What is the Smithsonian’s ‘Entertainment Nation’ exhibit, and where can you see it?

Image via Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is one of the world’s most famous and beloved museums. Since its founding in 1964, the museum has hosted thousands of exhibitions covering every topic imaginable, and many of these exhibitions have cast new light on America’s history and culture.

Recently, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced a new exhibition that will give pop culture fans a chance to explore how entertainment has shaped society and how our approach to entertainment has changed over the years. 

So how do you see this groundbreaking new exhibit? Here is everything you need to know.

What is the ‘Entertainment Nation’ exhibit?

‘Entertainment Nation / Nación del Espectáculo’ is a new exhibition focused on American pop culture’s role in society. The exhibition will feature over 200 pop culture artifacts on display at one time, with objects rotating in and out as time goes on. These objects include outfits worn by Mister Rogers, a boxing robe worn by Muhammad Ali, and Prince’s beautiful, bright-yellow Cloud guitar. The items cover a massive chunk of history, from old artifacts to some of the museum’s most recent additions. This includes a robe worn in the recent TV adaption of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History describes the exhibition by saying:

Through the objects and their stories, the exhibition will explore how, for over 150 years, entertainment has provided a forum for important national conversations about who we are, and who we want to be. 

In a comment made to DCist Anthea Hartig, the museum’s director said: 

“If you were born sometime after 1880, this show is for you. If your first language is English, if your first language is Spanish, if you’re a citizen of the world, this show is for you. If you’re here in the DMV, and especially during the quieter months of December through February, we can’t wait to welcome you in.”

Where is the ‘Entertainment Nation’ exhibit?

The ‘Entertainment Nation’ exhibit can be found in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s brand new culture wing. This wing also features another rotating exhibition space. Currently, this space is hosting an exhibition of Richard Avedon’s photographs.

The museum can be found at the National Mall on Constitution Avenue. The new wing hosting the ‘Entertainment Nation’ exhibition is on the third floor. 

For additional visiting information, including hours and up-to-date information about happenings at the museum, visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History website