National Gallery of Art


National Gallery of Art
a US museum of art owned by the nation and supported by the government. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and was established in 1937, when Andrew Mellon died and left his collection of art to the nation. The West Building opened in 1941 and contains works by such great artists as Raphael, Reubens, Rembrandt and El Greco. The East Building for 20th-century art was opened in 1978.

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Museum in Washington, D.C., part of the Smithsonian Institution.

It was founded in 1937 when Andrew W. Mellon donated his collection of European paintings to the U.S. He also donated funds to construct the gallery's Neoclassical building, opened in 1941. Now known as the West Building, it is connected by plaza and underground concourse to the East Building, designed by I.M. Pei (completed 1978). The museum houses an extensive collection of U.S. and European paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and graphic arts from the 12th to 21st centuries; especially well represented are works by Italian Renaissance, 17th-century Dutch, and 18th-and 19th-century French artists.

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      American museum of art, part of the federally operated Smithsonian Institution system, located at the east end of the Mall, Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1937 when the financier and philanthropist Andrew W. Mellon (Mellon, Andrew W.) donated to the government a collection of paintings by European masters and a large sum of money to construct the gallery's Neoclassical building, which was designed by the architect John Russell Pope (Pope, John R.) and opened in 1941. That structure came to be known as the West Building after 1978, when it was connected by plaza and underground concourse to the new East Building, which was designed by I.M. Pei (Pei, I.M.) and Partners.

      The National Gallery now houses a very extensive collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and graphic works from the 12th to the 20th century. The museum has especially rich holdings of works by Italian Renaissance painters, as well as by Dutch and Spanish Baroque and French Rococo artists.

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Universalium. 2010.

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