National Gallery Of Art

National Gallery Of Art
6th and Constitution Avenue NW
202-737-4215

A Brief History:

The National Gallery of Art was conceived and given to the people of the United States by Andrew W. Mellon (1855–1937). Mellon was a financier and art collector from Pittsburgh who came to Washington in 1921 to serve as secretary of the treasury. During his years of public service he came to believe that the United States should have a national art museum equal to those of other great nations.

In 1936 Mellon wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt offering to donate his superb art collection for a new museum and to use his own funds to construct a building for its use. With the president’s support, Congress accepted Mellon’s gift, which included a sizable endowment, and established the National Gallery of Art in March 1937. Construction began that year at a site on the National Mall along Constitution Avenue between Fourth and Seventh Street NW, near the foot of Capitol Hill.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the National Gallery of Art is to serve the United States of America in a national role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards.

Policies and procedures toward these goals are cumulatively set forth in the Gallery’s legislation, bylaws, trustee action, and staff guidelines. The following general definitions outline the goals of the Gallery.

1. Preserving
The Gallery’s principal duty is to keep its collections and the facilities that house them intact and in optimum condition for future generations. To carry out this responsibility, the Gallery maintains effective programs of security, environmental control, buildings maintenance, and conservation.

2. Collecting
The Gallery limits its active art collecting primarily to paintings, sculptures, works of art on paper, and new media originating in Europe and the United States from the late Middle Ages to the present. Trustee policy allows the Gallery to accept, in addition, other significant works of art in conjunction with major donations in the primary areas of the Gallery’s collections.

3. Exhibiting
The Gallery is dedicated to putting its collections on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and elsewhere by loan as well as borrowing works of art for exhibition in Washington. Because its collecting field is narrow when seen in the context of world art, the Gallery strives to supplement its own works with exhibitions of material from other times and cultures. Simultaneously, balance is sought with exhibitions that illuminate and reinforce its own collections. The highest standards of scholarship, maintenance, installation, and interaction with the public all contribute to this critical exhibiting role.

4. Fostering Understanding
The Gallery’s role as an institution dedicated to fostering an understanding of works of art operates on a broad spectrum. From advanced research conducted by its curators, conservators, and at its Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts to the dissemination of knowledge to visitors and to the widest possible online audiences, the Gallery seeks to educate. The Gallery reaches out to students of all ages and to the general public through informed publications on its collections and exhibitions and an array of educational programs, films, and online initiatives. It acquires both print and digital publications, photographic images, and other research materials related to its collections and to the history and appreciation of art in general; and it makes these resources available online or by appointment through the library, gallery archives, and curatorial records. The Gallery recognizes that both the dissemination of information and the enhancement of the aesthetic experience are essential to fostering understanding of works of art. Ancillary programs furthering its aesthetic role, such as concerts and changing horticultural displays, have been part of the Gallery’s mission virtually since its inception and have expanded to include outdoor programs in the Sculpture Garden since its opening in 1999.


Upcoming Events at National Gallery Of Art

Season of Fall Concerts - Wild Up

Sunday, Sep 22, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Wild Up

Season of Fall Concerts - New York Opera Society

Friday, Sep 27, 2019 at 12:10pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - New York Opera Society

Season of Fall Concerts - Victory Hall Opera

Sunday, Sep 29, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Victory Hall Opera

Season of Fall Concerts

Sunday, Oct 6, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts

Season of Fall Concerts - Vamos Juntos

Sunday, Oct 13, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Vamos Juntos

Season of Fall Concerts - Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee

Sunday, Oct 20, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee

Season of Fall Concerts - Jacqueline Pollauf

Friday, Oct 25, 2019 at 12:10pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Jacqueline Pollauf

Season of Fall Concerts - Slavic Soul Party!

Sunday, Oct 27, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Slavic Soul Party!

Season of Fall Concerts - Gaelynn Lea

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 12:10pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Gaelynn Lea

Season of Fall Concerts - Jenny Scheinman and Allison Miller

Sunday, Nov 3, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Jenny Scheinman and Allison Miller

Season of Fall Concerts - Gewandhaus Woodwind Quintet

Sunday, Nov 10, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Gewandhaus Woodwind Quintet

Season of Fall Concerts

Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 3:00pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts

Season of Fall Concerts - Curtis on Tour

Sunday, Nov 17, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Curtis on Tour

Season of Fall Concerts - Atlantic Reed Consort

Friday, Nov 22, 2019 at 12:10pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Atlantic Reed Consort

Season of Fall Concerts

Saturday, Nov 23, 2019 at 3:00pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts

Season of Fall Concerts - Cherokee Chamber Singers

Sunday, Nov 24, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Fall Concerts - Cherokee Chamber Singers

Season of Winter Concerts

Sunday, Dec 1, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Winter Concerts

Season of Winter Concerts - JACK Quartet

Sunday, Dec 8, 2019 at 3:30pm
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC
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Season of Winter Concerts - JACK Quartet

Recent News

Alternate Takes: Jazz and Film 2017

In association with the exhibition Stuart Davis: In Full Swing, a film series composed of archival jazz rarities, classic narratives, documentaries, and TV programs considers a range of jazz interpretations for the screen.Schedule of Events:Duke…

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