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
To the left of the entrance is the West Sculpter Hall
ending at the Wast Garden Court
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
For more information see links below
Gallery Home Page
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