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National Gallery of Art

Constitution Avenue and 4th Street N.W.
Washington, D C

Phone: 202-737 4215 --
TTY: 202- 842 6176

Statement of Purpose:

The National Gallery of Art, one of the world's preeminent museums, was created for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier, public servant, and art collector Andrew W. Mellon in 1937, the year of his death.

The Gallery's outstanding permanent collection of nearly 100,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts traces the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. Its world-renowned conservation department restores and analyzes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper.

Funds for the construction of the original (West) building, which opened to the public in 1941, were provided by the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust. The collection on view in the West Building, designed by John Russell Pope, includes primarily European works from the thirteenth century through the early twentieth century. A comprehensive survey of Italian painting and sculpture, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Western Hemisphere is presented here. Rich in Dutch masters and French impressionists, the collection offers superb surveys of American, British, Flemish, Spanish, and fifteenth- and sixteenth-century German art. A recent addition is the Micro Gallery, the most comprehensive, interactive, multimedia computer system in an American art museum.

Funds for construction of the East Building were given by Paul Mellon and the late Ailsa Mellon Bruce, the son and daughter of the founder, and by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Designed by 1. M. Pei, the East Building opened to the public in 1978. Its galleries and exhibition spaces are especially suited for displaying contemporary art. Major twentieth-century artists such as Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko are represented in the collection. The East Building also houses the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, a research library, an extensive photographic archive, and administrative offices.

Some fifteen to twenty special exhibitions are held annually. The Gallery also offers a concert series, in addition to numerous lectures, tours, film showings, and a wide range of educational programs and materials. Works on paper by important artists ranging from Albrecht Durer to Helen Frankenthaler may be seen in special exhibitions or by calling 202/842-6380 to make an appointment to view them in the print study rooms.

The National Gallery represents a partnership of federal and private resources. The Gallery's operations and maintenance are supported through federal appropriations. All of the Gallery's acquisitions of works of art as well as numerous special programs are made possible through private donations or funds. Admission to all exhibitions and events is free of charge.

The Gallery is located on Constitution Avenue, N.W., between Third and Seventh Streets, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For information, call (202) 737-4215. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD): (202) 842-6176, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The National Gallery of Art's Web site can be reached at

To receive the Gallery's monthly Calendar of Events free of charge, call 202/842-6662.
To receive the quarterly Film Calendar free of charge, call 202/842-6799.

Highlights & Collections:

Exhibits & Special Events:

For more details on the following current exhibitions, contact the National Gallery of Art at (202) 842-6353 or visit the Gallery's Web site at


Admission & Directions:

The National Gallery of Art, located on the National Mall at Fourth Street and constitution Avenue, N.W.

Key Personnel:

Earl A. Powell III, Director

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