Patent models join art in new Smithsonian exhibitWASHINGTON (AP) - A landmark Washington building once known as the "temple of invention" is revisiting its roots, hosting a new "Great Hall of American Wonders" to explore 19th-century innovations through art.
By: Brett Zongker, Associated Press
The exhibit opened Friday at the Smithsonian American Art
Museum, which now occupies the historic patent building. Curators
say the idea was sparked in part by talk of the United States
losing its edge in innovation.
Curators pulled together artworks, inventions and scientific
discoveries from the 1800s to show how Americans came to believe
they have a "special genius" for invention.
Curator Claire Perry says the early 19th century was a time of
crisis as the last founding fathers died, causing worries the
country might not survive. But many came to celebrate the nation's