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    Young visitors pose in the style of "Mercury" after Giovanni Bologna (1937.1.131).

    Director’s Highlights

    The National Gallery of Art provides its audience of millions with a meaningful connection to art and culture. In fiscal year 2022, our engaging collections, special exhibitions, and programming flourished as we continued to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with optimism and commitment to our mission to welcome all people to explore and experience art, creativity, and our shared humanity.

    We mounted 10 major special exhibitions, including the groundbreaking Afro-Atlantic Histories. We expanded and evolved our collections and acquisition plans to better reflect the expansive diversity of the American people. A significant number of works entered the collection by Latinx, Black, Native American, and international artists including Freddy Rodríguez, Sonia Gomes, Lee Ufan, Kiki Kogelnik, Rashid Johnson, Marie Watt, Emmi Whitehorse, Christina Fernandez, LaToya Ruby Frazier, John Wilson, and Zarina. Committed to the excellence of our historic European collections, we acquired works by artists including Lavinia Fontana, Luisa Roldán, and Jan Muller.

    Complementing our robust exhibitions, our in-person education initiatives and community and public programs returned to full strength, with a slate of lectures, tours, concert series, and film programs. Our conservation division, with one of the most highly respected and extensive conservation laboratories in the world, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Our Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts expanded initiatives and partnerships to enhance the Center’s scholarly work and support of pathways to the museum field, including welcoming our new undergraduate interns from Howard University.

    We invite you to join us in celebrating these major accomplishments and more in our fiscal year 2022 year-in-review. I am extremely grateful to our staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to emerge from a difficult time with integrity, excellence, inclusivity, and empathy. Thank you also to Congress and the administration, and our Board of Trustees, donors, and national members who support our efforts every year. Together, we will achieve our vision to be a museum of the nation and for all the people.


    Kaywin Feldman

    On-Site Visits Rebound

    Groups of guests enjoy sitting on the Sculpture Garden lawn near Chair Transformation Number 20B by Lucas Samaras during a Jazz in the Garden event.

    Nearly 3.2 million people visited the National Gallery of Art this fiscal year, bringing new life to the East and West Buildings and the Sculpture Garden after the pandemic-related closures of the previous two fiscal years. More than three times the number of visitors recorded in FY 2021, the rebound in attendance in FY 2022 accompanied a revival of on-site programming, including a robust schedule of special exhibitions, education programs, and community events. We continued to serve audiences with the successful return of National Gallery Nights and Jazz in the Garden, two wildly popular after-hours programs. Thanks to these compelling public programs and more, the National Gallery of Art became the most visited art museum in the United States during calendar year 2022.

    Exhibitions Enliven the Galleries

    Join exhibition curators Kanitra Fletcher, Steven Nelson, and Molly Donovan on a two-minute tour of Afro-Atlantic Histories. An incredible collection of works from the 17th century to the present bears witness to the powerful stories of the Black Atlantic. Drawing nearly 145,000 visitors, it was the museum’s most popular exhibition of 2022. Major support for Afro-Atlantic Histories was provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art and the Annenberg Fund for the International Exchange of Art.


    Alexander Calder’s “Untitled” Returns to the East Building’s Atrium

    This monumental sculpture is synonymous with the National Gallery’s East Building. In a matter of hours in the fall of 2022, watch how National Gallery art handlers and conservators returned Alexander Calder’s stunning mobile back to its home in Washington, DC.


    Once again, Calder’s iconic mobile softly soars and spins high in the four-story atrium of the National Gallery’s East Building. A site-specific commission created to open the I. M. Pei–designed building in 1978, Calder’s 76-by-30-foot mobile was taken down for restoration and cleaning during the pandemic. A cross-institutional team from the divisions of conservation, registration and loans, and facilities management worked collaboratively to deinstall Calder’s iconic mobile in June 2020 and then reinstall the 920-pound work of art in September 2022.

    The Center Partners with Howard University

    The Center’s Howard University undergraduate interns Sacha Reid, Munyang Tengen, Kennedy Martin, and Amaya Charley transform pigments into paint with conservation research scientists Barbara Berrie and Joan Walker.

    In September 2022, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (the Center) welcomed the first Howard University undergraduate interns to the National Gallery. Established as a pilot program in 2021 with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center’s Howard University Undergraduate Internship program aims to create pathways to careers in museums and arts-related organizations for participating students. This year, interns participated in a curriculum of weekly seminars that introduced topics in art history and museum studies along with a focus on professional exploration and skill building. They engaged with National Gallery staff through exhibition tours, department visits, research-in-progress presentations, and hands-on activities. In year two of their internship, the interns will participate in various departmental projects, with thoughtful guidance by staff mentors from across the institution. We look forward to welcoming the second cohort of this two-year internship to the National Gallery in September.

    Digital Experiences Engage a Growing Audience

    The National Gallery’s website features a range of stories about art and artists, their inspirations, and the unexpected connections to our world today. In this episode of The Past Is Present, scholar Mary Beard explores the story of Agrippina and Germanicus by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Who does the painting really depict? Is it a story about power or a tragic love affair? This video and many more are available on the National Gallery’s YouTube channels: National Gallery of Art - YouTube and National Gallery of Art Talks - YouTube.


    Our website is an in-depth resource that allows people from all over the world access to the National Gallery’s collections, exhibitions, educational resources, and schedule of events. This fiscal year, we continued to deliver engaging digital experiences as our online audiences grew apace. Increased digital content and the introduction of Artle, a new daily game allowing users to guess the name of artists with works in the National Gallery’s permanent collection, spurred a dramatic 72.5 percent increase in website traffic from more than 7.6 million unique visitors in FY 2021 to more than 13.2 million in FY 2022. An additional 1,670,200 individuals engaged with the National Gallery through various social media channels.

    Audio Guide Incorporates Diverse and Unexpected Voices

    A visitor listens as Sara Capen of the Niagara Falls [National] Heritage Area and Sarah Cash, associate curator of American and British paintings at the National Gallery, explore the hidden stories of freedom-seekers behind Frederic Edwin Church’s painting of a North American landmark, Niagara (1857). This updated audio guide was made possible by a grant from the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

    "Niagara," 1857

    00:00 00:00


    The National Gallery of Art has launched a new audio guide that brings select works of art to life through the voices of diverse and unexpected special guests. An ecologist, a dancer, a housing activist, a social worker, a poet, artists, and others reveal new ways of exploring objects in the West Building, while occasional commentary from National Gallery staff adds art historical context. New stops on the tour include celebrity chef Carla Hall examining the vast array of foods in Pieter Claesz’s Still Life with Peacock Pie (1627) and professional ballerina Tara Hutton sharing the joys and hardships that reveal themselves to her in Edgar Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878–1881).

    Conservation Turns 50

    Joseph V. Columbus, textile conservator at the National Gallery when the conservation division was formally established in 1972, works on the treatment of a tapestry.

    The National Gallery’s conservation division celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022 by cohosting, with the Center, a series of virtual moderated discussions on the depth and breadth of art conservation, its history and myriad collaborations, and its role in preserving tangible and intangible heritage. Celebrating Conservation consisted of four sessions that reflect on the state of the field and identify innovative paths forward for the next 50 years and beyond. Preserving its outstanding collection for future generations remains one of the National Gallery’s critical responsibilities and the primary concern of its conservators and scientific researchers. In FY 2022, the National Gallery’s painting, object, paper, photography, and textile conservators and scientific researchers undertook more than 7,000 major and minor treatments and examinations. In addition, new technologies were studied and devised that further the National Gallery’s mission of preserving the works of art with which it is entrusted.

    Collecting to Reflect the Nation and Its Histories

    Explore selected works that entered the nation’s art collection in fiscal year 2022.

    Freddy Rodríguez, Paradise for a Tourist Brochure, 1990, acrylic, sawdust, and newspaper collage on canvas, Gift of Funds from The Ahmanson Foundation, and Patrons' Permanent Fund, 2022.45.1

    Freddy Rodríguez

    Celebrated for his hard-edged abstract and expressionistic paintings, Freddy Rodríguez (American, born Dominican Republic, 1945–2022) explores Caribbean and Latinx history, often focusing on the Dominican Republic’s indigenous and colonial past as well as its history of enslavement, turbulent contemporary history, and the migration of Dominicans to the United States. Rodríguez’s artistic practice and subjects embody his commitment to aesthetic and political freedom. Paradise for a Tourist Brochure is an important work from a series devoted to unmasking the tactics of the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. 


    Sonia Gomes, Correnteza, from Raizes series, 2018, stitching, bindings, fabric, and lace on wood, Gift of the Collectors Committee, 2022.43.1. © Sonia Gomes 

    Sonia Gomes

    Sonia Gomes (Brazilian, born 1948), a contemporary Afro-Brazilian artist who lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil, is known for her mixed-media works made of fabric, wire, and other materials. Gomes brings the aesthetic and the human together in memorable sculptures that are at once traditionally Brazilian and fluently contemporary. Correnteza (Current) is a sculpture from her Raízes (Roots) series.


    Lee Ufan, Dialogue, 2011, oil on canvas, Patrons' Permanent Fund and Gift of Milly and Arnie Glimcher, 2022.83.1

    Lee Ufan

    Lee Ufan (born Haman, Korea, 1936) is an internationally celebrated painter, sculptor, and theorist who is best known as a founder of Mono-ha (School of Things), one of the most important movements to emerge from postwar Japan. The group rejected Western notions of representation and emphasized making, perception, and the interrelationships between space and matter, creating works from raw, natural, and industrial materials with little manipulation. Dialogue, a classic example of one of the artist’s most important series (Dialogue, 2006–present), is the first work by the artist to enter the National Gallery’s collection. 


    Kiki Kogelnik, Night, 1964, oil and acrylic on canvas, Gift of Funds from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, Kyle and Sharon Krause, Meredith and Brother Rutter, Katherine and Peter Kend, the Frederick & Diana Prince Foundation, and the Collectors Committee, 2022.76.1

    Kiki Kogelnik

    At the end of 1963 and in early 1964, Kiki Kogelnik (Austrian, 1935–1997) began to paint a series of six large-scale works with vibrant floating discs and cut-out figures against backgrounds of metallic ovoids. Night, a colorful composition divided horizontally into earth and sky, is believed to be the final work of this group.


    Rashid Johnson, Planet, 2014, mirrored tile, black soap, wax, shea butter, and vinyl, Gift of Funds from Ryan E. Lee and Lee Group Holdings (LGH), and Laura and Stafford Broumand, 2022.81.1

    Rashid Johnson

    Rashid Johnson (American, born 1977) is a highly regarded contemporary artist known for his works in a variety of media, including sculpture, installation, photography, and painting. Often juxtaposing materials in unexpected combinations, Johnson’s works contain multilayered allusions to art history, the environment, mass media, and African American identity. Planet is the second work by the artist to enter the National Gallery's collection, following the 2022 acquisition of the digital print The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club (Emmett) (2008).


    Marie Watt, Antipodes, 2020, vintage Italian beads, industrial felt, and thread, Gift of Funds from Sharon Percy Rockefeller and Senator John Davison Rockefeller IV, 2022.32.1

    Marie Watt

    Antipodes is a two-part beaded work by Marie Watt (Seneca Nation of Indians/European descent, born 1967). The sculpture addresses the temporal, material, linguistic, and spatial constructs of distance in Indigenous culture. In her artistic practice, which draws from Native histories, knowledge, biography, and belief systems, Watt investigates past, present, and future in community to better connect to place and to one another.


    Emmi Whitehorse, Fog Bank, 2020, mixed media on paper on canvas, William A. Clark Fund, 2022.41.1

    Emmi Whitehorse

    Fog Bank is a mixed-media work by Emmi Whitehorse (Diné, born 1957). It is the first by this highly respected Native American artist to join the collection. Whitehorse’s artwork embodies the natural harmony she observes in the landscape at her home near Santa Fe, New Mexico. It conveys her intimate knowledge of a place, in keeping with Diné philosophy. 


    Christina Fernandez, Lavanderia #1, 2002, printed 2021, inkjet print, Gift of David Knaus, 2022.46.1. © Christina Fernandez

    Christina Fernandez

    Christina Fernandez (American, born 1965), a Los Angeles–based Latinx artist, uses photographs and installations to explore her Mexican heritage and themes of identity, migration, labor, and gender. The National Gallery of Art acquired six prints from her Lavanderia (2002–2003) series, which depicts laundromats in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, an area of the city that was known at the time as a bastion of Chicano culture, as well as her installation piece, Bend (1999–2000, 2020). These works not only join others by such Latinx photographers as Benedict Fernandez, Anthony Hernandez, and Ana Mendieta, but also build on the conceptual work of Los Angeles–based photographers Lewis Baltz, John Divola, and Judy Fiskin, who explored the new urban and suburban architecture that was transforming the region in the 1970s and 1980s. All are now represented in the National Gallery’s collection.


    LaToya Ruby Frazier, Grandma Ruby, 2007, gelatin silver print, Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Schad Fund, 2022.42.1. © LaToya Ruby Frazier

    LaToya Ruby Frazier

    LaToya Ruby Frazier (American, born 1982) employs her photography to call attention to economic, environmental, and racial inequalities, from the clean water crisis in Flint, Michigan, to the closing of the major auto plant in Lordstown, Ohio. Seven prints from her landmark series The Notion of Family (2001–2014) are the first works by Frazier to the enter the collection. The Notion of Family depicts the artist and her family in her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh in the Monongahela Valley. A small town with a majority-Black population, Braddock has been deeply affected by sustained environmental protection agency violations.


    Lavinia Fontana, Lucia Bonasoni Garzoni, c. 1590, oil on canvas , Gift of Funds from Anonymous in memory of Montana Walker Strauss, and Patrons' Permanent Fund, 2022.38.1

    Lavinia Fontana

    This highly detailed and exquisite portrait depicts the 16th-century musician Lucia Bonasoni Garzoni (born 1561–at least 1610) by the most productive woman artist of the late 16th century, the Bolognese painter Lavinia Fontana (Italian, 1552–1614). This portrait is among Fontana’s best preserved and most accomplished surviving works in the genre. A rare depiction of a 16th-century woman musician by a 16th-century woman artist, this painting tells the story of two accomplished women who were able to overcome obstacles in a patriarchal society to succeed in the artistic spheres of painting and music. 


    Luisa Roldán, Virgin and Child, c. 1680/1686, painted wood, Pepita Milmore Memorial Fund, Patrons' Permanent Fund and William and Buffy Cafritz Family Sculpture Fund, 2022.39.1

    Luisa Roldán

    This small carved wood and painted statue by Luisa Roldán (Spanish, 1650–1704) is the first work by a woman sculptor from before c. 1850 to enter our collection. Widely accepted as a work by Roldán on stylistic grounds, it shares close similarities with a range of sculptures that are widely acknowledged to be by her. Born in Seville, Roldán was the daughter of Pedro Roldán, one of the city's most accomplished sculptors. Her introduction to sculpture most likely came from Pedro, with whom she worked in close partnership.


    John Wilson, Gabrielle, 1975, colored crayon and charcoal on paper, Avalon Fund and Gift of the family of John Wilson in honor of Shelley Langdale, 2022.27.3

    John Wilson

    John Wilson (American, 1922–2015) worked primarily as a draftsman and sculptor. He grew up in Boston, studied at the city’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, helped establish the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, and taught art at Boston University for over 20 years. Wilson’s suite of five life-size, colored-crayon and charcoal drawings, a compositional sketch for his unrealized mural Young Americans (c. 1972–1975), one early watercolor, a monumental black-crayon study of a woman's profile, and three lithographs reveal the artist's passionate concern for the human condition and demonstrate his superb skill as a draftsman with a remarkable sensibility for creating dark tonalities and sculptural effects.


    Zarina, Corners, 1980, cast paper, Gift of the Collectors Committee, 2022.7.2


    Three works by Zarina (Indian, active internationally, 1937–2020), one of the most celebrated South Asian artists of the past century, are the first works by the artist to enter the National Gallery's collection. They represent the range of Zarina's artistic practice. Although printmaking was her primary medium, her interest in materials extended to the inventive manipulation of paper alone, as well as projects in metal, terracotta, and stone. Ideas concerning displacement, mobility, loss, and memory are found throughout Zarina’s work, as she explored her rootless existence and the fraught politics of migration and cultural dominance in the various locations where she lived.


    Jan Muller, after Adriaen de Vries, Mercury Abducting Psyche, c. 1597, engraving on laid paper, Ruth and Jacob Kainen Memorial Acquisition Fund, 2022.24.1

    Jan Muller

    Artist Jan Muller (Netherlandish, 1571–1628) was among the most imaginative and refined of a group of engravers that flourished between Haarlem and the imperial court at Prague around the turn of the 16th century. Muller’s Mercury Abducting Psyche is a series of three engravings based on a 1593 sculpture of the same name by Adriaen de Vries (c. 1556–1626). In these prints, Muller rendered the statue from three different points of view. By translating a life-size marble of erotic subject and complicated torsion into black-and-white line work of remarkably abstract organization and exhaustive execution, the series demonstrates his extraordinary virtuosity.


    Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, A Fleet at Sea, 1614, oil on canvas, Gift of Albert and Madzy Beveridge, 2021.97.1

    Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom

    The National Gallery of Art acquired A Fleet at Sea, a major painting by the Haarlem artist Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom (d. 1640). The first Dutch painter to specialize in seascapes and detailed portraits of specific ships, Vroom paved the way for later 17th-century marine painters with his lively, colorful, and harmonious compositions.