America's National Gallery of Art
Seventy-five years ago, on the brink of America's entry into World War II, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, D.C. Founded and given by Andrew W. Mellon and accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of the nation, the museum housed Mellon's stunning art collection and took its place on the National Mall in the neoclassical structure that is today's West Building. Since that time, the National Gallery's singular status as the nation's art museum has continued to attract generous donors who have added tens of thousands of magnificent works of art and whose largesse has made possible such expansions as I. M. Pei's East Building in 1978, the Sculpture Garden in 1999, and most recently a rooftop terrace and new tower galleries in the East Building. In celebration of the momentous anniversary of a beloved cultural institution, America's National Gallery of Art takes readers on a definitive inside tour through the museum's remarkable history and growth.
With lively prose and abundant illustrations, this richly detailed volume recounts the development of the National Gallery under its four directors--David Finley, John Walker, J. Carter Brown, and current leader Earl A. Powell III--and highlights the museum's collections, exhibitions, architecture, and ambience. Later chapters explore the Gallery's new emphasis on contemporary art and its historic 2014 agreement to accept stewardship of the Corcoran Collection, giving readers and visitors a window onto the future of this national treasure.
The most authoritative look at one of the world's greatest museums, America's National Gallery of Art will be appreciated for generations to come.