Posted November 17, 2018 09:00:52After more than two decades, the Smithsonian has announced its decision to shut down the Smithsonian Art Institute and to focus its efforts on its flagship public art exhibit.
The decision, announced Thursday by the Smithsonian museum’s director, Richard Levesque, is one of the biggest art museum closures in decades, as many of its art collections were damaged or lost in the wake of the financial crisis.
The museum announced its plans to shut its Art Institute in 2015, but after decades of financial setbacks and public criticism, it reopened as an Art Institute Museum in 2021.
Levesques statement announcing the museum’s closure said that it would focus on “the future of the institution, and the arts, as we move forward.”
“As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, we believe that our museum and the institution we represent are the foundation upon which the nation was built, and we have decided that the time is right to move forward with a new plan,” Levesqes statement read.
The announcement came as a major blow to a beloved institution that Levesques predecessor, Michael Smith, led from 1998 to 2016.
The Smithsonian’s public art exhibits were a major draw for the public, and their impact was seen around the world.
As the world watched, the museum became a focal point for the financial collapse, and its public art exhibitions became a source of financial distress and political tension.
It also helped the institution to be a model for museums around the globe.
As a result, museums around world began to reconsider the role museums play in promoting the arts.
Leveque’s statement read, “I want to thank the museum community for its incredible commitment to our mission and to our legacy.”
The Smithsonian Museum is a unique institution that was created by a combination of the philanthropy of the Smiths and the work of the late artist Howard Hughes.
Its mission is to explore and preserve American culture and art in a way that respects its past and the values of our country.
Its current museum was designed in the 1960s by former President and current museum director, Howard Hughes, who served as an adviser to President Bill Clinton and who was instrumental in building the museum and its art exhibits.
Since its creation in 1874, the Smithsonian has been the home of American art and its collection of art has generated many of the most significant cultural and economic moments in the country.
Leesque, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said the museum would reopen in 2021 and will continue to promote American art.
Lezewecki, the president and chief operating officer of the museum, said in a statement, “We are proud to welcome the Smithsonian back into the American experience.”
“We will now devote our energies to the Art Institute,” he added.
The statement continued, “In the years ahead, we will also continue to pursue and create opportunities to expand the art collections that are now at the museum.”
Smiths’ Art Museum opened in 1915.
Its focus on the works of American artists was the center of the American artistic scene and its museum has grown in stature over the decades.
Smithsonian officials say the museum is the world’s largest collection of American and international art.
Its collections are more than 10,000 works, many of which are from private collections.
Leivsques statement said the Museum will be “dedicated to our heritage, our collections, and our community.”
The announcement comes on the heels of a scathing review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last year.
It found that the Smithsonian failed to properly track how it was spending its money, and that its financial management was “not transparent.”
The GAO also criticized Smithsonian officials for failing to disclose the full cost of the Art Institutes $20 billion annual budget.
The agency said that, for the past five years, the government has received over $20 million from the Smithsonian to support the art collection and to purchase art, including sculptures, glass and ceramics.
The GAOS report said the Smithsonian received about $5 million in tax-exempt contributions from the National Endowment for the Arts and $1.8 million from a private foundation, but that the GAO found no information about how these contributions were spent.
In the past, the art museum has been criticized for the number of exhibitions it hosts.
A report by the Art Bank Foundation, which analyzes museums, found that while the Smithsonian currently has more than 100 art exhibits and collections, it is only one of five museums that has been recognized as an art institution by the National Arts Foundation.
The other museums are: The British Museum, New York Museum of Art, Tate Modern, Whitney Museum, and The Tate.
“This is a sad day for America and an embarrassment for the Smithsonian,” said Art Bank founder and CEO Richard Paley.
This article is part of The National Arts Center