Entrepreneurial success and innovative spirit can come in many forms, and emerge from innumerable paths. The same can be said for stories of immigrants' challenges and triumphs. Standing at the crossroad of those two themes are present-day innovators, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who are also immigrants to the United States. It is a fascinating confluence, and the National Museum of American History wanted to learn more.
The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation will open its first permanent public home—the Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation—at the National Museum of American History July 1. The Hall will feature “Places of Invention,” a signature 3,500 square-foot exhibition examining hotspots of invention throughout history; Draper Spark!Lab, a hands-on space for children aged 6 to 12; and “Inventive Minds,” a small gallery that will introduce the work of the Lemelson Center.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is transforming how its audiences will experience history beginning July 1 when it opens exhibitions, learning places and programming spaces all centered on the theme of innovation. The first floor of the museum’s West Wing will open with 45,000-square-feet featuring exhibitions that explore the history of American business, showcase “hot spots” of invention and put the spotlight on the National Numismatic Collection.
Inventive Minds, a gallery within the Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation, introduces visitors to the mission and work of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, particularly its efforts to document invention. Brief video interviews, complemented by archival materials and artifacts, put the focus on the inventors and their processes, telling their stories in their own words.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History plans to transform how its audiences experience history by creating a multiplex of exhibition galleries, experiential programs and performance spaces and an education center within a 120,000-square-foot wing of its 50-year-old McKim, Mead and White designed building.
The wing’s first floor will open July 1, 2015, with the second and third floors opening in 2016 and 2017.