National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

5 out of 5 stars 64 Reviews

3rd & 7th Streets at Constitution Avenue, (202) 737-4215

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  • Interior of gallery
    Interior of gallery
    by Africancrab
  • Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas 1873
    Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas 1873
    by Africancrab
  • Francois Boucher, Oil on Canvas 1750, French
    Francois Boucher, Oil on Canvas 1750,...
    by Africancrab
  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo

    The National Gallery of Art

    by JetlagCity Updated Dec 18, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    pyramids between the East & West wings

    The National Gallery of Art is actually two buildings full of great Western art, including a couple of the precious few Vermeers in existence. The great Spanish, Dutch, French, and Italian painters are all represented here. Plus it features temporary exhibits from all over the world.

    I saw my first Calder mobile in the atrium of the East wing, a space which was a joy to be in. It was all a huge treat for me, coming from Boise, ID at the time, and not having seen many great works of art in person yet. The glass pyramids in the picture serve as skylights for the underground portion of the museum, and were designed by I.M. Pei.

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    National Gallery of Art-West

    by Dabs Updated Oct 23, 2004

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    Saint-Gaudens Memorial to Shaw

    The National Gallery West building is where most of the collection resides. My two favorites are French Impressionism and American Art so I concentrated mostly on the east wing of the West building. Grab a map at the information desk when you enter so you know which sections to visit, especially if you are short on time.

    The museum has 14 rooms of 19th century French art with some very impressive examples from the major French artisits from that period-Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, etc. and one from Caillebotte (the artist of Rainy Day in Paris which hangs in the Art Institute in Chicago) titled "Skiffs" that I had not seen before.

    The American collection inhabits 10 rooms and includes artisits such as Whistler, Homer, Cassatt and Sargeant.

    The museum also has an extensive collection of Italian, Dutch and Spanish art but I only had about 2 hours so I didn't get to see that part of the collection.

    The West and East buildings are connected by an underground walkway so you don't have to go through security twice. There wasn't a wait to get in on a Monday morning but if there is you might try the East building.

    There's a nice looking cafeteria between the two buildings and a gift shop.

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    National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 13, 2009

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    See my sis to the right?:-)

    This was a wonderful relief to find in such heat when I was visiting. We ventured into the 6.1 acre garden and discovered it had all these wonderful sculptures to enjoy and plus it had this huge fountain to sit by and stick our feet in. Lots of wonderful plants and flowers to enjoy too!

    During the winter months the fountain area in converted to a ice skating rink during November 15 thru March 15 weather permitting.
    Regular hours are:
    Mon - Thurs 10am - 5pm
    Friday - Sat 10am - midnight
    Sunday 11am - 9 Pm

    Sculpture Garden Open
    Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm
    Sun 11am - 6pm

    There are brocures by the gate with alot of wonderful imformation and tells you about each of the sculptures.

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    National Gallery of Art-East

    by Dabs Updated Oct 23, 2004

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    Interior National Gallery East

    The East Building is the smaller of the two National Gallery of Art Buildings. It opened in 1978, the odd shape of the site led architect IM Pei to design the building as two interlocking triangles.

    On the ground floor there is a nice collection of small French paintings and the upper level currently has a display "Palace and Mosque Islamic Art from the Victoria and Albert Museum" that runs through Feb. 6, 2005.

    The Calder mobile "untitled" is currently off display.

    To get to the West building, go to the concourse below ground level and take the walkway so you don't have to go through security twice.

    If you are hungry there is the Cascade Cafe on the concourse between the two buildings.

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    National Gallery of Art

    by jlee008 Updated Nov 21, 2004

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    Lobby Statue of Mercury

    In March 2001, the National Gallery of Art marked its sixtieth anniversary of its opening. The West wing was designed by American architect, John Russell Pope. Its architecture from the outside is impressive, however, step inside and admire its collection of paintings and sculptures. The West Wing houses the National Gallery of Art's European paintings and sculpture, from the thirteenth through the nineteenth centuries, and American art. Don't miss its collection of Monet and Caneletta.

