Calendar of Events Fall 2015

August 27, 2015

Editor’s Note: All listings are subject to change. Programs are free unless otherwise noted.
For a complete schedule of activities, check https://americanhistory.si.edu

September

Opening Displays

Science Under Glass
Sept. 11, 2015 – Sept. 11, 2016
History Highlights Case, First Floor


The unique properties of glass - transparency, heat resistance, non-reactivity and malleability -- make it an essential material in the laboratory. A selection from the museum’s collection of more than 1,000 scientific glassware pieces, from the 1770s to the 1970s, reveals the underlying story of the eventual development of the domestic glass industry and laboratory science in America.

Art Pottery and Glass in America, 1880s-1920s
Oct. 2, 2015 – April 24, 2017

History Highlights Case, First Floor

American potters and glassmakers were at the forefront of producing decorative wares that appealed to the growing market for Arts and Crafts design, popular between 1880 and 1910. This display will highlight the design movement that embraced the ideals of superior craftsmanship, naturalistic ornamentation and living with beauty in the home. Among the manufacturers featured are the Steuben Glass Works, Phoenix Glass Company, Rookwood Pottery, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, Biloxi Art Pottery, Paul Revere Pottery and Matt Morgan Art Pottery.

Closing Displays

A Room of Her Own: My Mothers Altar, an installation by Sandra Cisneros
Closes Sept. 7
American Stories Exhibition, Second Floor, East Wing

Acclaimed author Sandra Cisneros created an installation in the tradition of Dia de Muertos to honor her mother, Elvira Cordero Cisneros.

Featured Events

Impact Inventing Showcase
Saturday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. 2 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, First Floor

Three 35-45 minute sessions will feature two inventors and a curator from the National Museum of American History on a specific theme. Each inventor will show and explain their invention and then join a curator in a conversation that will highlight the theme of impact inventing and explore the invention process and the impact of the inventions. A brief Q&A period will round out each session.

  • 11 a.m.: “Enhancing Personal Mobility” explores advances in prosthetics and wheelchairs
  • Noon: “Fulfilling Basic Human Needs” focuses on sustainable, environmentally-responsible inventions for cooking, clean water, and energy
  • 1 p.m.: “Saving Lives” highlights cutting-edge rescue technology

Innovation Festival
Saturday, Sept. 26, Sunday, Sept. 27; 10 a.m. 5 p.m.
First Floor, Innovation Wing

Join the National Museum of American History and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a weekend of Innovation! The museum’s new Innovation Wing will be animated by special programming exploring how today’s inventors are creating the world of the future with 13 participating companies, universities, government agencies and independent inventors. Learn about the patent and intellectual property systems and how they support invention and innovation through hands-on activities, expert talks and demonstrations. Meet and exchange ideas with inventors and innovators from NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Mars, Incorporated, while exploring your own creative abilities. Activities for all ages.

Food History

FOOD in the Garden: How Does Your Garden Grow?
National Museum of American History
Victory Garden at the corner of 12th Street and Constitution Ave. NW

Sept. 17; 6 – 8 p.m.

What do the kitchen gardens of our founding father, Victory gardens of WWII and edible rooftops have in common? Good design of course. From soil to sun, how do plant needs, space and aesthetics influence the design of a garden? Join a conversation with historic and modern garden designers on the past, present and future of edible garden design and gather inspiration for your own unique space.

* Tickets $40 each: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=21156&pid=8062138 
   Each ticket includes two drinks and a plate of garden fresh food.

Book Signings

An American Family in World War II by Sandra O’Connell
Saturday, Sept. 5; Noon – 5 p.m.
Mall Store, Second Floor

Author Sandra O’Connell signs copies of “An American Family in World War II,” which uses the correspondence between Ralph Lee Minker Jr., a U.S. Army Airman in 1943, and his parents and two teenage sisters to tell the riveting story of life in America during World War II.

The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobson
Friday, Sept. 25; 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Mall Store, Second Floor

Author Annie Jacobsen signs copies of “The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency,” which draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents and declassified memos to paint a picture of the Defense Department’s most secret, most powerful and most controversial military science R&D agency.

October
 

Opening Displays

Hart-Celler Act
Oct. 2, 2015 – Oct. 2016

“Of Note” Case, Second Floor, Artifact Walls

The Hart-Celler Act had far-reaching effects upon immigration to the United States by opening the possibility of coming to this nation for many people from around the world. Passage of the Act in 1965 was a water-shed event in configuring contemporary America--through the significant demographic shifts and cultural changes that resulted from it. The display marks the 50th anniversary of the Act and among the selection of Latino-related artifacts are a child’s purse brought from Cuba in the early 1960s by a girl who immigrated with her parents and a child’s shirt worn by a Cuban boy who was part of the Operation Pedro Pan that brought minors to the U.S. after Fidel Castro came to power; a United Farm Workers pin; and a 1960s record album by the first meringue band, “Primitivo y Su Combo” to release a U.S. recording marketed to immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

Art Pottery and Glass in America, 1880s-1920s
Oct. 2, 2015 – April 24, 2017
History Highlights Case, First Floor

American potters and glassmakers were at the forefront of producing decorative wares that appealed to the growing market for Arts and Crafts design, popular between 1880 and 1910. This display will highlight the design movement that embraced the ideals of superior craftsmanship, naturalistic ornamentation and living with beauty in the home. Among the manufacturers featured are the Steuben Glass Works, Phoenix Glass Company, Rookwood Pottery, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, Biloxi Art Pottery, Paul Revere Pottery and Matt Morgan Art Pottery.

