If your first interaction with installation art was seeing and hating the grotty objects at the foot of Tracey Emin’s “My Bed,” Sandra Cisneros’ upcoming piece at the Smithsonian might be a good place to give the medium another try. Like Emin’s infamous piece, Cisneros’ “A Room of Her Own: My Mother’s Altar” recreates a bedroom in a museum space, but the author has skipped the shock-inducing condoms in favor of tapestries, hand-painted Mexican boxes, embroidery, and flowers: items owned by her deceased mother, Elvira Cordero Cisneros, who only had a room of her own in the waning years of her life. Timed to coincide with the Day of the Dead, Cisneros’ installation, which opens on Halloween, is a citrus-colored tribute as well as a meditation on her relationship with death. “I am deeply moved by the connection Mexicans have to the spirit world and am learning a lot at this time in my life,” Cisneros writes, “healing the rift between the way I was raised to see death in the United States and the way death co-exists with the living daily in the world of the Mexicans.” The exhibition is on view daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to Jan. 12, at the National Museum of American History, 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 633-1000. americanhistory.si.edu.