Founded back in the year 1937, it is the national art museum in Washington, D.C. United States owes this grand art gallery to the one who believed that U.S. should also have a national art museum just like other big nations have. The man, Andrew W. Mellon proposed this great idea to the president of that time, Sir Roosevelt. Thanks to this man’s united efforts and love for art, it is in the list of one of the most popular museums in the United States. If you love to see a splendid collection of artwork, don’t forget to visit the National Gallery of Art in Washington. If you are intrigued, let’s know these some very interesting and amazing facts about this Gallery of Art:
1. The Only Painting!
The National Gallery of Art houses the only Leonardo Da Vinci painting, Ginevra de’Benci, in the whole Western Hemisphere.
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2. The Largest Ever Mobile
The largest mobile ever created (by Alexander Calder) is housed in the National Gallery of Art in its east building.
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3. Privately Established By United States Congress
In the year 1937, this art gallery was privately established by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. In 1936, Mellon wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt offering a proposal to construct the building for this art gallery and also fund it himself. With the president’s support, Congress accepted Mellon’s gift and the construction for National Gallery of Art began in March 1937.
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4. With Just 126 Paintings!
When the National Gallery of Art opened to the public, the collection of artworks included the classic collection of 126 paintings and 26 sculptures given by Andrew Mellon. Today The National Gallery of Art possesses a world-renowned collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, and photographs from the best of artists.
5. Accessible To All!
Mellon thought that the museum should belong to the people of the United States. It should be for the entire public i.e., people should forever have access to it. He declared that the museum should be open to the public without any charge or fees and the maintenance shall be carried by annual Congressional appropriation.
6. A National Award For It
The design of the Gallery’s East Building received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1981. The famous architect I.M. Pei made it possible. The design is actually appreciable.
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7. Never Forget Beautiful Sculpture Garden!
Years ago, the National Gallery of Art signed a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to create a sculpture garden within the area of the museum. It was in the year 1999 when the sculpture garden got opened to the public. The garden acts as an outdoor gallery for sculpture works. Tourists are quite much attracted to the sculpture garden for its design and architecture is brilliantly planned and enforced.
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8. Enjoy Ice Skating In Winters!
The Sculpture Garden designed by the famous architect Laurie Olin has a circular reflecting pool and fountain in its design. During winters, the pool is transformed into an ice-skating rink.
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9. Extensive Art Collection
The National Gallery of Art exhibits a stunning range of collection of early twentieth-century European art, including Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, French and British collections. A few famous artworks include the painting by the legendary artists such as Titian, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, Monet, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Rodin.
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10. More Than 8 Million Visitors!
The National Gallery of Art is a huge crowd puller. The exhibition Treasures of Tutankhamen from November 1976 to March 1977 attracted more than 800,000 visitors during these four months.
11. Who Is Andrew William Mellon?
Andrew William Mellon was American banker, businessman, philanthropist, art collector, and politician. He died on 26 August 1937. He was the amateur art collector. He was the person who proposed the Idea of Art Museum to President Roosevelt in Washington D.C.
source: Wikipedia, image: american-historama.org
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