Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC

5. 031 The founder of the Smithsonian Institution.

When Sir Hugh Percy, five minutes I Duke of Northumberland, arrived in 1764 at the fashionable resort of Bath (150 miles from London) and met a young aristocratic widow, Elizabeth Macy, he had little doubt that he was in for a pleasant holiday.

Premonitions were not deceived the 50-year-old adventurer. However, Sir Percy had no idea that the healing springs beneficial to the birth of illegitimate offspring, who after 36 years would take his family name – Smithson.

Hugh himself changed it to his wife’s patrimonial name, Percy, in the hope of securing the title of Duke, which he did in 1766. The future Duke never dreamed that his offspring would make the Smithson name famous. Had he known, he might not have abandoned the child, but for the sake of propriety in the world, even a child would not have been spared.

The mother fled to France from shame and scandal, where in 1765 she gave birth to a child and named him James. The fugitive woman did not need anything as she was very rich, raised the boy on the continent for ten years, and then brought him to England, where she obtained permission from the king, who had the ancestry of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII, to naturalize her son.

Permission was granted for James to acquire British citizenship, but it did not entitle the bastard to bear his father’s name, to be called “sir” or to be employed in the civil, civil service, the army or the priesthood. All that remained was a career in science.

At 17, James Macy enrolled at Pembroke College, Oxford, and soon became one of the best students at the university. At 22, he was already a member of the Royal Society of Science (on the recommendation of the eminent physicist and chemist H. Cavendish), and at 26 – the author of the first major scientific work on chemistry.

READ
Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, New York

After his mother’s death (1800), James inherited her fortune, obtained royal permission to carry the name of Smithson (without the title “sir”), and gave himself wholly to the sciences – mineralogy, chemistry, geology.

A quarter of a century later, the name of the author of 27 scientific works, the discoverer of zinc carbonates, one of which was named “Smithsonite” in his honor, became known in Europe.

The scientist was particularly interested in zinc and lead ore deposits. Using his own funds, Smithson organized expensive expeditions to Finland, Spain, Italy, the Balkans, Norway, and Greece. The mineralogist was not driven by self-interest, but by scientific interest and natural curiosity of a man in love with his profession and the treasures of the earth. Everywhere he went, James collected all kinds of shards of rock until he had a unique collection of minerals.

Unwilling to pass on his civic disadvantage to his children, Smithson did not start a family. In 1826 James wrote a spiritual, bequeathing his entire vast fortune (mostly in real estate), mineral collection and rich library to his nephew G. Hungerford.

The bequest is ordinary, were it not for the postscript to it. “Should he (the nephew. – V.L.) die childless, all the above estates shall be left to the people of the United States of America for the establishment in Washington of an institution called the Smithsonian Institution, designed to enrich and disseminate knowledge.” Curiously enough, Smithson himself had never been to the States.

It was evident from the will that the donor did not pity his fatherland, because he seemed to have had enough of being a “stranger among his own people” all his life. This, however, did not prevent journalists on both sides of the Atlantic from later breaking feathers in search of reasons for such a broad and incomprehensible gesture of the philanthropist to the overseas side. But was it worth looking for an explanation for the merciful act – after all, “in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew.

READ
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

James Smithson died on June 27, 1829, in Italy and was buried in Genoa.

In 1835 his nephew also died suddenly. Since Hangerford had no children, the family notary sent a letter with Smithson’s will to the U.S. Congress.

American president E. Jackson did not refuse a generous gift from the British chemist and sent his envoy R. Rush to London to defend in the British courts the rights of the United States in a dispute with Smithsonian relatives who were hungry for wealth.

Over two years of litigation and newspaper chatter did not stop. Rush won the case, sold the Smithsonian estate and, in 1837, loaded 11 crates of “104,960 gold sovereigns, 8 shillings and 7 pence, as well as the collections, library and personal effects of James Smithson. This exceeded $500,000 and was a fantastic sum at the time.

Since it was not clear from the will what kind of “institution” the donor had in mind (a research center, agricultural academy, library, museum, university, or astronomical observatory), Congress debated for several years, first on the advisability of building an institute in the capital, and then on its conceptualization, until it approved the project for a museum, library, research program, chemical laboratory, collection of art, science and history, an art gallery and lecture halls.

In 1846 President J. Polk signed the act creating the Smithsonian Institution. Professor J. Henry of Princeton University was appointed head of the future institute, who adopted “the most original research” as the institution’s main focus.

In 1855, the institute’s first red-brick building with turrets, nicknamed the Castle, was built on the National Mall in downtown Washington between the J. Washington Monument and the Capitol. “It became a major research center, incomparable either in scale or capacity to other American universities of the era.” Thereafter, new buildings, parks, and facilities of the institute were erected with funds from the Smithsonian Foundation.

READ
Philadelphia Museum of Art, exhibits and photos

In 1904 the remains of the philanthropist were brought from Genoa and ceremonially buried in the chapel at the main entrance under the first stone laid in the foundation of the Castle.

