Photo: Jimi Hendrix, 1967 by Linda McCartney
In the late 60s, Jimi Hendrix shattered the notion of what the electric guitar could be. On stage he was simultaneously self-possessed and otherworldly, playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back, even setting it on fire. He took standard blues and changed it through psychedelic sonic alchemy, mining the depths of the instrument’s poetic expressiveness by testing its physical limits.
His photo is on view with 100 others as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s "American Cool" exhibition, exploring one of our greatest cultural exports: that elusive quality of charismatic self-possession that we call “cool” 

Photo: Jimi Hendrix, 1967 by Linda McCartney

In the late 60s, Jimi Hendrix shattered the notion of what the electric guitar could be. On stage he was simultaneously self-possessed and otherworldly, playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back, even setting it on fire. He took standard blues and changed it through psychedelic sonic alchemy, mining the depths of the instrument’s poetic expressiveness by testing its physical limits.

His photo is on view with 100 others as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s "American Cool" exhibition, exploring one of our greatest cultural exports: that elusive quality of charismatic self-possession that we call “cool” 

Andy Warhol’s Michael Jackson 1984, National Portrait Gallery
Jackson’s 1982 solo album, Thriller—still the best-selling recording of all time—vaulted the King of Pop into the stratosphere of fame. Time magazine commissioned Warhol, the godfather of the Pop Art movement and ultimate arbiter of celebrity culture, to create a silk-screen-on-canvas portrait of Jackson in 1984. The result was an instant classic, but not everyone was a fan. “I finished the Michael Jackson cover,” Warhol said, adding, “I didn’t like it.” The cover, he felt, “should have had more blue. I gave them [the editors] some in the style of the [Jane, Peter and Henry] Fonda cover I did for Time once, but they wanted this style.”
(via 101 Objects that Made America | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine)

Andy Warhol’s Michael Jackson 1984, National Portrait Gallery

Jackson’s 1982 solo album, Thriller—still the best-selling recording of all time—vaulted the King of Pop into the stratosphere of fame. Time magazine commissioned Warhol, the godfather of the Pop Art movement and ultimate arbiter of celebrity culture, to create a silk-screen-on-canvas portrait of Jackson in 1984. The result was an instant classic, but not everyone was a fan. “I finished the Michael Jackson cover,” Warhol said, adding, “I didn’t like it.” The cover, he felt, “should have had more blue. I gave them [the editors] some in the style of the [Jane, Peter and Henry] Fonda cover I did for Time once, but they wanted this style.”

(via 101 Objects that Made America | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine)

Babe Ruth and Other Red Sox Pitchers, 1915
Baseball season is here. This week’s Smithsonian Snapshot celebrates the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, with this 1915 photograph of Babe Ruth and other Red Sox pitchers: George “Rube” Foster, Carl Mays, Ernie Shore and Hubert “Dutch” Leonard.
On April 20, 1912, the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox opened to the public in Boston. The Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders, renamed the New York Yankees in 1913, 7-6 in 11 innings. Newspaper coverage of the opening was overshadowed by continuing coverage of the Titanic sinking days earlier April 14, 1912.
In 1914, the Red Sox acquired George Herman Ruth Jr., best known as “Babe” Ruth, as their all-star pitcher. This 1915 photo shows Ruth with the pitching staff that helped propel the Red Sox to a World Series Championship the same year. This photo marks Ruth’s second season in the major leagues.
In six seasons as a pitcher, the 24-year-old Ruth compiled an 89-46 won-lost record, with a 2.28 ERA and three World Series victories. Had he continued to pitch he would have ranked among baseball’s greatest pitchers.
This is a rare photograph of Ruth in the beginning of his career; it helps the Smithsonian fully describe the impact of this legendary baseball player.
To view more sports-related items at the Smithsonian, visit the National Museum of American History’s sports and leisure collection.
This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display. To learn more about this item, visit the National Portrait Gallery’s website.

Babe Ruth and Other Red Sox Pitchers, 1915

Baseball season is here. This week’s Smithsonian Snapshot celebrates the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, with this 1915 photograph of Babe Ruth and other Red Sox pitchers: George “Rube” Foster, Carl Mays, Ernie Shore and Hubert “Dutch” Leonard.

On April 20, 1912, the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox opened to the public in Boston. The Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders, renamed the New York Yankees in 1913, 7-6 in 11 innings. Newspaper coverage of the opening was overshadowed by continuing coverage of the Titanic sinking days earlier April 14, 1912.

In 1914, the Red Sox acquired George Herman Ruth Jr., best known as “Babe” Ruth, as their all-star pitcher. This 1915 photo shows Ruth with the pitching staff that helped propel the Red Sox to a World Series Championship the same year. This photo marks Ruth’s second season in the major leagues.

In six seasons as a pitcher, the 24-year-old Ruth compiled an 89-46 won-lost record, with a 2.28 ERA and three World Series victories. Had he continued to pitch he would have ranked among baseball’s greatest pitchers.

This is a rare photograph of Ruth in the beginning of his career; it helps the Smithsonian fully describe the impact of this legendary baseball player.

To view more sports-related items at the Smithsonian, visit the National Museum of American History’s sports and leisure collection.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display. To learn more about this item, visit the National Portrait Gallery’s website.

The Beatles’ First Appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” 1964
 On Feb. 9, 1964, The Beatles made their first live U.S. television appearance. More than 70 million Americans gathered around their televisions to watch four young men from Liverpool make history. 

Ed Sullivan, the “king of Sunday night television,” booked The Beatles for three appearances after seeing the response of fans during a visit to London. Before their debut on the show, The Beatles’ record “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was leaked to radio stations across the country. By Jan. 10, 1964, the album had sold more than 1 million units and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the No. 1 song on the Billboard charts. 
Taken during the rehearsal for The Beatles’ live U.S. television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” this photograph captures the Fab Four on the eve of a landmark moment in American pop culture history. 
Following the appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the phenomenon of Beatlemania swept the country. John, Paul, George and Ringo secured their place in American hearts and spurred an invasion of British rock ’n’ roll that altered the face of popular music in the U.S. 
This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not currently on display.
For more info, visit.

The Beatles’ First Appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” 1964

 On Feb. 9, 1964, The Beatles made their first live U.S. television appearance. More than 70 million Americans gathered around their televisions to watch four young men from Liverpool make history. 

Ed Sullivan, the “king of Sunday night television,” booked The Beatles for three appearances after seeing the response of fans during a visit to London. Before their debut on the show, The Beatles’ record “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was leaked to radio stations across the country. By Jan. 10, 1964, the album had sold more than 1 million units and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the No. 1 song on the Billboard charts.

Taken during the rehearsal for The Beatles’ live U.S. television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” this photograph captures the Fab Four on the eve of a landmark moment in American pop culture history.

Following the appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the phenomenon of Beatlemania swept the country. John, Paul, George and Ringo secured their place in American hearts and spurred an invasion of British rock ’n’ roll that altered the face of popular music in the U.S.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not currently on display.

For more info, visit.