The Smithsonian at 175

SI 175

2021 represents a significant chapter in the Smithsonian’s history—its 175th anniversary. As we commemorate this milestone, it is important to not only look back at where we have been, but also look ahead to what is on the horizon. Please take a moment to watch this short video highlighting the Smithsonian’s unique ability to inspire a new generation to learn from the past and build a brighter future.

The Smithsonian at 175



an audacious idea 

to grow and broadcast more knowledge than the world had ever seen 

with an eye to the future 

that dream was the Smithsonian 

your Smithsonian

expanding the portrait of a people

revealing the building blocks of life

to discover new species 

and save those we already know

a knowledge powerhouse with purpose

and a community mindset 

inspiring a new generation to learn from the past

speak up 

be civic

serve a nation

so that together we can step  into the future with optimism

no dreams deferred

Looking Forward

Futures exhibition illustration

To celebrate the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary in 2021, we’ll be reopening the Arts and Industries Building for the first time in two decades with a groundbreaking new experience that looks forward. Part exhibition, part festival, FUTURES will be the first building-wide exploration of the future on the National Mall. What do you imagine when you think of the future? We’ll invite you to dream, debate, delight, and discover not just one but many possible futures on the horizon: exosuits, underwater homes, lab-grown meals, experiments, prototypes, and more. Open November 2021–July 2022, FUTURES is your guide to a vast array of interactives, artworks, tech, and ideas that are glimpses into humanity’s next chapter.

From the Collections