In celebration of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, the Smithsonian
is featuring exhibitions and public programs related to the presidency from Friday, Jan. 18, through Monday, Jan. 21.
The Smithsonian has participated in inaugurations since the 1800sPresident Abraham Lincoln held his second inaugural ball in what is now the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in March 1865, and President James Garfields ball was held in 1881 in the U.S. National Museum (now the Arts and Industries Building, which is closed for renovations). In recent times, the Smithsonian has produced cultural programs and concerts for the Carter, Reagan and Clinton inaugurals.
National Museum of American History
The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden explores the personal, public, ceremonial and executive actions of the presidents and their impact on history. The exhibition features more than 400 objects and a number of videos and interactive displays, including the portable desk on which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and the microphone Franklin Roosevelt used to deliver his fireside chat radio broadcasts.
The First Ladies explores the unofficial but important position of first lady and the ways that different women have shaped the role to make their own contributions to the presidential administrations and the nation. The exhibition features more than two dozen gowns from the Smithsonians 100-year-old First Ladies Collection, including those worn by Frances Cleveland, Lou Hoover, Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. A section titled Changing Times, Changing First Ladies highlights the roles played by Dolley Madison, Mary Lincoln, Edith Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson and their contributions to their husbands administrations. The First Ladies encourages visitors to consider the changing role played by the first lady and American women over the past 200 years.
Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and The March on Washington, 1963 highlights two events that changed the course of the nationthe 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1963 March on Washington. Standing as milestone moments in the grand sweep of American history, these achievements were the culmination of decades of struggles by individualsboth famous and unknownwho believed in the American promise that this nation was dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. This exhibit was organized by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
National Portrait Gallery
Americas Presidents exhibits multiple images of 43 presidents, including Gilbert Stuarts famous Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, a painting of Lincoln by Alexander Healy and likenesses of all modern Presidents.
Portrait of President Barack Obama features the original artwork for Obamas Hope poster designed by Shepard Fairey on view Jan. 19-22. This portrait became famous during the Presidents 2008 campaign.
Diptych of President Barack Obama by Chuck Close The renowned artist Chuck Close created two photographs of Barack Obama and transferred them onto two large-scale (93-by-75-inch) jacquard tapestries. In conjunction with the Inauguration, this diptych has been loaned to the Smithsonians National Portrait Gallery by Ian and Annette Cumming.
National Museum of the American Indian
A Century Ago
They Came as Sovereign Leaders focuses on President Theodore Roosevelts 1905 inaugural parade and the six great chiefs who participated in the parade.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Civil War and American Art examines how Americas artists represented the impact of the Civil War and its aftermath. Winslow Homer, Eastman Johnson, Frederic Church and Sanford Giffordfour of Americas finest artists of the eraanchor the exhibition.
National Postal Museum
Honoring Lincoln displays 11 certified plate proofs for postage stamps that were issued from 1959 to 1994 to honor the 16th president Abraham Lincoln. Certified plate proofs are the last printed proof of the plate before the stamps are printed, and these plates include the approval signatures and date.