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Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: May 2019

April 16, 2019

OPENING:

“Forgotten Workers: Chinese Immigrant Labor” and “The Transcontinental Railroad”
Opening May 10, Closing Spring 2020
“American Enterprise” exhibition
First Floor, West

Two displays — “Forgotten Workers: Chinese Immigrant Labor” and “The Transcontinental Railroad” — shed light on the labor that connected the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroad companies at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869. These Sesquicentennial displays tell the story of Chinese workers and provide a view to the complex history behind one of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects. Objects on view include a conical hat, a set of chopsticks and a miner’s pick.

In conjunction with these two displays, there will be a large graphic floor map allowing visitors to “walk” along the Transcontinental Railroad’s route and explore its impact. “Forgotten Workers” and “The Transcontinental Railroad” are a part of the larger Smithsonian-wide initiative to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the railroad’s completion. For more information, please visit: https://americanhistory.si.edu.


RELATED EVENTS:

Objects Out of Storage
May 10; Noon-1 p.m., 2-3 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West

In this two-part presentation, curatorial staff will bring out objects not currently on display. The noon hour will explores the history of Chinese food and restaurants in America with objects from museum’s Chinese food and restaurant collection dating from the 19th century to modern day. The second half will feature objects from the National Numismatics Collection that illuminate the culture and economy of Chinese migrants living in Canton and their experiences in the American west after immigrating to the U.S. in the mid-19th century.


Cooking Up History: Regional Chinese Cooking Along the Transcontinental Railroad
May 10; 1-2 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza Demonstration Kitchen
First Floor, West

Join guest chef Martin Yan and Smithsonian food historian Ashley Rose Young in this edition of “Cooking Up History,” to explore the kinds of foods Chinese laborers would have eaten while working on the railroad, as well as a discussion of Cantonese food culture’s lasting impact on American dining. A book signing with Chef Yan will follow the program. For more information, visit: http://americanhistory.si.edu/topics/food/pages/cooking-history.

“The Red Altar”
Performance by Eth-Noh-Tech
May 10; 4-5:30 p.m.
Presidential Reception Suite
First Floor

This performance by the San Francisco-based troupe Eth-No-Tech uses theater to tell traditional Chinese stories.


LEMELSON CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INVENTION AND INNOVATION EVENTS:

Innovative Lives: Merry Lynn Morris
May 1; 6 – 9 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West
Registration required:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/innovative-lives-merry-lynn-morris-tickets-58399514520

Merry Lynn Morris, MFA, PhD is a choreographer and dance educator who began exploring the area of integrated/inclusive dance in 2002. Morris’ personal interest and long-term awareness of needs of people with disabilities began with her experience caring for her father who had a disability. Morris — who has five U.S. patents — has developed collaborative projects with engineers to invent new mobility devices for use in and outside of dance.


Military Invention Day
May 18; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
First Floor, West

Examples of today’s leading-edge military inventions will be showcased at the third annual Military Invention Day. This daylong program demonstrates the crucial role of invention, explores technology transfer and entrepreneurship for military technology and gives visitors an opportunity to interact with diverse scientists, engineers and inventors. New additions to the program in 2019 will be workshops on entrepreneurship and intellectual property and a “Shark Tank”-themed stage demonstration of new technologies transitioning to the market. For more information, visit: https://invention.si.edu/military-invention-day-2019.


PERFORMANCES:

The Smithsonian Chamber Players
May 4 and 5; talk at 6:30 p.m., concert at 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Ticket purchase required:
https://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/landing/smithsonian-chamber-music-society

The Smithsonian Chamber Players — Marc Destrubé and Marilyn McDonald (violins), James Dunham (viola) and Kenneth Slowik (violoncello) — present J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue. For more information, visit: http://smithsonianchambermusic.org/.

The Smithsonian Chamber Players
May 11; talk at 6:30 p.m., concert at 7:30 p.m.
Nicholas and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
Third Floor, West
Ticket purchase required:
https://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/landing/smithsonian-chamber-music-society

The Smithsonian Chamber Players — Aisslinn Nosky (violin) and Kenneth Slowik (harpsichord and fortepiano) — present J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue. For more information, visit: http://smithsonianchambermusic.org/

HISTORY ALIVE! THEATER PROGRAMS

Women’s History Theater Programs
Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.;
Saturday at noon, 1 and 2 p.m.

"Justice Must be Done"
"Within These Walls" exhibition
Second Floor, West

Meet Lucy Caldwell at her Ipswich, Mass., home and attend an 1840 meeting of the Ipswich Female Anti-Slavery Society.

Votes for Women
Outside “American Democracy” exhibition
Second Floor, West

Meet a suffragist and learn about the fight for the 19th Amendment which granted most women the right to vote.

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.

DAILY PROGRAMS:

"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: https://americanhistory.si.edu/wonderplace.


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

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.

The activities of Spark!Lab change quarterly. For current Spark!Lab activities, visit http://invention.si.edu/current-sparklab-activities.

Museum ABCs
May 28; 11 a.m. – noon
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West

Museum ABCs is a drop-in program that introduces early learners, ages 0-6, and their adult companions to the museum collections through letter learning and hands-on activities. Join us for a story and craft activity centered on the “Magnificent Obsessions” exhibition. For more information, please visit: https://library.si.edu/event/museum-abcs.

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 http://americanhistory.si.edu/events.


ABOUT THE MUSEUM:

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 just 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 http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.