This summer, twenty-four Smithsonian museums and centers are competing to find the one object that best represents the Smithsonian—and you can help choose! The first-ever Smithsonian Summer Showdown pits artifacts and American treasures from Wonder Woman to Woodie Guthrie against each other in an online poll with prizes for voters.
The showdown is currently in Round Two, which means three artifacts contend in each of the art, history, science, and culture categories. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival remains in the running, representing the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in the culture bracket alongside Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) and Chuck Jones’ sketches of Wile E. Coyote (Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service).
Museum staff and fans have been getting competitive and creative on social media, duking it out through icons like Bao Bao the panda cub, the Hirshhorn Museum’s concrete circle, and George Washington.
The second round started on Tuesday and ends next week on August 12. All voters are entered to win a nifty pan-Smithsonian prize pack that includes a telescope, art puzzle, books, stuffed animals, and JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology box CD set.
Whether your favorite is the Star-Spangled Banner or the Nation’s Tyrannosaurus Rex, you can vote once per round on the contest website. Voting ends on Monday, August 19, at midnight, and the winner will be crowned the next morning—so show your support for some of our greatest national treasures!
Meg Boeni is a media intern with the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, who studies journalism and Spanish at Boston University.