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Washington, D.C.'s Top 10 : National Gallery of Art (part 2) - National Gallery of Art Collections

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National Gallery of Art Collections


Collections Floorplan
  1. American Paintings

    The breadth of this collection reveals many themes: portraiture, a desire for accuracy in depicting American life and landscape, and a social conscience.

  2. French 19th-century Paintings

    Especially rich in works of the Impressionists, this collection includes some of the world’s most beloved works of art, such as Monet’s Japanese Footbridge. Manet and Degas also feature.

    Japanese Footbridge, Monet
  3. Italian 15th-century Paintings

    Best known for the increasing mastery of the naturalistic portrayal of the human figure and of interior and exterior settings, the works in this collection still have appealing variety: decorative, mystical, simple, and elegant.

  4. Italian 16th-century Painting

    The mature flowering of the Renaissance bursts forth in this deep and broad collection of works by Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, and many others.

  5. Works on Paper

    The National Gallery is especially strong in this area. Repeat visitors see an almost unbelievable quantity and variety of exquisite drawings, prints, illustrated books, and photographs. The permanent collection contains more than 65,000 items, dating as far back as the 11th century.

  6. Dutch and Flemish Paintings

    Again, visitors will find an overwhelmingly rich array of Old Master works by artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Van Dyck, Rubens, Vermeer, and their contemporaries.

  7. Spanish Paintings

    El Greco, Zurbarán, Murillo, and Velázquez are just some of the Spanish highlights in this vibrant collection.

  8. Decorative Arts

    Sumptuous tapestries, full of imagery, outstanding pieces of furniture, and everyday items such as plates and bowls, give a wonderful glimpse of the passing centuries in Europe.

  9. European Sculpture

    Portrait busts and portrait medals have always been important products of the sculptor’s studio, and many fine examples are displayed here. There is also an especially absorbing look at Rodin and some experimental sculptural pieces by Degas.

  10. Painting and Sculpture of the 20th Century

    The frantic rate of change in 20th-century art is laid out here. From Matisse’s Fauvist works, the Cubists Picasso and Braque, the abstraction of Mondrian, Surrealists such as Magritte and Miró, high Modernists David Smith, and Mark Rothko, right up to minimalism and Pop Art.


The East Building and Sculpture Garden

The East Building is an angular construction designed to house permanent and touring exhibitions of contemporary art. Its entrance is from 4th Street or from the underground concourse leading from the West Building. The huge orange-and-black mobile by Alexander Calder that dominates the lobby was reconditioned recently to restore its slow motion. Provocative exhibition halls line the outer walls of the upper halls, connected by spectacular hanging crosswalks. The Sculpture Garden is a wonderful, lively public space integrated with the display of contemporary art, beautifully landscaped around its fountain and reflecting pool. There are free jazz concerts in the summer on Fridays and the pool is turned into an ice skating rink in winter.



The East Building Top 10 Works in the Sculpture Garden
  1. Puellae (Girls), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1992)

  2. House I, Roy Lichtenstein (1996–8)

  3. Four-Sided Pyramid, Sol LeWitt (1997)

  4. Cheval Rouge, Alexander Calder (1974)

  5. Personnage Gothique, Oiseau-ÉclairJoan Miró (1974)

  6. Six-Part Seating, Scott Burton (1985–98)

  7. Spider, Louise Bourgeois (1996)

  8. Thinker on a Rock, Barry Flanagan (1997)

  9. Chair Transformation Number 20B, Lucas Samaras (1996)

  10. Moondog, Tony Smith (1964–99)

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