August 10 in Art History – Louvre opens, Smithsonian established

Park West Gallery’s roundup of important cultural events that took place on this day in art history.

The Musée du Louvre opened to the public (1793)

On August 10, 1793, the Musée du Louvre opened to the public for the first time. This central landmark in Paris was originally established as “a national palace to house the king and for gathering together all the monuments of the sciences and the arts.” Opening day presented an exhibition of 537 works, mostly paintings from the collections of the French royal family and aristocrats. Today, the Louvre houses 35,000 works of art drawn from eight departments, displayed in over 60,000 square meters of exhibition space dedicated to the permanent collections.

Louvre Museum

The Smithsonian Institution was established (1846)

On August 10, 1846, U.S. Congress passed legislation founding the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, as an establishment dedicated to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” President James K. Polk signed it into law the same day. Today, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, including 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park.Smithsonian Institution

For more on this day in art history, visit the Park West Gallery Blog: Artist Birthdays – August 10

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