D.C. is home to dozens of the world's most renowned museums. The Smithsonian Institution, an educational foundation chartered by Congress in 1846, maintains most of the nation's official museums and galleries. It is partially funded by the U.S. government, and therefore its collections are free of charge for the public to view. Many of D.C.'s museums are concentrated in and around the National Mall, including the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African Art, the National Museum of American History and many more.
The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall near the Capitol, but is not a part of the Smithsonian Institution. It is wholly owned by the government; admission is free. There are also numerous remarkable private museums, including the Newseum, the International Spy Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and more.