Digging Through the Backroom Archives for ‘Smithsonian Snapshot’

While there’s been all this largely-negative and/or tense talk about the Smithsonian of late, concerning the National Portrait Gallery‘s controversial move to pull a controversial piece of art (if you’re just joining us today, see our previous post for a treasure trove of links about this story), we have a soft spot for others inside the collection of museums whose work and announcements have perhaps been overshadowed by that other, high-profile story for the last week or so. During the fracas, some good people at the organization dropped us a line about the recent launch of the Smithsonian Snapshot, an online project that offers “a weekly peek into the Smithsonian’s collection.” Every week, the site “will highlight a behind-the-scenes object or tell you an unusual story about a popular object in our collection.” Of the more than 137 million objects the organization has in its collection, there clearly have to be some interesting and unusual treasures in there. Though it’s just been an accessible feature for about a month now, and posts seem to appear once per week, all four of the pieces have been interesting, ranging from a scan of the envelope Harry Winston used to mail the Hope Diamond to a list Pablo Picasso put together of artists he was recommending for the very first Armory Show held in 1913. We think it’s a great idea, a fun feature, and something we didn’t want to get lost in all the hubbub over the past couple of week.