The National Gallery of Art, and its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, District of Columbia., United States. It is located on the National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, at Constitution Avenue NW between Constitution Avenue NW and Constitution Avenue NW. The museum, which is open to the public and is free of charge, was privately established in 1937 for the benefit of the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. Andrew W. Mellon generously provided a major art collection and funding for the development of the building.
Significant pieces of art were contributed, by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, Rush Harrison Kress, Peter Arrell Browne Widener, Joseph E. Widener, and Chester Dale, are included in the core collection. In the Gallery’s permanent collection of works on paper and print are sculptures, medals, and decorative arts, visitors can see how Western art has evolved from the Middle Ages to the present. Highlights include the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci to be found in the Americas and the largest mobile ever created by Alexander Calder.
The original neoclassical West Building constructed by John Russell Pope is connected underground to the modern East Building designed by I. M. Pei. The 6.1-acre (25,000 m2) Sculpture Garden is all part of the Gallery’s site. The Gallery frequently hosts temporary special exhibitions that focus on artists from all around the world and throughout history. It is one of the most significant cultural institutions in North America.
The National Gallery of Art is widely regarded as one of the greatest museums in the United States of America, frequently ranking alongside institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, for the breadth, scope, and magnitude of its collections. It is the only one of the top three art museums in the United States in terms of annual visits that do not charge an admission price. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gallery only attracted 730,408 visitors in 2020, an 82 percent decrease from the previous year. In 2020, it will be the twenty-first most visited art museum in the world, according to the World Museums Rankings.