Closing Displays

Mr. Wizard
Archives Center
Closes Oct. 2

The museum’s Archives Center shows highlights from its collections in its three showcases. This display centers on “Mr. Wizard” showing a selection of personal papers, files and other items belonging to the late Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard).

Hispanic Heritage Month

What it Means to be American
How Did the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act Change America?
Thursday, Oct. 1
6:30 p.m., Warner Bros. Theater

Fifty years after passage, join in a discussion about the impact the Hart-Celler Act had on immigration – it eased the way for many but also put up unintended barriers and sparked new debates. Admission is free but ticketed. Reservations may be made at www.whatitmeanstobeamerican.org/events as programs are published. The program is part of the museum’s “What it Means to be American” series which is a national conversation outreach project in partnership with Zócalo Public Square.

Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues
Thursday, Oct. 15

6 p.m., Warner Bros. Theater

This panel discussion on “Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues” will serve as the kick-off program towards a national collecting initiative by the National Museum of American History. Moderated by Eduardo Diaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, the panel will discuss baseball as a social and cultural force within Latino communities across the nation. Participants include Adrian Burgos (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign), Jose Alamillo (California State University Channel Islands), Cesar Caballero (California State University San Bernardino), Sarah Gould (Institute of Texan Cultures at the University of Texas San Antonio), and Priscilla Leiva (University of Texas Austin). More information on the project is available at:  https://americanhistory.si.edu/latinos-and-baseball This project is made possible through funding from the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Food History at the National Museum of American History

FOOD in the Garden: How Does Your Garden Grow?
Victory Garden at the corner of 12th Street and Constitution Ave. NW, Ticket purchase required
Sept. 17; 6 – 8 p.m.

What do the kitchen gardens of our founding father, Victory gardens of WWII and edible rooftops have in common? Good design of course. From soil to sun, how do plant needs, space and aesthetics influence the design of a garden? Join a conversation with historic and modern garden designers on the past, present and future of edible garden design and gather inspiration for your own unique space.

* Tickets $40 each: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=21156&pid=8062138;

    Each ticket includes two drinks and a plate of garden fresh food.

Food History Weekend
Thursday Oct. 22-Saturday Oct. 24

Museum-wide

The Smithsonian Food History Weekend, a cornerstone of the museum’s American Food History Project, will gather culinary leaders, researchers, practitioners and scholars every fall to inspire visitors with culinary demonstrations, hands-on learning opportunities, tastings, roundtable discussions and more. Schedule this year to run Oct. 22 and 24, the program will include distinct events spread over the course of the weekend to present opportunities to participate, explore and eat. More information is available at: bit.ly/FoodWeekend.

The Food History Roundtables, Friday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., are free and open to the public and will bring leading researchers, practitioners and thinkers together to address big issues around food and innovation in America. Topics include “Innovation and Food: Beyond What’s New,” “Growing Innovations,” “Innovation and the Business of Food” and “Innovation on the Plate.” More information is available at: bit.ly/FoodRoundtable.

The Food History Festival, Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will present a full day of free activities for visitors of all ages that will spark conversations about the past, present and future of food innovations in America. Activities will include live cooking demonstrations, modern and historic agriculture vehicles on display, film screenings, curator-led exhibition tours, hands-on learning activities, rarely-exhibited objects on display and tours of the Victory Garden.

Brewing up Innovation: After Hours at the Food History Weekend, Saturday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m., is a ticketed event that is part of the popular American History After Hours series. Guests may enjoy a pint and explore how brewing in the U. S. has evolved over time. Purchase tickets here: bit.ly/BrewInnovation.

Performances

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra: “Afro-Cuban Jazz: Back in Full Swing”
Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17; 7:30 pm

Ticket purchase required: http://bit.ly/SJMOtickets

National Museum of American History, Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza

With the improved international relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, the SJMO will present two concerts commemorating this unique musical bond. The concert will feature music of pioneering musicians in Latin Jazz, including Chano Pozo, Mario Bauza, Machito, and many other influential composers and performers of this unique blend of American and Cuban music.

Book Signings

Jacques Pepin: Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin
Thursday, Oct. 22; 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

First Floor, West Wing

Author and celebrity chef, Jacques Pepin signs copies of “Heart & Soul in the Kitchen,” which draws from his childhood and family table, travels, and reminiscences to reveal the unorthodox philosophy of the man who taught millions how to cook. There are simple meals, elegant dinners for small gatherings and dishes for backyard parties. Interspersed are essays on wine, eggs, gardening, and cooking with friends and family.

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Friday, Oct. 23; 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
First Floor, West Wing

Author J. Kenji Lopez-Alt signs copies of “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science,” focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new―but simple―techniques.

