For a statue, the bronze representation of Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian, sure does get around. Located in front of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle, the statue gazes across the National Mall at the vast museum complex he helped create.
At the time of its unveiling on April 19, 1883, the statue was located on the National Mall, about 150 feet northwest of the Castle facing the west wing. In 1934, the National Mall was reconfigured and the statue was relocated to the front of the Castle's north central entrance. It's well known, and quite well documented, that Joseph Henry wasn't particularly fond of the Castle, yet Secretary Charles Greeley Abbot approved facing the statue toward the building.
The 1965 Bicentennial Celebration of James Smithson's birth prompted a dizzying move for the Joseph Henry statue. In May of 1965 Secretary S. Dillon Ripley had the Joseph Henry statue turned around to face Smithsonian museums across the Mall so that he might look upon the legacy of his devotion to the increase and diffusion of knowledge.
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