The Smithsonian museums are part of the United States’ Smithsonian Institution and consist of nineteen museums and galleries as well as the National Zoological Park. Seventeen of these collections are located in Washington D.C., with eleven of those located on the National Mall. The remaining ones are in New York City and Chantilly, Virginia.
In 1826, James Smithson willed to the United States a gift of $500,000 estabilishing the Smithsonian Instiution which initially was a learning institution concerned mainly with enhancing science and less interested in being a museum. Income earned from a Exposition in Philadelphia in 1881 provided funds for first facility for pblic display of the growing collection of artifacts.
Since the completion of the first building the Smithsonian has expanded to twenty separate museums with roughly 137 million objects in their collections, including works of art, natural specimens, and cultural artifacts. The Smithsonian museums are visited by over 25 million people every year.
You may explore these local Smithsonian Museums:
Type of collection
National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
National Zoological Park (National Zoo)