National Treasures of Popular Culture

November 21, 2008 – March 15, 2012

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

3rd Floor, West Wing Floor Plan

This exhibition displays iconic and well-loved artifacts that mirror the ways music, sports, and entertainment have played major roles in American life, shaping our national memory and often defining what is American to the nation and to the world. Note: From time to time, objects are rotated and may be removed unexpectedly after visitation hours.

Highlights include:

  • Julie Newmar's Catwoman costume from the television series Batman
  • Simba mask from the Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King
  • cartoon animation cells by Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip
  • Olympic objects, including Anastasia "Nastia" Luikin's pink gymnastics leotard worn during the 2008 Beijing games, Brian Boitano's ice skates worn during the 1988 Calgary games, and a relay torch from the 1984 LA opening ceremonies
  • Michael Jackson's hat
  • Muppet characters—joining the original Kermit the Frog—from Jim Henson's early television show Sam and Friends, which debuted on local Washington, D.C., station WRC-TV in 1955
  • Eddie Van Halen's guitar, Farrah Fawcett's swimsuit, and Tony Hawk's skateboard