Saturday, June 26, 2010

Smithsonian Museums - American History

Two Todds

National Museum of American History

Growing up in the Midwest, I thought the Smithsonian consisted of a single, giant museum. One giant building with the bar from Cheers, Fonzie's jacket, a bunch of dinosaur bones, and a ton of boring paintings. A lot of people seem to have this impression and then are a bit disappointed when they get to Washington. This is especially true for American History because it holds a huge portion of the stuff people associate with the Smithsonian.

Here's what I came away with after a visit with our friends Todd and Jonni from Purdue.

  • American History is best known for its pop culture stuff including Archie Bunker's chair, the ruby slippers, Kermit the Frog, and The Fonz's leather jacket. The rest of this collection rotates. Right now it's pretty lame. Apollo Ohno's skates and Nastia Liukin's leotard. Are you kidding me Smithsonian? That's all you've got for me?
  • The other big draw is Julia Child's kitchen. The gal owned way more cooking stuff than anyone would ever need.
  • There was a really cool exhibit about ships and an even better one about transportation in US history.

Kermit de frog

The birthplace of pretentious American foodies.

What great museum is complete without a Chrysler minivan?

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