First Art Museum Opens in Washington


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John Varden, a Washingtonian, begins displaying a collection of paintings and sculpture in the nation's capital under the name of the John Varden's Museum. This is the first step in creating a national gallery of art in Washington.


  • Holmes, William Henry 1846-1933
  • Varden, John c. 1790-1865
  • John Varden's Museum
  • National Collection of Fine Arts)
  • National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian)
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Holmes, William H. Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, Catalogue of Collections. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1922, p. 2.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Art
  • History
  • Museums
  • Exhibitions
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Art--History
  • Art objects
  • Museum exhibits


Washington (D.C.)

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