    The East Wing houses their collection of modern and contemporary art. In addition, special exhibits are often placed on display there. I remember a LONG LONG time ago, Georgia O'Keefe had her works displayed there, probably sometime in the late 80s early 90s. I nearly drooled knowing that I was going to see her works!! My fond memory of the National Gallery of Art!!

    Check out their website and you can take a virtual tour before going there!!!

    ADMISSION: Free

    HOURS:
    Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Closed on December 25 and January 1

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    National Gallery of Art in Washington

    by Paul2001 Written Mar 28, 2005

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    The National Gallery of Art, the East Wing

    The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. is home of greatest collection of Western Painting to be found in the Western Hemisphere. This may provoke some argument by those who may consider the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitian Museum of the Arts as superior art museums but I believe that those collections, although excellent, more renown for their collections of archeological and decorative arts rather than exclusively for their paintings. Other art museums in Amercia have strong collections of great paintings but are not as important as the collection at the National Gallery of Art.
    What makes this museum so impressive is the amazing collection by such Renaissance and Baroque masters as Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Eyck, Raphael and Botticelli. Even more striking is that there are no less than three Vermeers here and the only work by Leonardo to be found in North America. The museum also houses a superb collection of impressionist and expressionist works by Monet, Cezanne, Renoir and Degas. The museum has hold many 20th century works by noted painters as Picasso and Matisse.
    The National Gallery of Art owes its wonderful collection to the efforts of Andrew Mellon who donated his personal collection to the museum. The museum's collection is spread out over two buildings. The West Wing, a neoclassical building, is the home of most of the pernament collection while the 20th century collection and special exhibits are held in the east wing. This building was recently built and designed by I.M. Pei.
    The National Gallery of Art is one of those galleries that take better part of day to see all of. If you are limited in time then check out the museum guide and skip the parts that you deem uninteresting. Personally I was not overly impressed by the 20th century collection and the token works by the English masters.
    The museum has free admission and is open seven days a week.

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  • National Gallery of Art

    by peach93 Updated Mar 1, 2005

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    Fountain Garden Beneath Museum's Rotunda

    The National Gallery of Art has one of the most extensive collections of fine art in the world. Their permanent collection includes works from masters like Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas, including famous paintings like Renoir's "Girl With Watering Can" and Salvador Dali's "Last Supper". In addition to paintings they have a huge collection of sculptures and Chinese Ming vases. The Gallery features rotating exhibits as well. On the days that I visited they had one of Rembrant's religious paintings. In a building connected to the main museum by an underground tunnel is the Gallery's modern art collection where you can see work by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Henri Matiisse to name only a few. Admission is free.

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    National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

    by jlee008 Written Nov 21, 2004

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    Fountain Turned Ice Rink in Sculpture Garden

    Even though the Sculpture Garden is a part of the National Gallery of Art, I feel as if it deserves its own tip.

    Outside of the gallery, you will find the Sculpture Garden. This is the newest addition to the National Gallery of Art. It opened May 23, 1999 in order to offer enjoyment to the public year round. To this end, it succeeded!!! It is a lovely place where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or sit idly while people go by. It is also filled with a rather expansive fountain in the middle.

    What is particularly fun about this place is that in the autumn/winter, the fountain in the sculpture garden is transformed into a skating rink...way cool!! So if you get to drop by sometime in November, do drop by and practice your skating!!!

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    National Gallery of Art

    by richiecdisc Written Apr 25, 2010

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    one of the many stunning pieces at NAG
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    While the National Gallery of Art is not part of the Smithsonian Institute, it is free despite being one of the largest and most impressive collections of art in not only the United States but the world. Thanks to the generous donation of Andrew W. Mellon's collection upon his death in 1937, Congress created the ambitious endeavor for the people of the United States. It opened in 1941 though an additional building was added in 1978 to help house the growing collection.

