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Speech on the Dedication of the National Gallery of Art: Paul Mellon

Paul Mellon, American philanthropist, art collector, and founding benefactor and trustee of the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery of Art was created on March 17, 1937, by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon. Designed by John Russell Pope, the West Building was made possible by construction funds provided by the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust. In this speech, recorded during evening ceremonies on March 17, 1941, Paul Mellon presents the completed West Building of the Gallery and the art collection of Andrew W. Mellon to the people of the United States. He describes the realization of his father’s gift, which was made possible by the support of the president and other government officials; acknowledges the generosity of others who supported his father’s vision; and commends the contributions of individuals and craftsmen involved in the building’s construction.