What: The National Museum of American History is designed to explore and honor the richness of American history and as it turns out – that includes beauty products! In fact, the museum’s Division of Medicine and Science documents the advances and changes made in health and wellness throughout American history. It has approximately 90,000 artifacts, including (when knew?) a collection of 2,000 personal care and beauty products. The division’s medical collections include objects like the AbioCor Total Artificial Heart, an iron lung and the Salk vaccine. Now with the support of Kiehl’s, The Smithsonian plans to extend the collection to the Web through the Cosmetics and Personal Care Collections Digitization Project. A museum specialist – like an internal beauty editor – will identify, photograph and provide descriptive information for the cosmetic and personal care objects collection on the Web.
Why: The project will allow the museum’s collection of cosmetics and personal care products to be accessed online for education and research around the world. The new collection from Kiehl’s reflects the use of botanicals and natural ingredients in cosmetics while highlighting the interplay between medicine and beauty documenting America’s ever-changing conceptions of health, beauty and well-being. It’s taking health and wellness to historical new heights.
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