on February 10, 2008
The West Building of the National Gallery of Art is located on Constitution Avenue NW between 4th and 7th Streets NW. It is open between 10am and 5pm Mondays through Saturdays and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. It is only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.On the Ground Floor most of the space is not gallery space. This is however where you will find the West Building Shop and the Garden Café. The main galleries on this floor are the Sculpture galleries. This area has many different sculptures on display including Chinese pottery, Degas ballerina and horse sculptures, and European Christian artifacts. The Ground Floor also has special exhibit space that usually has between one and three special exhibits open.The Main Floor is where you will find most of the paintings that are on display here. There is also some special exhibit space up here that usually has one exhibit open when it is not in transition. When I visited in February 2008, part of the exhibit space was close for renovations. This included American and British Art sections of the museum. Thus currently the painting galleries are most mainland European paintings. This is however some of the best of what the collection includes.A large amount of the painting in the Main Floor galleries are Italian paintings from the 15th to 17th centuries. Be sure not to miss the Leonardo Da Vinci painting here, which is the only one of his paintings on display in America. The French galleries include famous painters such as Monet. In the hallways between the exhibit spaces there are some large sculptures that are mostly humans. There are also the East and West Garden Courts on this level that are great places to relax between taking in the different exhibits.
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