National Gallery of Art

Washington, D.C.



(above: View of the West Building of the National Gallery of Art Looking West along Constitution Avenue, NW, photo © 2014 John Hazeltine)

(above photos from left to right: After Dark: View of the East Building from the West Building, Fourth Street Entrance, Opened 1978, Architect: I. M. Pei & Partners, photo by Dennis Brack / Black Star; Interior of East Building atrium of National Gallery of Art, featuring Alexander Calder mobile; photo ©1987 John Hazeltine)


Resource Library articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art:

In the Tower: Barbara Kruger (10/3/16)

Three Centuries of American Prints from the National Gallery of Art (5/3/16)

The Gothic Spirit of John Taylor Arms (7/1/11)

Let the World In: Prints by Robert Rauschenberg from the National Gallery of Art and Related Collections (10/31/07)

Edward Hopper (5/11/07)

Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965 (11/9/06)

The Streets of New York: American Photographs from the Collection, 1938-1958 (8/26/06)

Charles Sheeler: Across Media (3/28/06)


Nicholas Nixon: The Brown Sisters (10/25/05)

Audubon's Dream Realized: Selections from "The Birds of America" (9/6/05)

Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art (7/14/05)

Irving Penn: Platinum Prints (5/23/05)

Gilbert Stuart (3/8/05)

André Kertész (1/28/05)

Cotton Puffs, Q- tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha (1/20/05)


American Masters from Bingham to Eakins: The John Wilmerding Collection (4/20/04)

The Art of Romare Bearden (9/23/03, rev. 12/20/03)

Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries (2/7/01)

Lee Friedlander Accession at National Gallery in Washington D.C. (2/7/01)

O'Keeffe on Paper (4/19/00)

Alfred Stieglitz: New Perspectives (3/10/00)

Martin Johnson Heade at the National Gallery of Art (3/10/00)

Carleton Watkins Exhibit Provides New Technology for Visitors (3/10/00)

Twentieth-Century American Art: The Ebsworth Collection (3/10/00)


Mary Cassatt at National Gallery of Art (8/6/99)

Photographs from the Collection at the National Gallery of Art (5/26/99)

National Gallery Collectors Committee Selects Steichen Painting, Other Works for 20th Century Collection (5/26/99) and revised (6/11/99)

John Singer Sargent (2/4/99)

American Impressionism and Realism: The Margaret and Raymond Horowitz Collection (2/2/99)

First Retrospective of Landscapes by Thomas Moran (1997)

National Gallery Acquires Important Early Homer Painting (1997)


The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are located on the National Mall between Third and Ninth Streets at Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

The Gallery was created for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier, public servant, and art collector Andrew W. Mellon in 1937, the year of his death. The Gallery's collection of some 106,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts traces the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present

Special exhibitions are presented throughout the year. The Gallery also offers a free concert series, lectures, tours, film screenings, and a wide range of educational programs and materials for loan

The original (West) building opened to the public in 1941, and includes European (13th-early 20th century) and American (18th-early 20th century) works. Rich in Dutch masters and French impressionists, the collection offers superb surveys of American, British, Flemish, Spanish, and 15th- and 16th-century German art. Visitors are also invited to explore the Micro Gallery, a comprehensive interactive multimedia computer system. (left: West Building entrance. Photo credit: Mark Hazeltine)

See the Gallery's website for hours and other general information.


The National Gallery of Art offers on its web site

the audio tour "The Director's Tour" by Director Earl A. Powell III.
O'Keeffe on Paper. Barbara Buhler Lynes, co-curator of the exhibition, author of Georgia O'Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné, curator of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, and Emily Fisher Landau Director of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center, discuss new insights on the stunning watercolors, charcoals, and pastels presented in the exhibition of O'Keeffe's most innovative works on paper. Aired May 6, 2000. (description courtesy NGA)
Carleton Watkins: The Art of Perception. Sarah Greenough, curator of photographs, talks about works by celebrated nineteenth-century photographer Carleton Watkins, on view in the first major exhibition of Watkin's work in 20 years. Aired March 11, 2000. (description courtesy NGA)
Martin Johnson Heade, Part Two. Franklin Kelly, curator of British and American painting, continues the discussion of the exhibition, Martin Johnson Heade. Aired March 4, 2000. (description courtesy NGA)
Martin Johnson Heade, Part One. Franklin Kelly, curator of British and American painting, presents an overview of the work of Martin Johnson Heade, one of the most innovative and creative artists of the nineteenth century. Aired February 26, 2000. (description courtesy NGA)

From PBS:

Artist Romare Bearden drew on his interests in religious ritual and classic literature to create beyond what the camera could capture in his depictions of urban African-American life in the 20th century. Jeffrey Brown reviews the artistic achievements of Bearden, which are celebrated in an exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. This 8-minute audio clip is from a 1988 NewsHour with Jim Lehrer segment. Another 10-minute NewsHour segment includes a 1986 Charlayne Hunter-Gault interview with Romare Bearden.

TFAO also suggests these DVD or VHS videos:

American Vision, The is a 36 minute 1986 National gallery of Art video which is "A broad view of American painting from pre-Revolutionary days to the beginning of the twentieth century."
Awareness Series: American Art. John Singleton Copley, George Catlin, and Mary Cassatt: A Nation of Painters is a 25 minute video produced by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in cooperation with WETA-TV. "Short, evocative studies of the works of major artists represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Art: Copley, Catlin, Cassatt, and American Naive painters. Programs are not intended as definitive studies of these artists; rather, each is designed as a starting point for group discussion of the art and artist. Segments may be used independently, in any order or combination." This video is lent free of charge through the National Gallery of Art's Division of Education (go to NGA Loan Materials Finder)
Awareness Series: Modern Masters is a 40 minute video produced by the National Gallery of Art. "Short, evocative studies of the works of major artists represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Art: Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Picasso. Programs are not intended as definitive studies of these artists; rather, each is designed as a starting point for group discussion of the art and artist. Segments may be used independently, in any order or combination." This video is lent free of charge through the National Gallery of Art's Division of Education (go to NGA Loan Materials Finder) Image courtesy NGA.


Why was this sub-index page prepared?

When Resource Library publishes over time more than one article concerning an institution, there is created as an additional resource for readers a sub-index page containing links to each Resource Library article or essay concerning that institution, plus available information on its location and other descriptive information.

See TFAO's Museums Explained to learn about the "inner workings" of art museums and the functions of staff members. In the exhibitions section find out how to get the most out of a museum visit. See definitions for a glossary of museum-related words used in articles.

To help you plan visits to institutions exhibiting American art when traveling see Sources of Articles Indexed by State within the United States.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and image materials relating to the above institutional source were provided by that source. Before reproducing or transmitting text or images please read Resource Library's user agreement.

Traditional Fine Arts Organization's catalogues provide many more useful resources:

American Representational Art links to dozens of topics in American Representational Art

Audio Online a catalogue of online streaming audio recordings

Collections of Historic American Art notable private collections

Distinguished Artists a national registry of historic artists

Geographic Tour of American Representational Art History a catalogue of articles and essays that describe the evolution of American art from the inception of the United States to WWII.

Illustrated Audio Online streaming online narrated slide shows

Articles and Essays Online substantive texts published outside of Resource Library

Videos Online a comprehensive catalogue of online full motion videos streamed free to viewers

Videos an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format

Books general reference books published on paper

Interactive media media in CD-ROM format

Magazines paper-published magazines and journals

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Resource Library is a free online publication of nonprofit Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO). Since 1997, Resource Library and its predecessor Resource Library Magazine have cumulatively published online 1,300+ articles and essays written by hundreds of identified authors, thousands of other texts not attributable to named authors, plus 24,000+ images, all providing educational and informational content related to American representational art. Texts and related images are provided almost exclusively by nonprofit art museum, gallery and art center sources.

All published materials provide educational and informational content to students, scholars, teachers and others. Most published materials relate to exhibitions. Materials may include whole exhibition gallery guides, brochures or catalogues or texts from them, perviously published magazine or journal articles, wall panels and object labels, audio tour scripts, play scripts, interviews, blogs, checklists and news releases, plus related images.

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