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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

"Never underestimate the power of a woman" is an adage that's never been timelier. This week, explore women who wielded power, talent, and passion to create history in the visual arts and in our democracy-and one whose next mission may do the same in the world of space exploration.

They're among the offerings designed to make sure you continue to enjoy what you've come to value from Smithsonian Associates: programs and experiences that are entertaining, informative, eclectic, and insightful.

Hard Times and Harsh Beauty

We still see the Great Depression through the eyes of Dorothea Lange. Her haunting, unflinching photographs captured both the heartbreak and the humanity of 1930s America in now-iconic images. The Oakland Museum of California's new Dorothea Lange Digital Archive curates and interprets a selection of Lange's work for the first time in a digital format. The 600 items in the archive range from the familiar to the lesser seen, and document everyday life during the Great Depression, living during World War II on the home front, and the post-war era in California and across the nation. Lange's personal and early portrait works are also represented.

View the Archive

Dig Into Prehistory

Fossil fans may not need to wait for museums on the National Mall to reopen to get a close-up look at a Megalodon shark's tooth or a bone from their favorite dinosaur. Smithsonian magazine has pulled together a handy guide to five locations in the Washington area that are rich in remnants of prehistoric animal residents-and where some digging just might produce a find of your own. Fossil-hunters can use it to plan expeditions to Maryland's Calvert Cliffs State Park, Purse State Park, or Dinosaur State Park, where bones from the state's official dino, Astrodon johnstoni, have been found. Virginia sites are Stratford Hall and Westmoreland State Park's Fossil Beach, whose cliffs represent 25 million years of geologic history.

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Women with a Mission

In the 1950s, the abstract expressionist movement turned a coterie of hard-living, driven men into superstars, but it often left highly skilled and talented women artists on the sidelines. In an October 1 Smithsonian Associates Streaming program, art critic Judy Pomeranz takes an in-depth look at how works by five of these gutsy women-who included Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, and Helen Frankenthaler-found their way to the walls of the Ninth Street Art Exhibition of 1951 in New York City, which heralded the emergence of a new postwar avant garde.

A few decades prior, another group of determined women called on their abilities to exploit news coverage, recruit allies, and make a message go viral. In fact, every time activists march down Pennsylvania Avenue, protest in Lafayette Square, or carry a sign to the White House, they are literally walking in the footsteps of the women who fought for-and won-the vote. On October 6, Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts, authors of The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World, examine how the strategies of the women's suffrage movement echo through today's activism, no matter the cause.

Ninth Street Women

How Suffragists Invented Washington Activism

A Place in Space

NASA has assigned astronaut Jeanette Epps to NASA's Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station. Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the orbiting space laboratory.

Aerospace history is in the spotlight in an October 15 Smithsonian Associates Streaming program. Roger D. Launius, former chief NASA historian, discusses his book Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings, and William F. Causey, a senior docent at the National Air and Space Museum, draws on his book John Houbolt: The Unsung Hero of the Apollo Moon Landings to tell the story of the leader of a small group of engineers who came up with the plan that propelled human beings to the moon and back.

Read More About Jeanette Epps

Remembering Apollo 13

What's in Your Smithsonian Closet?

In anticipation of October's National Design Month, the latest creative challenge for all ages from the Smithsonian Learning Lab and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum offers fun invitation to sharpen your online research skills: Go on a shopping spree to fill your dream closet with fashion, objects, and art from the Smithsonian's collections. For some inspiration, the Cooper Hewitt asked three fashion-category recipients of the museum's National Design Award-Mary Ping, Derek Lam, and the design collective threeASFOUR-to style their own personal Smithsonian closets. Take a look, and then begin to assemble a collection that reflects who you are.

Create Your Smithsonian Closet