A Centennial Celebration I. M. Pei at the National Gallery of Art
Perry Y. Chin, architect, and Susan Wertheim, chief architect and deputy administrator for capital projects, National Gallery of Art. In celebration of the 100th birthday of architect I. M. Pei on April 26, 2017, Susan Wertheim honors Pei’s gift to the nation: his design of the National Gallery of Art East Building. Harmonizing with architect John Russell Pope's neoclassical West Building, the award-winning East Building, which opened in 1978, was designed by Pei in the modern idiom of its time. Magnificently realizing the long-term vision of Gallery founder Andrew W. Mellon and his children, Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce, the East Building has taken its place as one of the great public structures in the nation's capital. Designed at a crucial point in Pei’s long and productive career, the East Building won the American Institute of Architect’s Twenty-five Year Award in 2004, and Pei, considered a living legend, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1983. Wertheim first discusses Pei’s architectural legacy at the Gallery and then joins with his longtime associate Perry Y. Chin to share experiences working on the recently completed East Building renovation.