Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.


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Patent Office Building Exterior, Home of Smithsonian American Art Museum, by Unknown, Unknown, perhaps c. 1970s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 94-4416.

May 3, 1968

The National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is dedicated, having moved out of the Natural History Building and into the Old Patent Office Building which was vacated by the Civil Service Commission. At the dedication, President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson are escorted through the galleries by Secretary and Mrs. S. Dillon Ripley. The public opening was on May 6.More

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