Original: Arctic explorer Emil Bessels models a hooded fur coat acquired during a polar expedition. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Acc. 11-007, Image No. MNH-1122A.

Color our Collections

Grab your colored pencils. It’s National Color Day!

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
               —Maya Angelou

Hey everyone, it's National Color Day—a day to appreciate the natural colors of the world and their effect on us. Fun fact, in 1988, the American Psychological Association published an article called "The Dark Side of Self and Social Perception: Black Uniforms and Aggression in Professional Sports," which found that sports teams who wear black tend to get penalized more than those who don't. My favorite hockey team was one of the teams mentioned in the survey, although their black jersey is an alternate. Still, I can verify that all calls made against them when they wear the black jerseys are, in fact, soft.

Unfortunately, a lot of the collection items on our site are decidedly not colorful. It's a drawback of having photos from before the widespread use of color photography. So I did the only reasonable thing, I downloaded a bunch of our CC0, part of the Smithsonian Open Access portal, images and turned them into coloring pages. Feel free to print them out and add a little color to the world. Just don't forget to share them with us!

Black and white sketch of an old, large building.

Download the Old Executive Office Building page here.

People in armour stand around a central figure. A frame is around the tapestry.

Download the Alexander the Great tapestry page here.

Cougar with dots in the background.

Download the cougar page here.

Kangaroo with smaller kangaroos in the background.

Download the kangaroo page here.

Scene of the cherry blossom trees with the Washington Monument in the background.

Download the cherry blossom page here.

Balistoid sketch with vertical stripes in the background.

Download the fish sketch page here.

Five sketches of bird heads.

Download the bird head pages drawings page here.

Bird with vertical zigzag drawings horizontal stripes in the background.

Download the bird drawing page drawings page here.

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