Engaging Smithsonian objects through science, history, and the arts

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.


  • How do we come to know the world around us? What about worlds apart from our own--outer space, distant cultures, or even long-past eras of history? Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts explores these questions and suggests an answer: we come to know our world and worlds apart through the objects that represent them.
  • Contents: Material Matters: Ways of Knowing Museum Objects, Mary Jo Arnoldi; James Smithson's Crypt: Smithson's Crypt and the Search for a Proper Memorial, Richard E. Stamm; James Smithson's Remains: A Biological Perspective, David R. Hunt; Thomas Wilfred's Opus 152, "Study in Depth": An Artist's Experiment with Lighting Viewed by a Historian of Technology, Bernard Finn; Silent Visual Music: Thomas Wilfred's Opus 152, "Study in Depth," Judith Zilczer; A Not So "Gentle" History: Violent Explosions at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, Richard S. Fiske; Objectifying Pele as Performance, Material Culture, and Cultural Landscape, Adrienne L. Kaeppler; How to Identify a Stradivaris Stringed Instrument, Gary Sturm and Bruno Frohlich; Violins from the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and Private Collection: A Pilot Comparative Study, Bruno Frohlich and Gary Sturm;
  • The Huey 65-10126 Helicopter: Steed for the "Sky Calvary," Roger Connor; Huey 65-10126: A Curator's Journey of Discovery, Peter Jakab; A Central African Throwing Knife: A Throwing Knife through Production and Use, S. Terry Childs; A Throwing Knife in Motion: The Journey from the Congo to the Smithsonian, Mary Jo Arnoldi; The Iron Lung: The Iron Lung in History and Cultural Memory, Katherine Ott; Whatever Happened to the Iron Lung?: Visitor Memories of an Iconic Medical Object, Matthew A. White; Augustus Washington's Portrait of John Brown Augustus Washington: Daguerreotypist of John Brown, Ann Shumard; In the Service of Abolitionism: Augustus Washington's Daguerreotype Portrait of John Brown, Frank H. Goodyear III; The 'Sole' Survivors: The Smithsonian's Ruby Slippers, Dwight Blocker Bowers; The Amazing Ruby Slippers and Their Magical Travels, Ellen Roney Hughes; Collecting a National Tragedy: The National Museum of American History and September 11, James B. Gardner; A Moment in Time: September 11, 2001: Relevance of the Smithsonian Human Skeleton Collections, Marilyn R. London.


  • Jakab, Peter L
  • Zilczer, Judith
  • Shumard, Ann M
  • Stamm, Richard E
  • Hunt, David
  • Kaeppler, Adrienne Lois
  • Sturm, Gary
  • White, Matthew A
  • Hughes, Ellen Roney
  • Bowers, Dwight Blocker
  • Finn, Bernard S. 1932-
  • Fiske, Richard S
  • Material Culture Forum
  • Smithsonian Institution Exhibitions
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • National Portrait Gallery (U.S.)


Smithsonian History Bibliography


Arnoldi is curator of ethnology at the National Museum of Natural History. Many of the topics came from the Smithsonian Material Culture Forum meetings.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu




  • Design
  • Musical instruments
  • Smithson, James
  • Iron lung
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
  • Helicopters
  • Smithson tomb
  • Death and burial
  • Museums
  • Social aspects
  • Physical anthropology
  • Museum exhibits--Design
  • Museum exhibits--Social aspects
  • Material culture
  • Helicopter
  • Smithson, James--Death and burial


Kilauea Volcano (Hawaii)

Physical description

Number of pages: 310; Page numbers: 1-310

Full Record

View Full Record