When Andrew Mellon decided to create the National Gallery of Art, he used the same "model" he used for business, but this time he used it for culture. He hired the architect to design the building, he supplied the monies to construct the building and a sizable endowment to maintain the museum, and he gave his own personal collection as the museum's founding gift. He supplied the resources for the museum to "get off the ground" and then left it for others to make it grow and get bigger. Two of those "others" were Mellon's children, Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce.

In addition to generous funding, Paul Mellon gave the National Gallery more than 1,000 works of art over the course of his life, including masterpieces by:


Boy in a Red Waistcoat (1888-1890) by Paul CĂ©zanne

Harlequin (1888-1890) by Paul CĂ©zanne

The Bend in the Road (1900/1906) by Paul CĂ©zanne

Antony Valabrègue (1866) by Paul Cézanne


The Bridge at Argenteuil (1874) by Claude Monet
Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son (1875) by Claude Monet

Waterloo Bridge, London, at Dusk (1904) by Claude Monet

Interior, After Dinner (1869/1870) by Claude Monet

The Cradle: Camille with the Artist's Son Jean (1867) by Claude Monet


The Dance Lesson (1879) by Edgar Degas

Woman Ironing (1876-1887) by Edgar Degas

Woman Viewed from Behind: Visit to a Museum (1879-1885) by Edgar Degas


The Gardener: Old Peasant with Cabbage (1883-1895) by Camille Pissarro


Plum Brandy (1877) by Edouard Manet

Still Life with Peonies (1884) by Paul Gauguin
Landscape at Le Pouldu (1890) by Paul Gauguin

Breton Girls Dancing: Pont-Aven (1888) by Paul Gauguin

Te Pape Nave Nave: Delectable Waters (1898) by Paul Gauguin


A la Bastille:Jeanne Wenz (1888) by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec


Child with Toys: Gabrielle and the Artist's Son, Jean (1895-1896) by Auguste Renoir

What an amazing collection of paintings! Next blog post we'll see some of the masterpieces that Ailsa Mellon Bruce donated to the museum.

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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