National Gallery of Art
Washington Travel Blog› entry 49 of 53 › view all entries
National Gallery of Art: http://www.nga.gov
I find myself in Washington DC with fellow TBer RJ and we both want to see some art while we are here. We only had one day to spend in the Capitol and there were several museums dedicated to art to choose from. After weighing our options we decided to visit the National Gallery of Art (NGA). Like the other museums in the city the NGA is free!
NGA was founded in 1937 upon the death of art collector, and the gallery’s financier, Andrew Mellon. Mellon began collecting fine art many years prior to his death with the intentions of donating the collection to the United States in hopes of creating a National Gallery.
RJ and I were both freezing and neither of us could wait to get inside. We started with the East building for no other reason than to get out of the cold faster. Made it pass the security guards with flying colors and immediately went to the front desk for Gallery information and to see if photography was allowed. Joy, it was!
The East building housed mostly the more contemporary artwork from postwar to present.
Most of the Galleries allowed photography with the exception of traveling collections and a few special collections. Still I would ask the museum attendants several times to reassure that I was in a gallery approved for photography.
The walkway was also a work of art. Windows to allow natural daylight also allowed a lovely view of a sculpturally designed waterfall and in the center where the daylight failed to brighten, moving lights lit up the ceiling. They reminded me of those icicle holiday lights that appear to be dripping water. It was a neat effect.
Before entering the West building we passed by the art gift shop where my weakness for postcards and Collection books led me astray and poor RJ had to wait for me to satisfy art nerd needs. J
In the West Building we find a long hallway with a plethora of gallery spaces on either side. The building was designed to be a sort of labyrinth of art. After the third gallery room RJ and I split without having to say anything.
We finished the Museum tour with the David/Apollo statue on loan from Italy and then rushed back so that I could purchase my books, postcard and art tea mug from the shop.
I can’t wait to revisit the NGA in the future. It is a stunning collection of art. I love the design of both buildings and flow from one gallery space to another.
Other art museums to consider
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery: http://americanart.si.edu
National Gallery of African Art: http://africa.si.edu
National Museum of women in the Arts: http://www.nmwa.org
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: http://www.hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/home/
Art Museums of the Americas: http://www.museum.oas.org