Places of Invention

Bring your questions and curiosity to #AskACurator Day 2015

The global online Q&A session between museum staff members and the public known as Ask a Curator Day took place on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. How did it work? Folks tweeted us a question and included the #AskACurator hashtag. 

Director John Gray shares the joyful moments and lessons learned in opening a new wing

Now that the first floor of our West Wing is open, I was curious what the head of our museum, Elizabeth MacMillan Director John Gray, thought about the big opening, this summer's focus on innovation, and what's next for the museum.

The sazón in hip-hop

A slow disco melody spins on the turntable, interrupted by the metallic sound of symbols. Right after that, the running sounds of bongo beats — that Latin spice, or sazón, if you will — become the undergoing rhythm to the introduction of the Cold Crush Brothers as they take on the Fantastic Five at Harlem World, the music venue that housed the earliest MC battles on the corner of 116th and Lennox Ave.

"Clap your hands everybody, everybody clap your hands… Is it us? You know it's us. The Cold Crush. You know it's us."

What made Nashville into Music City?

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation's Places of Invention explores what happens when the right mix of inventive people, untapped resources, and inspiring surroundings come together to spark invention. In the exhibition, we take a close look at the Bronx, birthplace of hip-hop—but that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring inventive places around the country.

“Places of Invention” Explores Invention Hotspots Throughout American History

“Places of Invention,” the latest exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, opens at the National Museum of American History July 1. It examines six American invention hotspots across the country and throughout history, asking “Why here? Why now?”

Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation Multimedia Press Kit

The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation will open its first permanent public home—the Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation—at the National Museum of American History July 1. The Hall will feature “Places of Invention,” a signature 3,500 square-foot exhibition examining hotspots of invention throughout history; Draper Spark!Lab, a hands-on space for children aged 6 to 12; and “Inventive Minds,” a small gallery that will introduce the work of the Lemelson Center.

Grand Opening Week: Innovation Wing July 1 - 5 Calendar of Events

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is transforming how its audiences will experience history beginning July 1 when it opens exhibitions, learning places and programming spaces all centered on the theme of innovation. The first floor of the museum’s West Wing will open with 45,000-square-feet featuring exhibitions that explore the history of American business, showcase “hot spots” of invention and put the spotlight on the National Numismatic Collection.

Connecting objects with place: 5 stories of innovation from "Object Project"

The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project is a new interactive learning space opening on July 1. Here, we're highlighting five objects that will be on display—all of which have unique stories tying them to the places where they were invented. Because of certain resources, innovators, and geographical characteristics, these objects came to exist at specific times and places.

National Museum of American History Innovates with West Exhibition Wing

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History plans to transform how its audiences experience history by creating a multiplex of exhibition galleries, experiential programs and performance spaces and an education center within a 120,000-square-foot wing of its 50-year-old McKim, Mead and White designed building.
The wing’s first floor will open July 1, 2015, with the second and third floors opening in 2016 and 2017.

Smithsonian Highlights Innovative Communities across America

The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation announces six new grants, doubling participation in its groundbreaking collaborative exhibition project, “Places of Invention,” set to open at the National Museum of American History in 2015.