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Celebrating Seventy Years

Maygene Daniels, Chief of Gallery Archives, National Gallery of Art. On March 17, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the completed West Building of the National Gallery of Art and the collection of financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon on behalf of the people of the United States. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of this event, Maygene Daniels presented this lecture on March 17, 2011. Daniels provides a comprehensive and fascinating overview of the Gallery's past seven decades, including the opening of the East Building on June 1, 1978, when President Jimmy Carter accepted it on behalf of the nation; and the May 23, 1999, opening of the 6.1-acre Sculpture Garden. Blockbuster exhibitions and visits by celebrities, royalty, and heads of state are also highlighted.