov. 8; 10:30 a.m.

A conversation with Julia Child Award recipients, 2015–2019: Jacques Pépin, Rick Bayless, Danny Meyer, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.
Empowering Communities Through Food
Friday, Nov. 8; 1:30 p.m.

A conversation with Women Migrants, Refugees and Entrepreneurs: Manal Kahi, Daniela Hurtado Lourdes Gonzalez and Emily Lerman.
Saving Communities Through Food: A History
Saturday, Nov. 9; 10:30 a.m.
A Conversation about Women and Food Activism in American History with Jessica B. Harris, Crystal Moten and Tambra Raye Stevenson.
“Cooking Up History: Lavash: An Expression of Armenian Heritage”
Guest Chefs: Kate Leahy, John Lee, and Ara Zada
Nov. 8; 1 – 2 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza Demonstration Kitchen
First Floor, West

The authors of “Lavash: the Bread that Launched 1,000 Meals, Plus Salads, Stews, and Other Recipes from Armenia” will host a cooking demonstration in a partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The authors will be joined by a special guest host as they demonstrate how to make lavash and share stories from their fieldwork exploring Armenian culture. After the demonstration, the authors will sign copies of their book, which will be available for purchase on site. For more information, visit:
The Last Call: Brewing History After-Hours
Nov. 8; 6:30 p.m.
Warner Bros Theater and First Floor Lobby
First Floor, Center
Tickets required:
Brewing history curator Theresa McCulla will moderate a conversation among several key figures in the history of craft beer to reflect on beer’s past, present, and future. Participants: Fritz Maytag, former owner of Anchor Brewing Company; Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Charlie Papazian, past president of the Brewers Association and founder of the Association of Brewers; and Michael Lewis, professor emeritus at University of California, Davis.
Tickets are $45 for beer tastings, appetizers and a display of brewing history objects out of storage, including recent acquisitions. For more information, please visit:


The Axelrod String Quartet
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society
Nov. 2 and 3; talk at 6:30 p.m.; concert at 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Ticket purchase required:
The Axelrod String Quartet—Marc Destrubé, Marilyn McDonald, violins; James Dunham, viola; Kenneth Slowik, violoncello—will perform Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in F-sharp Minor; Dmitri Shostakovich's third string quartet, Op. 73 in F Major and Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat Major, K614 with special guest Steven Dann, violin. For more information, please visit:
The Smithsonian Chamber Players
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society
Nov. 16 and 17; talk at 6:30 p.m.; concert at 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Ticket purchase required:
The Smithsonian Chamber Players—Aaron Sheehan, tenor; Catherine Manson, violin; Eric Hoeprich, clarinet; William Purvis, horn; Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano—will perform Franz Schubert’s Sonata in A Minor, “Auf dem Strom,” Sonata in A Major and “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen.” For more information, please visit:
History Alive! Theater Programs
Daily theater programs for visitors are free of charge with no tickets needed. Visitors should check with the Welcome desks for the daily schedule.
Women’s History Theater Programs are part of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, #BecauseofHerStory
Justice Must be Done
"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
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
Second Floor, West

Join a Silent Sentinel Suffragist on her way to the 1917 White House protests.
Join the Student Sit-Ins
Saturdays Nov. 9-30, Thanksgiving Day and Nov. 29; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Unity Square
Second Floor, West

Centered on the Greensboro Lunch Counter display, this program trains visitors in the practice of nonviolent direct action.
Sundays Nov. 3-24 and Veterans’ Day; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Third Floor, West

Sing along with “ring shouts”— which originated from 19th century enslaved African Americans—and inspired new forms of religious and secular music.
"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