The Smithsonian Institution

United States, 1965

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As close to a dramatic feature as the Eameses ever got in this tribute commissioned for the 125th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution. Dramatises the early history and development of the Smithsonian Institution, which began with the unusual bequest of Englishman James Smithson. Traces the growth of the Smithsonian from a small research centre and repository of museum collections to its modern position. In addition to the dramatic recreation, this film also uses paintings, sculpture and other works of art to recreate the period. Narrated by Alistair Cooke, prologue by Walter Cronkite, advice and counsel by John Houseman. Appearing are Ronald Long, Arnold Moss and Alan Napier.

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production company



Charles Eames

Ray Eames



Production places
United States
Production dates

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ACMI Identifier




Subject categories

Education, Instruction, Teaching & Schools → Research

History → History

History → Science and civilization

History → United States - History

History → United States - History - 19th century

History → United States - History - 20th century

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Science

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Science - History

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Science and civilization

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Smithsonian Institution

Short films

Short films → Short films - United States




Black and White


16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

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