Edited by Gerald Boerner
Certain museums stand out in our minds. There is th Louvre in Paris, British Museum in London, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Our Smithsonian Institution on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. may be the class of this select class. Why? Because it is not a singular set of collections, but a group museums that celebrate all that is excellence in art, science, engineering, and the cultural diversity of our country. It is at the same time a research center, an educational resource to our schools, and an opportunity for the public to view collections reflecting the emergence of our country as a nation.
How did we develop such a wealth of museum collections? It started following the death in 1829 of James Smithson, a British Chemist and scientist. Smithsons’ will called for his estate to go to his nephew as long as he had children before the nephew died. When the nephew died in 1935 without heirs, the estate was to be awarded to the United States for the — "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men". Andrew Jackson was informed of the award of “seed” money for the Smithsonian Institution.
“Smithson dedicated his life to investigating the natural world, and visited Florence, Paris, Saxony, the Swiss Alps, and many other parts of Europe to find crystals and minerals on which he could perform experiments – including diluting, grinding, igniting, and even chewing and sniffing them – to discover and classify their elemental properties.” (Wikipedia)
Now, let us get on with our exploration of the Smithsonian Institution… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 3680 Words ]
Quotations Related to SMITHSONIAN:
“The turntable is now an instrument at the Smithsonian.”
— Ajay Naidu
The Smithsonian Institute is one of the most popular agencies of government in the United States“.”
— Norm Dicks
“The Smithsonian museums are among this country’s most endearing treasures and I look forward to helping maintain and enhance their coveted works of art.”
— Xavier Becerra