Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

Detail from William H. Johnson's BOATS at KERTEMINDE, 1935. Courtesy Morgan State University

These NEW exhibitions are in the works. If you're interested in any of the following, please let us know! or 202.633.3140.


Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation


This is a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the vibrant heritage, daily experience, and diverse political, professional and cultural contributions of Indian Americans in shaping the United States. From workers who built some of the first railroads in the West to the creator of Hotmail, Beyond Bollywood explores the history of sub-continental Indian immigration to America. Told through captivating images, music, visual art, and first-person narratives, Beyond Bollywood documents a history of discrimination, resistance, achievements and the lasting influence Indian Americans have had on the American experience.

  • Tour begins: January 2015
  • Contact: Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142

Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard


Americans love their back yards. Retreats for recreation, entertainment, dining, and relaxation, they combine the comfort and convenience of living rooms with the freedom of the open air. Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Back Yard, developed in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens, will look at the transition from the front porch to the back yard patio, the rise of the do-it-yourself homeowner, and the use of “chemical warfare” to achieve the perfect lawn. It will explore the most popular mid-century garden styles and will look at the origins of contemporary trends like sustainable landscaping, grass alternatives, and eco-friendly gardening. Featuring rare, vintage photographs, along with pop-culture references and period advertisements, Patios... will be a fun stroll through America’s back yard.

  • 6 free-standing units with reproductions of photographs, ads, designs and text
  • Approximately 1,000 square feet
  • Limited security
  • Tour begins: March 2014
  • Contact: Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142

Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume

Presenting 60 of the finest, hand-crafted costumes from the first six blockbuster Star Wars films, the exhibition uncovers the challenges, the intricate processes and the remarkable artistry of George Lucas, the concept artists and costume designers. The costumes reflect an eclectic mix of cultural, historical and mythical sources that add rich texture to the story.

  • 60 original costumes on mannequins, graphic files, interactives, and much more
  • Approximately 7,000 square feet, with 900-1,000 square feet for exhibition store
  • High security
  • Tour begins: Winter 2015
  • Contact: Michelle Torres-Carmona, 202.633.3143


Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project


Images of everyday life in 1970s America: disco dancing and inflation, protests and bell bottoms, gas shortages and suburban sprawl. At a time when war and scandal wore on the national psyche, a burgeoning movement to protect our natural environment was gaining force.

In 1971, inspired by the Farm Security Administration's photography project of the 1930s and '40s, the newly established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the DOCUMERICA Photography Project to document environmental troubles and triumphs across the country. About 70 photographers, including Flip Schulke, John Corn, Danny Lyon, and John H. White, were urged to capture "the human connection" to the environment, from small towns in coal country to urban streetscapes. What emerged was a moving and textured portrait of America. Capturing a rapidly changing world with surprising resonances to the present, DOCUMERICA culls some of the most striking photographs from a trove of thousands.

This unique exhibition is a collaboration between SITES and the National Archives and Records Administration which now holds the original DOCUMERICA photographic materials. You can browse through thousands of DOCUMERICA images on Flickr.

  • 90 color photographs, text panels, labels, and video
  • $7,000 per 10-week slot plus outgoing shipping
  • Approximately 350 running feet
  • Moderate security
  • Tour begins: As early as February 2015
  • Contact: Minnie Russell, 202.633.3160

Things Come Apart

Photographs of familiar objects explore how things are designed and how technology has evolved over time. The exhibition reveals the engineering behind modern and antique objects such as clocks, watches, telephones, mobile devices, and common household items. Things Come Apart embraces key STEAM teachings and will include educational materials.

  • 35-40 framed photographs, 4 disassembled objects (venues to provide cases), video content, text panels, labels
  • $9,900 per 12-week slot plus outgoing shipping
  • Moderate security
  • Tour begins: September 2016
  • Contact: Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142

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