The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets and Fire & Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking by Darra Goldstein
Friday, Oct. 23; 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
First Floor, West Wing

Author Darra Goldstein signs copies of “The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets” which explores why sugar and sweets feature so prominently in our culture and “Fire & Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking,” which illustrates the diverse flavors of classic Nordic cooking and have been tailored for home cooks of all abilities.

November
 

Opening Display

Frank Sinatra: The Centennial of an American Icon
Artifact Walls, First Floor

Nov. 20, 2015 – March 2016

The National Museum of American History will mark the centennial of one of the giants of the entertainment world, Frank Sinatra (1915-98), with a display focused on his popular music, jazz and motion picture career. This display will showcase Sinatra’s contributions to America’s songbook and film history through photographic portraits by Herman Leonard and archival photos from Director George Sidney’s collection, sheet music, album covers and posters. The key artifacts illustrating Sinatra’s career include the trench coat worn by him in the 1957 movie Pal Joey and bow ties made by his first wife, Nancy, to throw to fans at concerts.

Wolverine Costume and C-3PO
Nov. 23, 2015 – Feb. 2016
American Stories Exhibition, Second Floor, East Wing

The Wolverine costume and claws worn by actor Hugh Jackman in the X-Men film series and the
C-3PO costume worn by actor Anthony Daniels in “Return of the Jedi” will go on view within the “American Stories” exhibition.

Closing Display

Don Draper’s Suit and Hat
Closes Nov. 23
“American Stories” Exhibition, Second Floor East Wing

The suit and hat worn by actor Jon Hamm in the series “Mad Men” will come off view.

Featured Event

History Film Forum
Thursday, Nov. 19
Sunday, Nov. 22
Warner Bros. Theater

The History Film Forum is an inaugural four-day exploration of history on the screen. A collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Forum brings together filmmakers, historians, audience members, and political leaders to examine the state of both narrative and documentary history film as vehicles for teaching and interpreting history. For a complete list of films and talks go to: https://americanhistory.si.edu/events/history-film-forum

Food History at the National Museum of American History

American History (After Hours): Science Under Glass
Wednesday, Nov. 11; 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
Tickets required: visit
bit.ly/historyPM

What impact has glass made on scientific and culinary discoveries in America? Join us for demonstrations, cocktails and innovative food that all benefit from the art and science of glass. This program is held in conjunction with a new display, “Science Under Glass.”

Performances

The Axelrod String Quartet
Saturday, Nov. 7, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015; 7:30 p.m.
Hall of Music
Tickets required: visit www.residentassociates.org

The Axelrod Quartet — Marc Destrubé (violin), Marilyn McDonald (violin), James Dunham (viola), Kenneth Slowik (violoncello) — with Deborah Dunham (double bass) — presents Haydn: Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1, Dvořák: Quartet in D Minor, Op. 34, Dvořák: String Quintet in G Major, Op. 77.

December

Featured Event

Smithsonian Holiday Festival
Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6

National Museum of American History

Get in the holiday spirit with free festive musical performances, book signings, crafts, special foods and more. Complimentary gift-wrapping will be available at the National Museum of American History. The free Circulator bus will transport visitors to the other festivities around the National Mall.

Closing Display

Lego American Flag
Closes Dec. 31
First Floor, Center

As part of the Innovation Wing's opening day celebration, Lego Master Builders, with assistance from musuem visitors, used their imagination and ingenuity to create the largest United States flag ever constructed of Lego bricks.

EV1 Electric Car
Closes Dec. 31

First Floor, Center

The EV1, by General Motors, was the first modern electric car developed for commercial use.

Food History at the National Museum of American History

American History (After Hours): From Bean to Bar – The History of Chocolate in America
Thursday, Dec. 3; 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza, First Floor
Tickets required: visit
bit.ly/historyPM

Explore chocolate’s global roots while enjoying a chocolate tasting, recipes and drinks.

Performances

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Sinatra: His Way
Friday, Dec. 4; 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Tickets Required: $25-$40, visit http://bit.ly/SJMOtickets

Just in time for the holidays, the SJMO will feature the songbook of the legendary icon, Frank Sinatra (1915-98), with “nothing but the best” for his centennial. Often referred to as “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” Sinatra possessed an undeniably rich voice and stylistic approach that easily reached the heart, soul and conscience of the world. Equally at home on the concert stage or in front of a movie camera, Sinatra amassed a wealth of creative works. This concert will coincide with the museum’s holiday festival as well as a companion exhibition on Sinatra.

Masterworks of Four Centuries
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015; 7:30 p.m.
Pre-concert lecture; 6:30 p.m.

Hall of Music, Third Floor
Tickets Required: visit www.residentassociates.org

The Smithsonian Chamber Players — Robert Mealy (violin) and Kenneth Slowik (harpsichord) — present J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach: Sonatas for violin and harpsichord.

About the Museum

The National Museum of American History explores the richness and complexity of American history through its collections and research. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th Street, N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). To learn more about the museum, check https://americanhistory.si.edu. Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.