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

I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story


Asian and Pacific Americans make up more than 5% of the U.S. population—over 17 million people—and those numbers are quickly growing. Their ancestral roots represent over 50% of the world, extending from East Asia to Southeast Asia, and from South Asia to the Pacific Islands and Polynesia.

In the first exhibition of its kind, the Smithsonian celebrates Asian Pacific American history across this multitude of incredibly diverse cultures, and explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history. Rich with compelling, often surprising stories, the exhibition takes a sweeping look at this history, from the very first Asian immigrants centuries ago to the complex challenges facing Asian Pacific American communities today.

The exhibition was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and organized for travel by SITES. The exhibition is supported by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

  • 30 free‐standing flexible graphics (47 x 87”) with text, photographs, art, and graphics; multimedia materials
  • $2,000 for 10 weeks
  • 300 running feet
  • Limited Security
  • Tour begins: Spring 2013
  • Contact: Minnie Russell, 202.633.3160

>> Read more . . .

Jacob Lawrence Interprets Aesop’s Fables


“The Tortoise and the Hare”, “The Ant and the Grasshopper”, “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”— these are among the beloved morality tales attributed to the legendary 6th century BCE storyteller Aesop, who was thought to have been a freed slave of African heritage. Aesop’s Fables, featuring animal characters with human-like vices and virtues such as excessive pride, dishonesty, determination, and sympathy, have appealed to children and adults for generations. As a child, the noted American artist Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) cherished these tales for their timeless lessons in personal responsibility.  As an adult in 1969, Lawrence paid tribute to these tales by creating a series of 23 lively ink drawings to reinterpret the tales for a contemporary audience.

Jacob Lawrence Interprets Aesop’s Fables will feature large-scale, contemporary pigment prints of these illustrations in addition to the fables themselves and the artist’s biographical information.

  • 23 large-format (36 X 48”) pigment prints on watercolor paper
  • Illustrated fable text panels, introduction and biographical panel
  • $6,500 per 12-week booking period plus outgoing shipping
  • Approximately 200 running feet
  • Moderate Security 
  • Tour begins: October 2014
  • 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

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

What’s Up Doc?  The Animation Art of Chuck Jones

A multi-sensory feast, What’s Up Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones explores the artistic development and creative genius of this pioneer of animation art. The exhibition examines many of the most beloved cartoons, animated films and characters in entertainment history. From classic antagonists like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, to the Academy Award-winning short film, "The Dot" and "The Line", to newer cartoon characters like Marvin Martian, What’s Up Doc? traces Chuck Jones’ lasting influence on film and television. Multiple videos, sketches, storyboards, photographs, and interactive elements offer insight into how Jones and his collaborators worked together to create cinematic magic. What’s Up, Doc? demonstrates the indelible mark that Chuck Jones made in the field of animation, the art of filmmaking, and the history of American comedy.

  • Multiple film projections and videos, including all of Chuck Jones’ Oscar-nominated film shorts; original sketches; storyboards; animation cels and set designs; audio and background music for animation; photographs; interactive experiences
  • Approximately 3,500 square feet
  • High security
  • Tour begins: July 2014
  • Contact: Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142

>> Read more . . .

Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise


In 1895, the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, Tulane University’s women’s coordinate college, established the Newcomb Pottery in New Orleans, and conceived it as part artist collective, part social experiment, and part business enterprise.

Today the remarkable, distinctive art objects that were created by Newcomb students continue to be critically acclaimed and highly sought-after. This brand new exhibition showcases a striking collection of Newcomb pottery, metalwork, bookbinding, and textiles with text that draws from new scholarship to explore the history of the Pottery and its importance as a social and artistic experiment.

  • Approximately 180 objects
  • Approximately 3,000 – 3,500 square feet
  • $50,000 per 12-week booking period, shipping included
  • Tour begins: Fall 2014
  • Contact: Minnie Russell, 202.633.3160

>> Read more . . .

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