Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution, which includes 19 museums and the National Zoo, is the world’s largest museum complex. It was established with a $500,000 gift that was given to the American people by James Smithson, an English scientist. It holds some 136 million artifacts and specimens, although only about three percent are displayed at any one time.

Nine of the nineteen Smithsonian Museums are located on the Mall between the Capitol and the Washington Monument:

  • Museum of American History
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Air and Space Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)
  • Hirshhorn Museum
  • Arts and Industries
  • National Museum of African Art
  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • Freer Gallery of Art


Smithsonian website

Article written by Sarah Wyland

Sarah Wyland
Sarah never gets in trouble for being on Facebook and Instagram at work, because its her job. As social media manager, she gets to tell the stories of travelers, teachers, and interesting places. Other titles she enjoys include dog mom to Knox, barre instructor, Crossfit athlete, avid reader, and world traveler.