Arts and Industries Building

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Arts and Industries Building at the Smithsonian.
Arts and Industries Building at the Smithsonian.

The Arts and Industries Building is the second oldest of the Smithsonian museums. The building, designed by Adolf Cluss, opened in 1881 as the National Museum, and hosted an inaugural ball for President James A. Garfield. In 1910 the natural history collections were moved to the new National Museum of Natural History, and the old museum was given its present name. In 1964 the remaining exhibitions were moved to the National Museum of Science and Technology. The museum reopened with its only permanent exhibit in 1976, 1876: A Centennial Exhibition. This contained many objects, from across the globe, which were present at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. A children's theater, known as the Discovery Theater was also opened in the museum. The Arts and Industries Building was mainly used to house temporary exhibitions. In 2004 the museum was again closed for renovation. The Discovery Theater remains open.

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