Art for the Nation: Gifts in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art
March 17 – June 16, 1991
East Building, Upper Level and Mezzanine, Northeast and Upper Level, North Bridge
This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.
Overview: About 320 works were given or promised to the National Gallery of Art by more than 150 donors in honor of the institution's 50th anniversary. Included were works such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric," gift (partial and promised) of Betsey Cushing Whitney in honor of John Hay Whitney; Paul Cézanne's Boy in Red Waistcoat, promised gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon; Albert Bierstadt's Lake Lucerne, gift of Richard M. Scaife and Margaret R. Battle; and Vincent van Gogh's Roses, gift (partial and promised) of W. Averell Harriman and Pamela C. Harriman. Jusepe de Ribera's The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew was purchased and donated by the 50th anniversary gift committee, chaired by Gallery trustee Robert H. Smith. Wayne Thiebaud's Cakes was also purchased and donated by the 50th anniversary gift committee, with the Gallery's Collectors Committee, chaired by Ruth Carter Stevenson and Edwin L. Cox, and The Circle, chaired by Robert H. Smith and Katharine Graham.
Organization: Senior curator Andrew Robison oversaw the project. The entire curatorial staff researched and wrote catalogue entries. Gaillard Ravenel and Mark Leithauser designed the exhibition, and Gordon Anson designed the lighting.
Sponsor: GTE Corporation supported the exhibition.
Related publications: America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation, by Philip Kopper. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1991.
The Corporate Patron, by Diane J. Gingold and Elizabeth A.C. Weil in collaboration with Elisa Buono Glazer. New York: Fortune, 1991.
Film: Voices in Celebration, produced and directed by Aviva Slesin.
Note: The music, education, and horticulture departments of the National Gallery also celebrated with special concerts, programs, and a display of the Ames-Haskell azaleas given in honor of the anniversary.
Catalog: Art for the Nation: Gifts in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1991.