It’s been decades since the Vietnam War ended, and the Smithsonian has never mounted a full exhibition. Until now.

(Sonny Ross for The Washington Post)

By Philip Kennicott

Art and architecture critic January 31, 2019

The Vietnam War, which tore this country apart and forever changed its politics and culture, has never been the subject of a Smithsonian exhibition. The nation managed to build a memorial in 1982 to those who died in the war, less than a decade after the fall of Saigon, and, in 2017, Americans watched an epic 18-hour PBS documentary about the war, without any substantial political controversy. The war is included within exhibitions at the National Museum of American History, is referenced in the National Museum of African American History and Culture and served as the backdrop to an anniversary exhibition about the Vietnam memorial in 2003. But it hasn’t been the subject of specific, focused curatorial reconsideration.

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