Paul Mellon: In His Own Words
The centenary of the birth of Paul Mellon (1907–1999), philanthropist, art collector, founding benefactor, and trustee of the National Gallery of Art, is celebrated throughout 2007 with exhibitions, gallery talks, lectures, concerts, and a new documentary. Paul Mellon's visionary leadership of the National Gallery of Art spanned more than six decades, from 1938, when he was first elected to the Board of Trustees, to his death in 1999. During that time he watched over and nurtured the museum's growth from a single grand building to a mature institution with two monumental structures, a sculpture garden, and a world-class collection. More than 1,000 works of art given by Paul Mellon and his wife Bunny form an extraordinary legacy. In addition, he generously contributed funds for acquisitions, education, archives, and the Gallery's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts.