We can thank an all-in-one American banker, Secretary of the Treasury, and collector for the National Mall’s prized destination for fine art: the National Gallery of Art. Andrew Mellon had an undeniable passion for, and he celebrated it in 1936 when he offered President Franklin D. Roosevelt his own worldly collection, and a personally funded new building to start the National Gallery of Art.
In the many years since its conception, the museum has expanded from one building to two with its own out sculpture garden to boot. The growth of the property has reflected the growth of the institute’s collection, which now acquires landmark works on a regular basis.
Botticelli, El Greco, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Goya, Monet, Copley, and Degas—they’re all represented in the halls and galleries. One of the museum’s permanent exhibitions, Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection tells the history of our country through household items preserved from the 1700s onwards. Meanwhile, Leo Villareal’s Multiverse is a permanent installation that uses over 200 feet of space to create an encapsulating LED light experience.
In addition to its private collection of premier names and their momentous works, the National Gallery of Art also shows many visiting exhibitions. Its popular exhibitions and collection of iconic paintings and prints make it one of the ten most-visited museums in the world. In the United States, on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City draws more attendance.
To delve into this vast and fascinating place, guests of the Capitol Hill Hotel can take a short, 10-minute walk and visit this institution on the DC culture map.
For more information on the National Gallery of Art, their permanent and visiting exhibitions, and more, check out the museum website here. Admission to the museum is free of charge.