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Greenwich Retired Men's Group To Learn History Of The Smithsonian

Heather Ewing
Heather Ewing Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENWICH, CONN. — The Retired Men's Association of Greenwich Inc. invites the public to learn some fascinating facts on the Smithsonian Institution as its meeting June 1 at First Presbyterian Church, Greenwich.

Heather Ewing, daughter of member Ted Ewing, will do a presentation on “The Smithsonian Institution and its Fascinating History.”

The Smithsonian Institution, established in Washington, D.C. in 1846, is a much-loved treasure house of Americana: home to the Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and more. But did you know that an Englishman who never set foot in the United States founded this place we call “the nation’s attic”?

James Smithson was a scientist who spent much of his life in a Europe torn by revolution and war. Though he never visited the United States, he left his estate to us to found “at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Today, the Smithsonian has grown to become the world’s largest museum and research complex, encompassing 19 museums—for American history, natural history, American art, Asian art, African art, design, air and space, and more. There are also hundreds of scientists working around the world and nine research stations, from a tropical research station in Panama established over 100 years ago to one of the world’s great astrophysical observatories, operated in partnership with Harvard University.

Heather Ewing will tell the story of this fascinating man and of today’s remarkable place. Ewing, an architectural historian, is the executive director of the Center for Italian Modern Art, a new nonprofit research and exhibition center in New York.

Previously, she worked as a research associate and consultant to the Smithsonian Institution.

She received her bachelor's in art history from Yale University and master's in Architectural History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

The Greenwich Retired Men’s Association offers a free program every Wednesday that is open to the public, both men and women; no reservations are required. The social break starts at 10:40 a.m., followed by the speaker at 11 a.m. Programs are at the First Presbyterian Church, 1 W. Putnam Ave. in Greenwich. For additional information, visit or contact

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