National gallery of art

Essay by carmie89College, UndergraduateA, March 2009

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The National Gallery of Art is a national art museum, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum was established in 1938 by the United States Congress. This museum was able to be created due to the funds and art worked donated by several different people. Andrew W. Mellon, who was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector, and Secretary of the Treasury, donated funds for construction and substantial art collection; also Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, and Joseph E. Widener had major roles in making the museum happen. As a result, the National Gallery today houses one of the finest collections of Western painting and sculpture in the world (National Gallery of Art, Wikipedia).

The National Gallery was designed by architect John Russell Pope, who would also go on to design the Jefferson Memorial, the new structure was completed and accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 17, 1941.

At this time the building was the largest marble structure in the world. In 1970 the Gallery’s East Building was constructed. Designed by famed architect I.M. Pei, the contemporary structure was completed in 1978, and was opened on June1 of that year by President Jimmy Carter. The new building was built to hold the Museum’s collection of modern paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints, in addition to study and research centers and offices. The building design received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1981. Finally, on May 23, 1999, the final addition was open, which was the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. The location provides an outdoor setting for exhibiting a number of pieces from the Museum’s contemporary sculpture collection (National Gallery of Art, Wikipedia).

The national Gallery of Art has one of the finest art collections in the world. In 1937 Congress passed legislation to establish the museum as in independent bureau within the Smithsonian Institution (National Gallery of Art, European and American paintings, sculpture, works on paper,Grace 2photographs, and decorative arts are displayed in the collection galleries and Sculpture Garden. The permanent collection of paintings spans from the middle ages to today. The strongest collection is the Italian Renaissance collection, which includes two panels from Duccio’s Maesta, Giorgione’s Allendale Nativity, Bellini’s Feast of the Gods, and significant groups of works by Titian and Raphael. However, the other European collections include examples of work of many great western painting. The collection of sculpture and decorative arts is admittedly not quite as rich as this, but includes such works as the Chalice of Abbot Suger of St-Denis and fantastic collection of work by Rodin and Degas(National Gallery of Art, Wikipedia).

Overall the National Gallery of Art has amazing pieces of art that people from around the world come and see. Still today, the National Gallery of Art remains one of the world’s most incredible museums in the world.

Work Cited"National Gallery of Art." Wikipedia. 31 Dec. 2008. 26 Jan. 2009 .

"Plan a Visit, National Gallery of Art." National Gallery of Art, Washington. 2009. 26 Jan. 2009.