This Tuesday is about to become your favorite day of the week.
The 19 federally-funded museums of the Smithsonian Institution — the world's largest museum, education and research complex -- and the National Zoo are reopening and getting back to business on Tuesday, January 29 (Renwick Gallery, however, will reopen on Saturday, February 2).
Tourists, art lovers and history buffs will want to make up for lost time and check out these eight new (and new-ish) events and exhibits that were halted during the shutdown.
1. Smithsonian Year of Music 2019: 365 Days of Music
The Smithsonian Year of Music will feature “365 Days of Music at the Smithsonian” with a variety of music-related activities: performances, music releases, exhibitions, workshops, educational programs, lectures, films, and conferences. All performances are FREE. Let the music play!
2. Good as Gold
National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue, SW
In the cities of the West African nation of Senegal, stylish women often used jewelry as part of an overall strategy of exhibiting their elegance and prestige. Rooted in the Wolof concept of sanse (dressing up, looking and feeling good), Good as Gold examines the production, display, and circulation of gold in Senegal as it celebrates a significant gift of gold jewelry to the museum's collection.
3. John Lennon: The Green Album (Closes February 3, 2019)
National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
John Lennon’s boyhood stamp album—including 565 stamps on more than 150 pages -- are on display at the National Postal Museum, one of the underrated gems in the Smithsonian complex. The exhibition coincides with the U.S. Postal Service’s issuance of the John Lennon Forever stamp, honoring the legendary Beatles singer and songwriter. Lennon's older cousin, Stanley Parkes, inspired the future singer'ss interest in stamp collecting and gave him the album. Lennon continued to collect and trade stamps for several years after receiving this album. Lennon’s handwritten notes on the flyleaf indicate the album may have contained as many as 800 stamps at some point. Currently, the album contains 565 stamps. The exhibition will also feature previous USPS-issued stamps that are part of the Postal Service’s Music Icon Series.
4. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at 7th Street, SW
Three major installations from Lozano-Hemmer’s “Pulse” series and six public-art documentaries come together for the first time in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse, filling the museum’s entire second-floor galleries with evocative, immersive environments that use heart-rate sensors to create kinetic and audiovisual experiences from visitors’ own biometric data. Over the course of six months, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse will animate the vital signs of hundreds of thousands of participants in the Hirshhorn’s largest interactive technology exhibition to date.
5. Recent Acquisitions
National Portrait Gallery
8th and F Streets, NW
The Obama portraits are just two of several prized artworks acquired by the National Portrait Gallery during its 50th anniversary. As the Portrait Gallery turns the corner on a new decade of its legacy, the museum presents an exhibition of historic and contemporary works newly acquired for its growing collection. Subjects include Celia Cruz, Edwin Hubble, Helen Keller, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Louie Pérez, Maurice Sendak, George Walker, and Oprah Winfrey.
National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
This exhibit showcases artifacts from the museum’s collections that relate to Superheroes, including comic books, original comic art, movie and television costumes and props, and memorabilia. The display includes George Reeves’s Superman costume from the 1950s Adventures of Superman TV program, as well as Halle Berry’s Storm costume from the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past.
7. Ella's Books: Volumes from the Library of Ella Fitzgerald
National Museum of African American History and Culture
15th St. and Constitution Ave., NW
Note: Passes are not required for weekdays in January and February. Timed entry passes are required for Saturdays and Sundays and groups of 10 or more: s.si.edu/2bvCk29
Books that were once part of Ella Fitzgerald’s personal library are on display in the museum library’s exhibit case. Dubbed "The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella).
8. Portraits of the World: Korea
National Portrait Gallery
8th and F Streets, NW
Pioneering feminist artist Yun Suk Nam uses portraiture to gain insights into the lives of women, past and present. A wood assemblage portrait of her mother is the centerpiece of this exhibition, which includes portraits of American artists, such as Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, and Marisol. The exhibition highlights shared themes and artistic approaches that have activated women artists from different parts of the globe.
Which exhibit(s) do you want to check out? Which museum are you most excited to visit when it reopens? Share in the comments!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it