The National Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5.p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, closed on December 25 and January 1. The National Gallery’s own exposition is not very large, but the East Wing has a Matisse collection on the top floor. This building also has a large bookshop in the basement and a movie theater on the 3rd floor where they show elite movies. The entrance to the East Building is on 4th Street. The building is modern but its architecture is not as unusual or unique as, say, the Solomon Guggenheim museum in NYC.
In 2000, the East Wing was the place of pilgrimage for art lovers because it housed the Art Nouveau exhibit. This exhibit was truly great because you could see the influence of this art movement throughout the whole of Europe and the US, in jewelry by Tiffany and Lalique, furniture, sculpture, paintings, architecture. Art Nouveau 1890-1914 was a new style that was an attempt to create an international style of decoration. It was very much influenced by Japanese and Chinese art, you can see that influence in the simplicity and beauty of design. Paris World Fair of 1900 announced Art Nouveau as a new style in architecture and design. The main element present in all creations of this time is nature – dragonflies and butterflies on vases, broches; flowers, trees were the inspiration of most images. Part of this exhibit was also Gustav Klimt’s paintings. Next door to the Art Nouveau exhibit you could also check out the impressionists paintings by most of the famous French impressionists that you can think of.
Current exhibitions include "German Expressionist Paintings from the Saltzman Family Collection," which includes works by Max Beckmann, Erich Heckel, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc, Emil Nolde, and others. There is also an exhibit "Small French Paintings" that has works by Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, and Camille Pissarro.