National Gallery of Art Receives Donations for New Exhibition Space in the East Building

The National Gallery of Art plans to construct with private donations 12,260 square feet of art exhibition space within the current footprint of the East Building on the National Mall. The new spaces will include an outdoor sculpture terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue and two flanking sky-lit interior Tower Galleries.

Exhibition Space in the East BuildingThey will primarily display modern art from the permanent collection. This work will occur in coordination with the federally funded Master Facilities Plan, a renovation program that began in the West Building in 1999 and continues in the East Building. During this phase of the East Building renovation, galleries will close on a gradual basis from July 2013 through December 2013, when all of the galleries will be closed. Construction will begin in January 2014 and last approximately three years, at which time the galleries will reopen. Subsequent phases of the renovations in other parts of the East Building will be announced at a later date.

In the spirit of the public and private initiative that created the National Gallery of Art in the late 1930s, several Washington philanthropists have given $30 million to the Gallery, allowing it to construct the new public spaces: Victoria P. Sant, Gallery president; her husband Roger W. Sant, a member of the Gallery’s Trustees’ Council; Mitchell Rales, a member of the Gallery’s Board of Trustees; his wife Emily Rales; and David M. Rubenstein, co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a DC-based global alternative asset manager.

Construction begins in January 2014. For the most up-to-date details on East Building gallery closures and for purposes of planning a visit, the public is advised to refer to the Gallery’s website at

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