Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women

A silhouette of a woman standing in front of orchids is shown

Escape the winter cold and step into a floral oasis in the Kogod Courtyard with Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women. The exhibition highlights unsung horticultural heroines and solidifies their ongoing influence on orchid collections. 


Visitors can see several hundred varieties of orchids alongside stories of women’s history in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, which is shared by SAAM and the National Portrait Gallery. This exhibition was organized by Smithsonian Gardens in collaboration with the United States Botanic Garden and features the living collections from both organizations.

Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women unearths stories of women who have enriched our understanding and appreciation of orchids. Despite their remarkable achievements in art, botanical illustration, orchid cultivation, and scientific discovery, many of the featured women have not received the recognition they deserve. 

You can enjoy the exhibition online with videos about groundbreaking women, an interactive map of the exhibition space, images of the exhibition and its exquisite orchids, and fun activities to learn more about orchids. Visit SAAM's Garden Family Zone for more crafting activities and coloring pages that encourage connecting with nature. Beautiful custom orchid merchandise based on a watercolor painting by Mary Vaux Walcott is available for purchase in the Museum Store

Visiting Information

January 29, 2022 April 24, 2022
Open Daily, 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Free Admission


Support for Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women was provided by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

The logo of the Smithsonian's Women's History Initiative