News & Politics

120 Bright Orange Statues Are Coming to Smithsonian Museums

The life-size works celebrate women in science and technology.

Statue of astronomer Miriam Fuchs as part of IfThenSheCan - The Exhibit. Photograph courtesy of If/Then Collection

Smithsonian museums are celebrating Women’s History Month with a whole lot of statues. The 120 3D-printed works will be hard to miss: They are bright orange and life size. Each one depicts a woman who works in a STEM field—people like Karina Popovich, a student who 3D-printed 82,000 face shields early in the pandemic, and Victoria Herrman, a prominent climate-change researcher.

The project is a collaboration between the Smithsonian and If/Then, an initiative focused on connecting young girls with women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math careers. Billed as the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled, the exhibit marks the launch of the Smithsonian’s new Women’s Futures Month programming, which will include virtual and in-person events throughout March.

Visitors can find the statues in the Arts and Industries Building, the Smithsonian Castle, and the Enid A. Haupt Garden during opening weekend March 5-6. Then some of the figures will be moved to other Smithsonian spots around the National Mall, where they will stay on display until March 27. Each statue will have its own QR code linking to information about the woman who is depicted.

Kayla Benjamin
Assistant Editor