Celebrities stare at us in the grocery aisle from the cover of just about every glossy magazine, from Vogue (oh, hey Kimye!) to Cosmopolitan (look, it’s Kaley Cuoco).

One notable holdout has been the venerable Smithsonian magazine, which has never, in its 44-year history, featured a celebrity on its cover — until now.

The May issue sees its first real live celeb (and no, we’re not counting dead presidents or wild animals, no matter how good-looking): Patrick Stewart, the British actor best known for portraying Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the “Star Trek” TV and film franchise, appears, a piercing green eye peering through a lens, on the front of the magazine’s “Future Issue,” which also features a story about his musings on “where present-day society is headed.”

The mag’s editor-in-chief Michael Caruso has been shaking things up a bit since taking the post just over two years ago, but insists he isn’t kicking off the kind of seismic shift that Vogue editor Anna Wintour did when she famously swapped the long-reigning supermodels on her covers for photogenic actresses and musicians.

It’s a one-off, he says, inspired by the role Stewart is playing by hosting the D.C. premiere of his new “X-Men” movie at the Smithsonian (so those aspiring cover animals can breathe a sigh of relief). “We don’t have any plans to do it again soon,” he says, “so please tell Kim Kardashian to stop calling!”

May Issue Cover

(Image courtesy Smithsonian magazine; photo by  Dan Winters at Industrio Studio NYC)

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