Arts Desk

Sequestration Temporarily Closes Parts of Hirshhorn, African Art Museum, and Smithsonian Castle

Today, the Smithsonian announced that some parts of the Hirshhorn, the National Museum of African Art, and the Smithsonian Castle will temporarily close beginning Wednesday. The closures, which will last until Sept. 30, come as a consequence of the sweeping federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

Before today, the Smithsonian would only say that some unspecified galleries would be forced to close. Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough announced the specific closures at the Smithsonian Castle after today's Board of Regents meeting.

Via a statement from the Smithsonian, here's the most up-to-date (but not necessarily complete) list of areas that will be closed from May 1 to Sept. 30:

  • The Smithsonian Castle will close the Commons (a room displaying objects from around the Smithsonian)
  • National Museum of African Art will close a small room in part of a permanent exhibition, “African Mosaic” (will be posted on museum’s website)
  • Hirshhorn Museum will close some sections of the permanent collection galleries on the third floor (will be posted on museum’s website)

The Smithsonian says that cuts to security spending forced the institution to shut down some parts of its museums, which are patrolled by contracted security guards. Today's statement emphasizes that "all Smithsonian museums will remain open, with all major exhibitions open to visitors."

Photo of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden courtesy Smithsonian

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  1. #1

    I assume they are closing after an exhaustive search for ways to trim fat and economize. Likely not.

    Most of the country and it's taxpayers never see these establishments. I would not hold my breath for a widespread public outcry. Somehow, just somehow, America will continue to exist with these places temporarily shuttered.

    I do have to wonder how much money the correspondent's dinner spent on security - even less Americans get to go to that necessary function (sarc)...

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