Holland Cotter wrote a piece about America's Museum on the Mall.
"WELCOME to the Smithsonian — America’s museum !” Lawrence M. Small, the Smithsonian’s recently ousted top executive, wrote in a peppy preface to the latest edition of the institution’s official guidebook. “Our goal,” he declared, “is nothing less” than to “set the standard of museum going excellence for the world.”
"Mr. Small was right about the Smithsonian being America’s museum. It is and has been since 1836, when the government accepted a gift from James Smithson, a British scientist who wanted to found “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge” for a young nation. (Smithson, who never set foot in America, is buried near the Smithsonian Castle.)" ..."That national identity is the real reason to care about what shape the Smithsonian is in."
read article here.