National Gallery of Art Washington D.C.
The National Gallery of Art Washington DC, one of the world’s preeminent museums, preserves, collects, exhibits, and fosters the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards. The Gallery’s collection includes some 141,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, decorative arts, and new media tracing the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present.
The Gallery’s campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, which is linked underground to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, and the 6.1-acre (25,000 m2) Sculpture Garden. The Gallery often presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art. It is one of the largest museums in North America.
Pittsburgh banker (and Treasury Secretary from 1921 until 1932) Andrew W. Mellon began gathering a private collection of old master paintings and sculptures during World War I. During the late 1920s, Mellon decided to direct his collecting efforts towards the establishment of a new national gallery for the United States.
In 1930, partly for tax reasons, Mellon formed the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, which was to be the legal owner of works intended for the gallery. In 1930–1931, the Trust made its first major acquisition, 21 paintings from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg as part of the Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings, including such masterpieces as Raphael’s Alba Madonna, Titian’s Venus with a Mirror, and Jan van Eyck’s Annunciation.
In 1929 Mellon had initiated contact with the recently appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Charles Greeley Abbot. Mellon was appointed in 1931 as a Commissioner of the Institution’s National Gallery of Art. When the director of the Gallery retired, Mellon asked Abbot not to appoint a successor, as he proposed to endow a new building with funds for expansion of the collections.
6th & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565
Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
National Gallery of Art Washington DC | paintings in chronological order
1576 – 1600