Canceled — Media Advisory Press Preview for Groundbreaking Exhibition Exploring Alexander von Humboldt’s Impact on American Identity

Contact Person
Katie Hondorf
Contact Email
Contact Phone Number


Press preview for the exhibition “Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature and Culture” 


Thursday, March 19 
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sign-in: 11 a.m. Remarks and tour: 11:30 a.m.


Smithsonian American Art Museum
Enter at Eighth and G streets N.W.

Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director
Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator 


What do cheese, penguins, the color blue and a mastodon have in common? 

The answer: Alexander von Humboldt.

Fascinated by the natural and democratic wonders of a new nation, the greatest thinker, explorer and naturalist of the 19th century spent six weeks traveling across America and meeting icons like Thomas Jefferson and Charles Willson Peale in 1804. In doing so, Humboldt ensured the American wilderness was a permanent component of the nation’s identity and American art. 

Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature and Culture” will be open March 20 through Aug. 16 and features the triumphant homecoming of the “Peale Mastodon.” The fossil, on loan from the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, has been in Europe since 1847.

Information about this exhibition is available in an online press kit at

Interested media should RSVP to Photographers and film crews are welcome; contact the office in advance to make arrangements. Requests for one-on-one interviews may be made in advance with Katie Hondorf by email at

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the flagship museum of American art and craft. It is home to one of the most significant and inclusive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s main building, located at 8th and G Streets N.W., is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check online for current hours and admission information. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

Press Images

  • Press - Humboldt

    Press - Humboldt

    Frederic Edwin Church, The Natural Bridge, Virginia, 1852, oil on canvas, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Gift of Thomas Fortune Ryan