When planning the interior of the Smithsonian’s National Museum (now the AIB), architect Adolf Cluss and his colleagues drew upon the basic design of the great exposition buildings of the day. Unlike exposition buildings, however, the National Museum was intended to be a permanent fixture; Cluss and his team therefore needed to choose structural elements and techniques to institute a sense of safety, longevity and visual appeal.

Through the use of flattering paint colors, decorative flooring and elegant ironwork, the AIB’s interior design provides the public to explore, celebrate, and learn about the nation’s natural resources, arts, and industries.