Library of Congress

National Art Gallery


Beginning in the 1920s, financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon began gathering a collection of old master paintings and sculptures with the intent of providing the country with a national art gallery. Following his death in 1937, Congress in a joint resolution accepted Mellon's collection and building funds (provided through the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust), and approved the construction of a museum on the National Mall.

Designed by architect John Russell Pope (who would go on to design the Jefferson Memorial), the new structure was completed and accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of the American people on March 17, 1941. At the time of its inception it was the largest marble structure in the world. The museum stands on the former site of the Sixth Street railway station, most famous for being where 20th president James Garfield was shot in 1881 by a disgruntled office seeker.

To the right of the entrance is the East Sculpter Hall ending at the East Garden Court

National Art Gallery Washington DC

National Art Gallery Washington DC

To the left of the entrance is the West Sculpter Hall ending at the Wast Garden Court

National Art Gallery Washington DC

National Art Gallery Washington DC

The Gallery's East Building was constructed in the 1970s on the remaining land left over from the original congressional joint resolution utilizing funds from Mellon's children Paul Mellon and Alisa Mellon Bruce. Designed by famed architect I.M. Pei, the contemporary structure was completed in 1978, and was opened on June 1 of that year by President Jimmy Carter. The new building was built to house the Museum's collection of modern paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints, as well as study and research centers and offices. The design received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1981.

The final addition to the complex is the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Completed and opened to the public on May 23, 1999, the location provides an outdoor setting for exhibiting a number of pieces from the Museum's contemporary sculpture collection.

The 15 pieces include "Thinker on a Rock" by Barry Flanagan, "Spider" by Louise Bourgeois and "Girls" by Magdalena Abakanowicz

National Art Galler

National Art Galler

National Art Gallery

For more information see links below

Gallery Home Page

Gallery Collection

Wikipedia

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National Art Gallery

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National Art Gallery

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