National Gallery: International Museum

Smithsonian museumThe United States guards its national art treasures among the buildings in the Smithsonian Museum District. The collection of art was primarily in private hands.

Andrew W. Mellon, a Pittsburgh businessman, realized that the United States was lacking a national museum. He had an impressive collection of art. In 1936, he bequeathed his collection to Franklin D. Roosevelt, on the condition that the artwork would be used for the benefit of the American people.

The building had to do justice to the masterpieces of art. Raphael’s Alba Madonna and Rembrandt’s Lucretia are two of the world-famous paintings. The architect of the museum was John Russell Pope. The museum was thrown open to the public in 1941.

Other donations to the museum are equally rich in quality and quantity. These donations have made the art collection one of the finest in the United States.

The West Building is home to painting and sculpture from the 13th to the 19th century. The museum houses Leonardo da Vinci’s Ginevra de’ Benci. This makes the museum the only one in America to house a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Another talking point is Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Red Hat. Other famous artists include Giotto, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Van Eyck, Bosch, Van der Weyden, Grünewald, Bellini, and Titian. Some of the works are stored in wood-paneled galleries, which recreate the ambience of ancient times. Impressionist painters, such as Mary Cassatt and Gilbert Stuart, are also esteemed highly. Stuart is well-known for his portraits of the first five American Presidents.

west building

Post-Impressionists, such as Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Gaughin, Renoir, and Cézanne, compete with Degas’s wax sculptures.

The West Building could not provide adequate space for all the works. It was considered appropriate to include a new building. The services of architect I.M. Pei were acquired in the construction of the East Building. An underground tunnel connects both buildings. The East Building has acquired cult status among art lovers.

The East Building has an H-shaped façade. The use of the same quarry means that both buildings are in perfect harmony. The opening of the museum in 1978 saw the unveiling of Henry Moore’s Knife Edge Mirror Two Piece. The stairs and bridges give a clear view of all five floors. The lightness and transparency at the top are matched by an exhibit by Alexander Calder. His 1976 Untitled lies below the design created by the glass and steel roof.

East Building

The East Building is home to some of the most influential artists of the contemporary era. Joan Miró’s The Farm originally belonged to Ernest Hemmingway. His wife donated it to the gallery after his death.

The sculpture garden, which lies adjacent to the west side of the building can be called a billion dollar donation. Claes Oldenburg will forever be remembered for Typewriter Eraser and Scale X. In addition, 17 other sculptures adorn the fountain. This fountain serves as an ice rink in winter.

The gallery has a perfect blend of fine art and popular entertainment. Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Puellae draws visitors in large numbers.

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  1. Shaik Anwar ahmed says:

    Very Informative with good pictures. Congratulaions.

  2. Candice says:

    People never give importance to all these historic monuments, but these all are the greatest achievements and great leaders who fought for our own country.

  3. Frankie says:

    These art gallery are among the best ones in the world! I’m sure art lovers have visited this place once in their life. They must have got the best site of their life!

  4. Philip says:

    This article is really very informative. I’m not a arts guy but yeah love to keep information about some things.

  5. Hill says:

    I appreciate the information given by the author, it must be difficult to summarize about these classy buildings.

  6. Iveta says:

    This concept of showing the world their collection must be very fascinating in olden times. This concept has really worked well and has given the world knowledge.

  7. Dexter says:

    Though the buildings will be of arts n paintings, but the architecture of this building is also very good. They have given the perfect shape for the perfect thing.

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