Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building

Title

Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building

Description

The Arts and Industries Building opened in 1881 as the “US National Museum.” Spencer Baird, the second Secretary of the Smithsonian, developed exhibits for the museum that included objects from the Centennial Exposition of 1876 and samples of the Smithsonian’s collections of natural history and science, history, and art. Designed in a late Victorian style, the building is symmetrical and composed in the shape of a Greek cross with a central rotunda. The colorful exterior features bricks in geometric designs and has an iron truss roof. In 1910, this museum was renamed the Arts and Industries Building, and the National Museum moved to what is now known as the National Museum of Natural History.

Source

Smithsonian Institution Archives. View original.

Date

1881 (Opened)
1910 (Renamed)

Coverage

Physical Description

Smaller than a city block

Type

Description

The Arts and Industries Building opened in 1881 as the “US National Museum.” Spencer Baird, the second Secretary of the Smithsonian, developed exhibits for the museum that included objects from the Centennial Exposition of 1876 and samples of the Smithsonian’s collections of natural history and science, history, and art. Designed in a late Victorian style, the building is symmetrical and composed in the shape of a Greek cross with a central rotunda. The colorful exterior features bricks in geometric designs and has an iron truss roof. In 1910, this museum was renamed the Arts and Industries Building, and the National Museum moved to what is now known as the National Museum of Natural History.

Creator

Adolf Cluss

Date

1881 (Opened)

Coverage

1860-1889

Source

Smithsonian Institution Archives. View original.