Of course, visiting the National Gallery of Art was at the top of my wishlist when we planned our visit to Washington D.C. The National Gallery of Art was opened in 1941, thanks to the incredible generosity of Pittsburgh financier Andrew Mellon. Andrew Mellon donated his private collection of paintings and sculpture to start the museum, the funds in order to construct the building and a sizable endowment to maintain the museum. He purposely did not name the museum after himself because he wanted other major collectors, such as P. A. B. Widener, Samuel Kress and Chester Dale, to donate their art collections to create the gift to the nation that has became one of the premier art museums in the world. And the best part is admission is FREE to everyone everyday.

The highlight of the visit was seeing the four Vermeers. Considering there are only 37 known works by Vermeer in the world, to see 4 of them on one wall was unbelievable:

Woman Holding a Balance (1664). Part of P. A. B. Widener's gift to the museum.

Girl Holding a Flute (1665/1670). Part of P. A. B. Widener's gift to the museum.

A Lady Writing (1665). A gift from the Havemeyer Family.

The Girl with a Red Hat (1665). Part of Andrew Mellon's founding gift to the museum.

These four paintings are part of the vast Dutch painting collection at the National Gallery of Art. From Rembrandt to Frans Hals to Jan Lievens to Jan Steen, the Dutch collection is one of the finest in the world. I will continue my tour of the museum in my next blog post.

The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue.
  • Admission is always FREE.
  • Open Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Open Sunday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Closed on December 25 and January 1. 
All photos in this blog post were taken by me during my visit in September, 2013.

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