    While it may not be the Louvre, this is no two hour walk through. In fact, two hours will be a very cursory visit through a small portion of the sprawling collection. If you have something you want to see, you might want to map out your trip or plan to spend an entire day to fully see even one building.

    This was very high on our list of places to visit and we spent about four hours in a very well-planned exploration. It was one of the main things that had us wishing we had a week in town rather than four days!

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    National Gallery of Art

    by mindcrime Written Nov 9, 2010

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    National Gallery of Art
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    The National Gallery of Art houses an impressive collection of world art, who can say no to paintings made by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet etc?

    It opened in 1937, 4 years after Andrew W. Mellon donated his collection upon his death. The building is typical in The Mall in neoclassical style(pic 1) with ionic colums in front and some nice hallways (pic 2) while there are some nice halls and open spaces with fountains (pic 3) that will help to empty your thoughts for a while before you get overdosed by art :)

    The museum isn’t small but as I get tired staying more than 3 hours in any museum I preferred to see specific sections and enjoy it more this way.

    So, I skipped the medieval section and spent only a little time for Renaissance works but it is an interesting collection including Raphael, Botticelli even a portrait made by Leonardo da Vinci! Of course, the Impressionist gallery will cut your breath too with several top class paintings.

    What I loved was those paintings from 15th and 16th century. My favorite ones are in the dutch sectione(you can see the first 2 at pics 4&5):
    “Daniel in the Lions’ Den” oil on canvas 1616 by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish 1577-1640)
    “Still Life with Swan and Game before a Country Estate” oil on canvas 1685 by Jan Weenix (Dutch, 1642-1719)
    “The Dancing Couple” oil on canvas 1663 by Jan Steen (Dutch, 1626-1679)
    “The Fall of Man” oil on canvas 1616 by Hendrik Goltziousn (Dutch, 1558-1617)
    “Silvio with the Wounded Dorinda” oil on canvas 1651 by Louis Vallee (Dutch, 1653)

    The museum isn’t part of the Smithsonian Institute but it’s for free too. It is open daily 10.00-17.30

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  • doug48's Profile Photo

    national gallery of art

    by doug48 Written Sep 16, 2007

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    national gallery of art

    the national gallery is located in two buildings on the mall across the park from the smithsonian. the newer east wing houses modern art and the more traditional building to the west houses european and american traditional art. the european painting rooms are a must see site in washington. in my opinion the national gallery is the best art museum in america next to the metropolitan in new york. for lovers of fine art the west wing is a must see spot in washington.

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    National Gallery of Art

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 19, 2006

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    The National Gallery of Art
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    This is one of the world's greatest art museums--definitely a must-see for any art lover. It has a fine collection of the old European masters, American artists, and more.

    It consists of two buildings, the ultra-modern East Building and the more traditional Greek-revival West Building.

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    Jacques-Louis Davis and Francisco de Goya

    by matcrazy1 Updated Mar 13, 2006

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    THE MARQUESA DE PONTEJOS, FRANSCISO DE GOYA
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    There are two works of art in National Art Gallery which are marked as highlights in museum's leaflet:
    1. "The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries", oil on canvas painted by Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748 - 1825) in 1812
    2. "The Marquesa de Pontejos", oil on canvas painted by Francisco de Goya (Spanish, 1746 - 1828) probably in 1786.

