Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education, and research complex in art and design, history and culture, and science and nature.

Safeguarding and Showcasing a Nation's Treasures

Smithsonian Institution

When English scientist James Smithson died in 1829, he bequeathed his estate to the United States government to establish the Smithsonian Institution for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge." In 1836, President Andrew Jackson and the United States Congress accepted the bequest. It wasn't until ten years later, in 1846, that President James Polk signed the Act of Congress and established the Smithsonian Institution, creating what would one day become the world's largest museum, education, and research complex.

Today, the Smithsonian Institution – a trust instrumentality of the United States government – remains true to its founder's vision. More than 170 years after its founding, the Smithsonian Institution includes 19 museums, the National Zoo, education and cultural centers, and nine research facilities. With its headquarters in Washington, DC, the Smithsonian remains closely connected to the federal government while benefiting from nonprofit status. It is home to 155.5 million museum objects and specimens and 2.2 million library volumes and has produced more than 2,600 scholarly publications. Beyond its unparalleled breadth and depth of collections and research, the Smithsonian Institution offers robust educational programs to more than 8 million learners worldwide each year. With a network of more than 300 educators and 200 affiliate organizations, the Smithsonian Institution is committed to fostering widespread understanding of and critical thinking about some of the world's most complex challenges, from science to art, to social justice, to history.

GRoW Support

1996

Event - Los Angeles Inaugural Gala