The Smithsonian, James Smithson, was a scientist who wanted to pass on his wealth to fund education in the sciences. After he and his heir passed away, a donation of over $500,000 was sent to the USA to start museums and studies into the sciences. This would have been the equivalent of an offering of fourteen billion dollars today!
Although not much is known about this initial donor, in the 1960s, this museum group was named after him. The Smithsonian museums have come a long way in the last sixty years! If you’re curious about what’s newest at each of them, here’s what you need to know!
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
In 2022, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will be unveiling a look at the Wright brothers and their first flights! Over a hundred years since their initial successes, the Smithsonian will allow visitors to walk through their lives and inventions and feel what they must have thought in those early days. The museum will also go into depth on their history-forgotten sister and her importance to their successes.
The Smithsonian Museum of American Art
In late 2021 and early 2022, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art will exhibit Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano. This exhibit will delve into the lives and minds of these incredible artists and push to show why they became who they are and what they’ve created that’s earned them a name for themselves in history. In addition, the exhibits of their art humanizes them and allow visitors to feel like they’ve gotten to know the creators on a personal level.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Anyone wanting to visit the National Museum of Natural History without leaving the comfort of their Washington DC Apartments is in for a treat: this museum is now offering virtual tours! Each tour allows you to move your camera view around on your computer to experience everything from the height of the dinosaurs to the text of the signs in front of them.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
From September to October of 2021, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History will be going into depth on a topic that’s hard to swallow. Reckoning with Remembrance: History, Injustice, and the Murder of Emmett Till will be going over the racially motivated and tragic crime against teenager Emmett Till in 1955. Misplaced fear and hatred allowed for people to take the life of this fourteen-year-old boy on information that has since been proven to be false. His death is important to recognize, and the Smithsonian won’t shy away from the details that we have to know to see it as the tragedy it is.
Each Smithsonian museum prides itself on being cutting edge and offers exhibits and information that you can’t find anywhere else. Rotating exhibits and new information every few months ensures that you never run out of things to see and that every visit allows you to get to know the world around you a little better.