    Jacques-Louis David was a highly influential French painter in the Neoclassical style. He was born and lived in Paris, then in Rome. He first supported the French Revolution and was a friend of Maximilien de Robespierre. Then he was imprisoned and he aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release, that of Napoleon I. However when the Bourbons returned to power after Napoleon's defeat David refused their offer to become a court painter. He preferred instead to seek a self-imposed exile in Brussels. His most famous painting "Oath of the Horatii" I've seen in Musee du Louvre in Paris. I'd like to see his another famous painting "The Death of Socrates" in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

    Francisco de Goya was a portraitist of royalty and chronicler of history who produced painting and prints. He grew up in Fuendetodos (40 km south of Zaragoza). Then he lived in Zaragoza and Madrid. At age 46 Goya became deaf. He bought a house near Manzanares (it's northwest of Madrid, half a way to Segovia), which was known as the Quinta del Sordo ("House of the Deaf"). Then he moved to Paris and Bordeaux, France where he died. I've seen a lot of Goya paintings in the Museo del Prado, in Madrid, including his most famous Nude Maja.

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    %Jan van Eyck, Giovanni Bellini and Titian

    by matcrazy1 Updated Mar 13, 2006

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    THE ANNUNCIATION, JAN VAN EYCK (1434/1436?)
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    There are two works of art in National Art Gallery which are marked as highlights in museum's leaflet:
    1. "The Annunciation", oil on canvas transferred from panel painted by Jan van Eyck (Netherlandish, circa 1390 - 1441) circa 1434/1436
    2. "The Feast of the Gods", oil on canvas painted by Giovanni Bellini (Venetian, c. 1430/1435 - 1516) and Titian (Venetian, c. 1490 - 1576) in 1514/1529.

    Jan van Eyck was the most famous painter of the 15th century. He lived in the Hague (probably), resided in Lille, France for a year and then moved to Bruges, Belgium.
    His most famous work is a very large and complex polyptych panel painting The Ghent altarpiece in cathedral of St Bavo in Gent, Belgium which includes The Adoration of the Lamb.

    Giovanni Bellini focused on religious subjects, rather than on the increasing popular classical subject matter. He experimented with the use of color and atmosphere in oil painting. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it towards a more "sensuous and colouristic style". His mott famous painting, except "The Feast of the Gods" is "The Doge Leonardo Loredan", on display in the National Gallery in London.

    Titian (Tiziano Vecelli) worked and learnt in Bellini's workshop. He is considered one of the greatest 16th century Renaissance painter. He was born in Pieve di Cadore and lived in Venice. I've seen his most famous painting "Venus of Urbino" in Uffizi in Florence.

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    Religious 15-16th century art

    by matcrazy1 Updated Mar 13, 2006

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    TAPESTRY
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    In National Gallery of Art I've paid attention to two religious works of art:
    1. "The Crucifixion", tapestry (undyed wool warp; spun silver, silver-gilt, and dyed silk and wool weft) created by Pieter Pannemaker I (Flemish, active circa 1517/1535) in circa 1520.
    2. "The Virgin Annunciate", stained glass crated by Giovanni di Domenico (Florentine, active circa 1500) in 1498/1503.

    I've also seen Florentine Cassone Made for Altoviti Family of walnut in the first half of the 16th century. It pus put under "The Crucificion" tapestry.

    Pieter Pannemaker belonged to family of tapestry weavers who furnished the palaces of Europe with impressive tapestries in gold and silver threads and expensively dyed fine silks and wools from his shop in Brussels. Paris and Arras in France as well as Tournai and Brussels in Belgium were main producers of tapestries. In my native Polish language tapestry is called "arras" no matter where it was woven.

    Few of old tapestries survived the French Revolution as hundreds were burnt to recover the gold thread that was often woven into them. Sigismund II of Poland collected tapestries. His collection counted 350 tapestries mainly from Flanders of which 142 survived. Nowadays they form the world's largest tapestry collection put on display in the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, Poland.
    The three most famous tapestries:
    - "La Dame a la Licorne" (The Lady and the Unicorn), stored in l'Hotel de Cluny in Paris
    - "Bayeux Tapestry" which due to impressive size (50 cm by 70 m = 20in by 230ft) exhibited in a special museum in Bayeux, Normandy, France
    - "The Hunt of the Unicorn" displayed at The Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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