Smithsonian @smithsonian avatarSmithsonian

Instagram photos and videos

The @freersackler’s Cosmological Buddha has shallow-relief carving that depicts the Buddha’s journey to enlightenment, but it is really hard to see with the naked eye. A curator at the museum used 3D technology to enhance the definition of those carvings and define the boundaries of each of the narrative units to better understand the narrative. The new perspective helped identify several individual figures included amongst the hundreds of humans, deities, and animals depicted.
Take an interactive tour through the carvings at the link in the bio.
We’re @Smithsonian3D, and we’re taking over Smithsonian’s Instagram for the week. Follow us for more about #3D and the Smithsonian collection.

3   685  

In the city of Cusco, Peru—capital of the Inka Empire—this Inka wall is now one side of Hatunrumiyoc Street. It was originally part of the palace of Inka Roca.

The large stone of green diorite in the center is the famous 12-angled stone, and an example of perfectionist Incan architecture.

Link in bio to download and #3D print your own wall puzzle, courtesy of @SmithsonianNMAI.
We’re @Smithsonian3D, and we’re taking over Smithsonian’s Instagram for the week. Follow us for more about #3D and the Smithsonian collection.

29   1,906  

#3D technology can transform how you experience our iconic objects. When you visit the #Apollo11 Command Module Columbia in a museum (it’s currently on tour and will return to @airandspacemuseum in 2020), you’re able to walk around the outside and peek through a little window.
With this technology, you climb inside the artifact and see what it’s like to be Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin inside the cramped spacecraft that carried them to the Moon and returned them safely to Earth.
Check out the link in the bio to sit in the pilot’s seat.

This is @Smithsonian3D, taking over @Smithsonian’s Instagram for the week.

13   1,662  

Did you know the Smithsonian has a #3D Digitization Program? We are @Smithsonian3D and we’re taking over the Smithsonian Instagram account for the week!

Because it’s #Monday, please enjoy a short video that follows an intrepid donut through our #digitization process. #happymonday

Link in bio to interact with the 3D donut in our viewer! #Yum

26   1,521  

Millions of people went out into the country on bicycles at the end of the 1800s, but roads back then were bumpy, and the popular high-wheeled bicycle led to dangerous falls.

Enter: the safety bicycle. With equal-sized wheels (plus air-filled tires and gears), it fed the bicycle fad while also changing the game for women.

Safety bicycle frames accommodated skirts, which got shorter, and the most daring women chose bloomers that resembled men’s pants. A sport corset was designed with elastic for comfort during exercise.

Women could ride bikes to come and go as they pleased, leaving behind Victorian homes and conventions with a new sense of independence.
Cyclists across the country proudly posed with their wheels, like the woman in this 1890s tintype in our @amhistorymuseum. #BikeToWorkDay #NationalBikeMonth

69   5,352  

This fire extinguisher is made out of sheer fabric.
Artist Do Ho Suh—who was born in Korea and moved to the U.S. as an adult—uses traditional Korean hand-stitching techniques and 3-D technology to transform everyday objects and architecture. He creates large installations of places where he has lived and the objects within them.

The material and the color of this fire extinguisher are very common in Korean summer wear, a nod to Suh’s heritage and training.

The first major exhibition of the artist’s work on the East Coast is on view through Aug. 5 at our @americanartmuseum. #DoHoSuh #atSAAM

13   2,303  

We know when that (crab) hotline bling, that can only mean one thing: a crab we're tracking has been found.

Scientists at @smithsonianenvironment have been following blue crabs throughout the Chesapeake Bay for decades to understand the impact fisheries have on crab populations.
They record each crab's information and fit the animal with a tag that has a unique number. Anyone who catches a tagged crab is asked to call the hotline to report its location—one as far as California.

By tracking the movements of individuals, scientists learn how blue crabs move about the Bay, which will help protect crabs from being overfished in the future.

75   4,566  

Get this museum a shield. Captain America's shield is now in our @amhistorymuseum.
Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby during World War II to symbolize American ideals and inspire patriotic fervor, Captain America was the alter ego of Steve Rogers. In the "Captain America" films, actor Chris Evans used this shield from 2013 to 2015. (Note: the shield isn't currently on display.)

115   5,674  

We woke up like this.✨
Castle design by architect James Renwick, Jr. Gardens by @smithsoniangardens. #SmithsonianInBloom

18   4,290  

Today in 1995, we launched our first website. Looks high-tech, right?
The website did include more than 1,500 pages with images, audio and video. "Smithsonian Enters Cyberspace with Information-Packed World-Wide Web Home Page" announced the press release.

@smithsonianarchives keeps records of our websites so we can see how far we've come.

27   2,109  

*No collections objects were harmed in the making of this training. In March, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative team hosted training in Puerto Rico that focused on protecting the area's heritage for the future.

Participants got hands-on practice with an "emergency" at the fake “State Museum of Smithsonia." They evaluated the situation, and documented, packed and eventually evacuated the collection to a safer location.

In emergency planning, it’s critical to think about what resources you'll have and how to use them. Participants analyzed waterlogged photos and paintings, peeling away soaked paper-based mounting, and dabbed moisture out of a fragile textile with a standard kitchen sponge.

After a disaster, humanitarian response is the top priority. But there is also a critical period to salvage and save a culture’s identity and history—the objects and architecture that help make up cultural heritage. Learn more about the Smithsonian's work at

32   4,541  

#MayThe4thBeWithYou on #StarWarsDay, which we spent with these droids at our @amhistorymuseum.
R2-D2 is missing a foot, and C-3PO has an extra one. (It's their lot in life.) Can you guess why? Find out in our Instagram Story.
They aren't currently on view at the museum, but we take you behind the scenes with them and other objects from the museum’s robot collection. [© 1977 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved]

23   5,530