Budget Cuts Will Close Some Smithsonian Exhibits Institution will start rolling gallery closures By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Apr 16, 2013 3:50 PM CDT 84 comments Comments Smoke dissipates over the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington on Feb. 7, 2011, after a fire in a detached building containing the museum's cooling tower. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – Bad news for museum lovers: Budget cuts from Congress will soon reduce the number of free exhibitions on view each day at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough is telling Congress today that the museum complex must reduce its security contract for gallery attendants because of the budget cuts, according to written testimony. As a result, the Smithsonian plans to begin rolling gallery closures after May 1. Clough says the Smithsonian also will likely have to postpone or cancel exhibits for 2014 and 2015. The Smithsonian has been working to keep its museums open. It had to reduce its budget by at least $41 million because of across-the-board cuts imposed by Congress. Separately, the National Archives saw a nearly $20 million cut and has already reduced its operating hours.