The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has received $3 million from the Daniels Fund to support the new “Jay I. Kislak World War II in the Air” gallery.
The new gallery will explore how World War II transformed aviation and warfare and inaugurated a new era in military aviation, according to museum officials. The gallery will open with a carrier war section featuring the Eastern Aircraft (Grumman) FM-1 Wildcat. The North American P-51D Mustang and the Messerschmitt Bf 109G are among the other rare fighter aircraft that will be featured. Smaller artifacts, images and digital interactives will also be used to tell the stories of workers from all walks of life that helped the United States and its Allies defeat their enemies.
The new gallery is part of the museum’s ongoing transformation of all its galleries at the flagship building in Washington, D.C., and is scheduled to open in 2025.
“We are honored to receive this generous support from the Daniels Fund in honor of Bill Daniels,” said Jeremy Kinney, associate director for research and curatorial affairs at the museum. “The gift will help the museum share meaningful stories, not only about World War II aviation, but also about the character and courage exemplified by pilots and veterans like Mr. Daniels.”
“It is a privilege to be a part of bringing the incredible stories of sacrifice and bravery of World War II aviators to life,” said Hanna Skandera, president & CEO of the Daniels Fund. “Bill Daniels believed he owed much of his success to the character and discipline he gained as a Navy fighter pilot”
The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program and more.
The gallery is located on the east end of the building and will be part of the second major phase of the museum’s renovation. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022. For more information about how the museum is transforming all of its exhibitions and revitalizing the building, visit AirAndSpace.si.edu/reimagining-air-and-space.
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport.