National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: Founding Benefactors of the National Gallery of Art

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image of Andrew W. Mellon image of Samuel Henry Kress image of Rush Harrison Kress
1 2 3
image of Peter A. B. Widener image of Joseph E. Widener image of Lessing J. Rosenwald
4 5 6
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These portraits depict nine individuals, representing five families, whose generous contributions to the National Gallery of Art earned them the title of Founding Benefactors. Each of these founders presented a private collection that could have constituted a museum in itself. Their combined donations established a precedent for giving to the nation that continues today -- more than a half-century after the Gallery opened in 1941. (continue)


1Sir Oswald Hornby Joseph Birley, Andrew W. Mellon, 1933
2Leopold Seyffert, Samuel Henry Kress, 1953
3Leopold Seyffert, Rush Harrison Kress, 1953
4John Singer Sargent, Peter A. B. Widener, 1902
5Augustus John, Joseph E. Widener, 1921
6Gardner Cox, Lessing J. Rosenwald, 1955
7George Bellows, Chester Dale, 1922
8Philip Alexius de Laszlo, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, 1926
9William Franklin Draper, Paul Mellon, 1974