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WashingtonDC has many museums, which include the National Gallery and the museum of natural history.The National Gallery of Art, and its attached garden with sculpture, is a national art museum in Washington, DC, located on the National Mall, between 3:09 Streets at Constitution Avenue NW. Open to the public free of charge, the museum was created in 1937, particularly for the American people by a joint resolution of the US Congress. Andrew W. Mellon donated a collection of art and substantial funds for construction.   The core collection includes major works of art donated by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce and many others. Collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, decorative arts and medals Gallery traces the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder.          The Gallery’s campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, which is linked underground to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, and the 6.1-acre (25,000 m2) Sculpture Garden. The Gallery often presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art.     The Gallery’s East Building was constructed in the 1970s on much of the remaining land left over from the original congressional joint resolution. It was funded by Mellon’s children Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce. Designed by famed architect I.M. Pei, the contemporary structure was completed in 1978 and was opened on June 1 of that year by President Jimmy Carter. The new building was built to house the Museum’s collection of modern paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints, as well as study and research centers and offices. The design received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1981.   

      The National Gallery of Art has one of the finest art collections in the world. It was created for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier, public servant, and art collector Andrew W. Mellon in 1937. European and American paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, and decorative arts are displayed in the collection galleries and Sculpture Garden.   The permanent collection of paintings spans from the Middle Ages to the present day. The strongest collection is the Italian Renaissance collection, which includes two panels from Duccio’s Maesta, the great tondo of the Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi, a Botticelli on the same subject, Giorgione’s Allendale Nativity, Giovanni Bellini’s The Feast of the Gods, the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Americas, Ginevra de’ Benci; and significant groups of works by Titian and Raphael.   However, the other European collections include examples of the work of many of the great masters of western painting, including an important version of Saint Martin and the Beggar, by El Greco, and works by Matthias Grünewald, Cranach the Elder, Rogier van der Weyden, Albrecht Dürer, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Francisco Goya, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, and Eugène Delacroix, among others.   The collection of sculpture and decorative arts is admittedly not quite as rich as this, but includes such works as the Chalice of Abbot Suger of St-Denis and a superb collection of work by Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas.   Other highlights of the permanent collection include the second of the two original sets of Thomas Cole’s famous series of paintings titled The Voyage of Life, (the first set is at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York) and the original version of Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley (two other versions are in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Detroit Institute of Arts).  The Gallery’s campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, which is linked underground to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, and the 6.1-acre (25,000 m2) Sculpture Garden. The Gallery often presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art.  The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex.  The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs.  The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. With free admission and open doors 364 days a year, it is the second most visited museum in the world, the most visited natural history museum in the world, and the most visited museum (of any type) in North America. Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold the national collections and research facilities.  The museum’s collections total over 126 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts. With 8 million visitors in 2013, it is the most visited of all of the Smithsonian museums and is also home to about 185 professional natural history scientists — the largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of natural and cultural history in the world.  The Natural History Building (as the National Museum of Natural History was originally known) opened its doors to the public on March 17, 1910, in order to provide the Smithsonian Institution with more space for collections and research. The building was not fully completed until June 1911. The structure cost $3.5 million (about $85 million in inflation-adjusted 2012 dollars).   The Neoclassical style building was the first structure constructed on the north side of the National Mall as part of the 1901 McMillan Commission plan. In addition to the Smithsonian’s natural history collection, it also housed the American history, art, and cultural collections.  

More information:  http://www.mnh.si.edu/mobile/

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