Today the Smithsonian Institution is recognized as the largest scientific institution in the world with the richest collections of cultural monuments and works of art. The huge complex includes 18 museums and galleries (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, National Art Gallery, Freer Gallery of Art, W. Wilson Center for Science, etc.). Wilson, etc.). The Institute also includes a complex of scientific libraries, the popular science journal Smithsonian, a publishing house, a system of traveling exhibitions, educational institutions, etc.

Each institution exhaustively presents the history of the field, people and objects. For example, the 23 specialized galleries of the National Museum of Aviation and Astronautics represent the entire era of aeronautics and aeronautics – airplanes, spaceships, rockets, etc. The National Zoological Park has about 3.6 thousand animals of 435 species.

The complex also includes Cooper-Hewitt – National Design Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian – J. G. Hay Center, located in New York.

The Smithsonian has more than 142 million items in its collection from anthropology, botany, zoology, entomology, paleobiology, mineralogy, history of science and technology, civil and military history, art and folk art, and more.

As was the custom 150 years ago, the scientists who work here consider original research to be a priority. Every year the Institute publishes collections of scientific works and monographs. Traditionally, the head of the Institute is the President of the USA.

P.S. “The best blood of England flows in my veins, but it will get me nothing. My name must live on in the memory of men even when the titles of Northumberland and Percy have died out and been forgotten.” (From the will of James Smithson; 1826)

READ
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, USA

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

one of the largest research and cultural centers in the United States. It was founded in Washington, D.C., in 1846 by a special congressional resolution, with funds from (in his will) the English chemist and mineralogist J. Smithson (1765-1829) for “the purpose of increasing and spreading knowledge among the people.” The National Museum (founded in 1846, it has 60 million artifacts on anthropology, botany, zoology, entomology, paleobiology, mineralogy, history of science and technology, civil and military history, art and folklore, etc.), the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the National Art Gallery, Institute of Ethnological Research, National Zoological Park and other scientific institutions. It is engaged in big publishing activity. Every year the S. I. institutions publish collections of scientific works and monographs.

The Honorable Council of the S. I. consists of the president, vice-president and state secretary of the USA, the ministers of finance, defense, justice and other officials. The head of the S. i. is traditionally the President of the United States.

The Smithsonian Institution, one of the largest scientific and cultural centers in the USA. It was found in 1846 in Washington D.C. by the special decision of the Congress on the money (by will) of English chemist and mineralogist J. Smithson (1765-1829) for “expanding and spreading knowledge among the people”. The National Museum (founded in 1846, 60 mln. exhibits on anthropology, botany, zoology, entomology, paleobiology, mineralogy, history of science and technology, civil and military history, art and folk art, etc.).

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, National Gallery of Art, Institute for Ethnological Research, National Zoological Park, and other scientific institutions. It publishes extensively. Every year the S. I. institutions publish collections of scientific works and monographs.

The Honorable Council of the S. I. consists of the president, vice-president and U.S. secretary of state, finance, defense, justice and other officials. Traditionally the head of the S.I. is the U.S. president.

READ
Denver Museum of Art in the United States, exhibits and photos

Smithsonian Institution, the oldest foundation in the U.S. to support scientific research, was established by Congress in 1838 and opened in 1846 in Washington, DC. It began as a legacy of 100 thousand pounds sterling bequeathed by James Smithson (1765-1829), an English chemist and mineralogist, and “founded to increase and diffuse knowledge among the people.

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE, one of the oldest public research and cultural institutions in the United States, was founded in 1846 in Washington on funds of English scientist J. Smithson. The Smithsonian Institute includes: Astrophysical Observatory, National Zoological Park, National Gallery, etc.

SMITHONIAN INSTITUTE – One of the oldest public research and cultural institutions in the United States, founded in 1846 in Washington on the money of English scientist J. Smithson. The Smithsonian Institute includes: Astrophysical Observatory, National Zoological Park, National Gallery, etc.

The Smithsonian Institution, one of the oldest public research and cultural institutions in the United States, was founded in 1846 in Washington on the money of English scientist J. Smithson. The Smithsonian Institution includes the Astrophysical Observatory, National Zoological Park, National Gallery, etc.

SMITHONIAN INSTITUTE, one of the oldest public research and cultural institutions in the United States, was founded in 1846 in Washington on the money of English scientist J. Smithson. The Smithsonian Institute includes: Astrophysical Observatory, National Zoological Park, National Gallery, etc.

– It is one of the oldest state scientific and cultural institutions of the USA, founded in 1846 in Washington on the money of English scientist J. Smithson. The Smithsonian Institute consists of: Astrophysical Observatory, National Zoological Park, National Gallery, etc.

It is one of the oldest state scientific and cultural institutions in the USA. It was founded in 1846 in Washington on the money of Englishman G. Smithson. As a part of the S. I. Astrophysical Observatory, National Zoological Park, National Gallery, etc.

Rating
( No ratings yet )
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Free Travels And Tours
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: