From a press release:

WHAT:  SMITHSONIAN at 8 presents “James Smithson’s Holiday Birthday Ball: Party Like It’s 1765!”

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 4, 8 to 11 p.m. (7 to 11 p.m. for VIP ticket-holders)

WHERE: Smithsonian Castle, 1000 Independence Ave., SW (Enter from Independence Ave. or Jefferson Dr., SW)

When it came to gift-giving, James Smithson was a champ. On his death in 1829, the English chemist and mineralogist left his sizeable fortune to the United States—a place he’d never visited—to found “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge” called the Smithsonian Institution.

Now, on the 250th anniversary of his birth*, it’s time to give him a big thank-you by gathering in the original Smithsonian building, the historic Castle, for a birthday bash inspired by James, his era, and the Smithsonian itself.

It’s going to be a terrific party: (more…)

Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From National Museum of African American History and Culture:

“On the evenings of November 16-18, to kick off the countdown to its grand opening next fall, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will come alive for three nights as the façade of the building will be illuminated with moving images in a spectacular display.

The event commemorates three important milestones in African American history: (more…)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mark Andre

On Monday we learned that the Renwick Gallery would be reopening after a two year renovation on Friday. Check out a sneak peek of one of the opening exhibits – WONDER:

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mark Andre

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

1Renwick Photo by Joshua Yetman
Photo courtesy Renwick by Joshua Yetman

From a press release:

“The Renwick Gallery, home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s craft and decorative arts program, will open to the public Friday, Nov. 13, following a comprehensive two-year renovation. The museum, located across from the White House at the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., in downtown Washington, D.C., will open with an updated interior aesthetic, carefully restored historic features and significantly upgraded, state-of-the-art infrastructure. The inaugural exhibition, titled “WONDER,” will feature gallery-sized installations by nine major contemporary artists, renewing the commitment inscribed in stone above the front door, “Dedicated to Art.” The opening will be accompanied by a celebratory weekend of public programs and three special publications. (more…)

Photo by PoPville flickr user James Jackson

A bit late on this one but it is odd – thanks to a reader for sending this August story from the Washington Post:

“The decision to hold the Hirshhorn’s 40th-anniversary gala in New York is deeply troubling and raises concern about where the museum’s new director, Melissa Chiu, is taking the organization. According to the New York Times, the Nov. 9 gala will include 400 invited guests and honor 40 living artists whom the museum considers essential to its identity. But despite Chiu’s statement in the Times story announcing the event — that she intends no snub to the Washington arts crowd — it is a snub, and a distressing indication that she doesn’t understand the purpose, the history or the identity of the museum she now leads.”

crime museum closing
575 7th Street, NW

From the Crime Museum’s website:

“Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances…

Crime Museum will be closing its doors to the public on
SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

Tickets still available — visit while you can!

We would like to thank you for your support over the years. We will continue to post updates on this website.

After we close, several programs will still be offered to the public.

Programs that will continue AFTER September 30th:

– Assassinations in the Capital Walking Tour
– Traveling Forensic Educational Programs
– Team Building
For more information see the links below or contact [email protected]

The Crime Museum opened on May 23, 2008. The museum’s conception began when Mr. John Morgan, successful entrepreneur and respected attorney, was amongst the tourist crowds on a trip to Alcatraz Island, the former federal prison in San Francisco, CA that’s now a national park. After his tour of the prison, he decided that a museum that discussed the history of crime, punishment, and crime scene investigation was needed. His goal was to make it interactive and to also honor law enforcement. He partnered with his friend John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted to bring his vision to reality.

Crime Museum Mission
The mission is to provide guests of all ages with memorable insight into our nation’s history of crime and its consequences, law enforcement, forensic science, and crime scene investigation through a captivating, interactive, entertaining, and educational experience.”

Good to see they’re keeping a sense of humor about it:

rendering of 4th and D Street, SW courtesy Museum of the Bible and SMITHGROUPJJR

From a press release:

Museum of the Bible has inked a major new long-term alliance with the Israel Antiquities Authority to display a selection from the two million ancient artifacts in Israel’s National Treasures in a dedicated top-floor gallery, set to open with the rest of the Museum of the Bible in the fall of 2017. Through this multi-year agreement, archeological objects from the Israel Antiquities Authority, the government mandated organization in charge of all matters of archaeology in Israel, will be exhibited at the Museum of the Bible. Because the Israel Antiquities Authority currently has 39 active archeological digs around Israel, some of the artifacts that might be displayed in Museum of the Bible may not even have been discovered yet. Museum of the Bible is also dedicated to the excavation of archaeological sites in Israel and is currently beginning an archeological dig at Tel-Shimron, one of the largest and most historically significant sites in Israel. (more…)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

From the Hirshhorn:

“The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is offering Happy Hour at the Hirshhorn, in collaboration with “SMITHSONIAN at 8,” every Monday, Aug. 10–Sept. 14, 5 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Galleries will be open late, so visitors can view exhibitions such as “Shirin Neshat: Facing History” and “At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection.” Admission is free, and there is a cash bar, operated by Tortoise and Hare Bar and Grille. Last call to enter the galleries and to order drinks is 8 p.m.”

courtesy Newseum

To end the day with some bittersweet news:

“Today, the Newseum announced it will acquire the set of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” following Stewart’s final appearance as host of the late-night television program on Thursday, Aug. 6. The donation, which will become part of the Newseum’s collection for future display, comes as Stewart signs off after 16 years hosting the popular show, which often blurred the lines between news, satire and comedy.

Stewart began hosting the show in 1999 and quickly generated a loyal following among a new generation of news consumers who identified with his sharp-witted humor. Quick to poke fun at politicians, newsmakers and authors, Stewart also made the news media a frequent target of his barbs.”

Courtesy “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”