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Museum Visit Photo Essay

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S: Museum Visit Photo Essay - National Gallery of Art

BC: As we left down the front stairs of the museum's West Building, we noticed how sparse the entrance is (no large signs, banners, etc. touting the next Blockbuster exhibition) Looking out onto the National Mall, we saw the Washington Monument (tall building on the right), and the Smithsonian 'Castle' (shorter building on the left) through the trees. Professionals: Facilities Manager, Security

FC: The National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C. http://www.nga.gov/home.htm | Museum Visit Photo Essay Lisa Miller

1: As soon as a visitor enters the main, West lobby and passes through security, the Art Information area is seen. It contains a desk representative, as well as computer kiosks for visitors to access information about the collections. To the right, a small desk is seen where visitors can obtain Audio Tours. Professionals: Archivist, Curators, Director, Educators, Media and Information Services, Human and Volunteer Services, Visitor Srvs. Facilities Use Mgr, Security and Marketing Mgrs.

2: One of the main reasons I chose the NGA for this project: currently on display is Samuel F.B. Morse's "Gallery of the Louvre," (1831-1833), on loan from the Terra Foundation in Chicago. The painting possesses extraordinary value from an educational perspective, as it was Morse's attempt to educate American audiences about Fine Arts. Although failed at the time, it has since come to be regarded as a masterpiece. Professionals: Curator, Docents, Exhibition Planner and Preparator, Registrar, Security, Public Affairs, Educator, Webmaster http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/morseinfo.shtm

3: Docent-led tours are frequent at the NGA. One of the most popular items in the collection is the only painting by Leonardo Da VInci in the Americas, "Ginevra de' Benci," (1474/1475). Professionals: Curator, Conservator, Docents, Security, Public Affairs, Registrar, Marketing, Educator, Webmaster, Exhibition & Lighting staff http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/gg6/gg6-50724.html

4: Augustus Saint-Gaudens "Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th" (dedicated 1897), currently on loan from the National Park Service, is a magnificent sculpture. It was created to honor Colonel Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, "the first African American infantry unit from the North to fight for the Union during the Civil War." Professionals: Curator, Conservator, Docents, Registrar, Educator, Webmaster, Security, Information Services http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/shawinfo.shtm

5: The NGA's Gift Shop resembles a very large Department Store. Compared to other museum Gift Shops I have visited, there really is no comparison. My sense is that it is definitely a non-profit operation, however (this is not the early days of the American government, and I would be shocked if that degree of commerce was accepted in a public institution). Professionals: Facilities Mgr., Marketing, Security, Events Manager, Education, Merchandiser, Publishing. http://shop.nga.gov/

6: As an extremely large institution, the NGA is supported by hundreds of staff members and volunteers. I encountered tremendously helpful and knowledgeable people wherever i went and asked questions (although a few people were a bit camera-shy). The one thing that I thought odd was the total absence of Membership brochures. One can find Maps and Exhibition-specific materials everywhere, but I am so accustomed to being asked for money when I enter a museum, it was a bit disorienting. I eventually was offered the 'only copy left' of a Legacy Circle brochure (aka Planned Giving or Bequest) when I pressed a bit. Professionals: Human Resources, Visitor Services, Marketing, Publishing, Education

7: The NGA was founded in 1937 by an act of Congress, through a substantial gift of artworks by financier Andrew Mellon. His family, and additional wealthy Americans, supported the museum with gifts throughout the years. A statement from Pericles funeral oration honors Mellon's contribution in the West Building: "For the whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men and their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth but lives on far away without visible symbol woven into the stuff of other men’s lives.” Unlike other museums, there is no Membership or overt Fundraising requests in the NGA, as the museum is open--and free to--the public. Pericles' Funeral Oration. (http://englishare.net/literature/POL-HS-Pericles.htm) Wikipedia. National Gallery of Art. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Gallery_of_Art

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Lisa Miller
  • By: Lisa M.
  • Joined: about 6 years ago
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  • Title: Museum Visit Photo Essay
  • Lisa Miller
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  • Published: about 6 years ago