Arts & Industries Museum
Arts & Industries Museum information
Lonely Planet review
Englishman James Smithson (who never came to the USA) willed $4.1 million to the country to found an 'establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge' in 1826. Unfortunately, his intellectual baby badly needs (and is receiving) some expensive upkeep. It has been suggested the museums start charging for admission, but the powers that be won't hear of it, arguing that fees would fly in the face of the Smithsonian's mission. The museums will stay free if it kills them. And it just might. Currently, the Arts & Industries Museum is closed indefinitely.