December 6-13, 2018

Explore American sports and entertainment through iconic art and artifacts from the Smithsonian. Each object tells a unique story, showing how pop culture influences our lives, now and in the past.

Made possible by the generous support of the MassMutual Foundation.

The Exhibition
Sneakers worn by Julius "Dr. J" Erving and inscribed to Doc Stanley. National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Pop! Icons of American Culture from the Smithsonian
December 7, 2018–February 24, 2019

Explore the ways popular culture has played a major role in influencing and expressing the sentiments of generations of Americans. Includes artifacts on loan from the extensive collections of the National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery, National Air and Space Museum, and National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Programs & Events
Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!

Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!

Left to Right: Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, US Representative Richard Neal, Museums President Kay Simpson, MassMutual CEO Roger Crandall, Smithsonian Affiliations Director Harold Closter, and Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser

The Springfield Museums have been formally accepted as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian is recognized as one of the world’s foremost museum and research institutions, with 19 museums and over 200 affiliates spread across the U.S. and its territories.

Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term, high-quality partnerships with museums and educational organizations in order to share collections, exhibitions, learning opportunities and research expertise.

In identifying possible candidates for affiliation, the Smithsonian seeks out organizations that share a common mission, a commitment to education and public service, and have the capability of bringing Smithsonian artifacts, exhibits, and programs to their venues. Candidates are subject to a rigorous application process involving all aspects of their organization, from their leadership and financial structure to a review of their collections management and programming protocols.

Those selected to be Affiliates enjoy a range of benefits, from facilitated object and exhibit loans and discounted Smithsonian memberships for their patrons to custom-developed education, performing arts, and public programs. Given the diverse multi-disciplinary nature of our art, history, and science collections and programs, the Springfield Museums are natural choice to become a Smithsonian Affiliate.

The partnership has been made possible through the generous support of the MassMutual Foundation.



Get Two Memberships in One

Take advantage of this special opportunity to add the benefits of a Smithsonian national membership to your Springfield Museums membership. Join, renew or upgrade for just $25 more per year.

Join Now
  • An annual subscription to Smithsonian Magazine (one year subscription) or Air & Space Magazine (six issues)*
  • 10% off all purchases from Smithsonian catalogue and
  • Discounts on dining at the Smithsonian
  • 10% discount on all IMAX tickets at the Smithsonian
  • Exclusive travel programs and study tour opportunities
  • Free admission to the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York
  • Access to the members-only website at
  • Discounts at participating Smithsonian Affiliate institutions and national retailers
  • Smithsonian magazine online
  • Travelogues from Smithsonian Journeys offering members opportunities to see the full range of travel and tours from the Smithsonian
  • Downloadable Civil War app from Smithsonian Books
  • Quarterly online newsletter from Smithsonian Affiliations
  • Reciprocal Admission Benefits at participating Smithsonian Affiliates