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America's National Gallery of Art
Philip Kopper and the Publishing Office of the National Gallery of Art

Hardcover | 2016 | $75.00 | £62.95 | ISBN: 9780691172880
400 pp. | 10 x 11 1/2 | 650 color illus. 120 halftones.
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Seventy-five years ago, on the brink of America's entry into World War II, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, DC. Founded by Andrew W. Mellon and accepted on behalf of the nation by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mellon’s gift included his magnificent art collection and the neoclassical structure that is today’s West Building. Since its opening in 1941, the Gallery’s singular status as the nation’s art museum has continued to attract public-spirited donors. Their generosity has added tens of thousands of superb works of art and has made possible the construction of I. M. Pei’s East Building in 1978, the Sculpture Garden in 1999, and most recently a rooftop terrace and new tower galleries in the East Building.

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of a beloved cultural institution, America’s National Gallery of Art takes readers on a definitive inside tour through the museum’s remarkable history. With lively prose and abundant illustrations, this richly detailed volume recounts the development of the Gallery under its four directors—David Finley, John Walker, J. Carter Brown, and currently Earl A. Powell III—and highlights the museum’s collections, exhibitions, architecture, and ambience. Later chapters explore the Gallery’s new emphasis on contemporary art and its historic 2014 agreement to accept custody of the Corcoran Collection, giving readers and visitors a window onto the future of this national treasure.

Philip Kopper is publisher and chief editorial officer of Posterity Press Inc. in Chevy Chase, MD. He is also the author of New Southern Classicism, America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation, Colonial Williamsburg, The Smithsonian Book of North American Indians, The National Museum of Natural History, A Christmas Testament, and The Wild Edge: Life and Lore of the Great Atlantic Beaches..

Reviews:

"This lavish volume presents a lively tour of the great museum founded by Andrew W. Mellon, taking in its history, architecture, and collections."--Apollo Magazine

"This celebratory book about the National Gallery of Art, the US's public art museum, is part biography of this remarkable institution and part history of a world-class art collection. . . . The narrative (and liberal use of illustrations throughout) intertwines the history of the art, the architecture, and the individuals responsible for the gallery’s development."--Choice

Endorsements:

"America's National Gallery of Art provides an important understanding of how this distinctive institution came to be. The book introduces readers to the museum's origins as a legacy of Andrew Mellon, and charts its history as a narrative of generous donors and visionary directors. This work offers insights into the museum building's architectural evolution and the acquisitions that make the National Gallery of Art a treasure house."--Judith F. Dolkart, Addison Gallery of American Art

Table of Contents:

xv Continuity and Transformation:
The National Gallery of Art at Seventy-Five Earl A. Powell III
The First Fifty Years
3 Andrew W. Mellon: Founder and Benefactor
33 A Building of Admirable Grace
53 David Finley and His Cohort
61 First Donors: Kress to Dale
77 The National Gallery’s War Record
89 Ailsa and Paul: A New Mellon Era
101 John Walker: Last of the Old Guard
107 J. Carter Brown Launches the East Building Framing the Future
161 The Powell Era
167 The Physical Museum
181 Mission Expanded
203 Corcoran Connection
215 Growing the Collection
231 The Collection Selected acquisitions since 1937
307 Exhibitions Special exhibitions since 1973
350 A Visual Timeline
351 Benefactors, Trustees and Directors, Trustees’ Council
356 Acknowledgments and Selected References
360 Index
368 Image Credits

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Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington

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File created: 9/7/2017

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