The National Gallery of Art Keeps Growing

Thomas Moran, Green River Cliffs, Wyoming, 1881, oil on canvas National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Milligan and Thomson Families
Thomas Moran, Green River Cliffs, Wyoming, 1881, oil on canvas National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Milligan and Thomson Families

Ranking often among the top 10 most popular art museums in the world, with 4 million annual visitors, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has been growing quietly and steadily with new acquistions, building projects and funding.

"From 2001 to 2011, federal appropriations to the National Gallery grew from $73 million to $158 million — or rose 70 percent when accounting for inflation — a growth rate nearly triple that of other federally-funded cultural institutions" reports the Washington Post.

The largest congressionally chartered art museum in the country, the National Gallery has long garnered bipartisan support. Teh gallery's longtime director, Earl A. Powell III, says the musuem's ongoing success comes from "a really unique and private-public partnership that doesn’t exist inside or outside of Washington beyond the National Gallery."

In the works for the I.M. Pei–designed East Building is a three year renovation beginning in 2014. A privately funded $30 million expansion of the building's towers will soon be underway.

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