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Release Date: January 9, 2009

National Gallery of Art Welcomes Visitors of All Ages with Family-Friendly Films and Activities

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art engages children, teens, and families through special programs that explore art and topics from its permanent collection and special exhibitions. In particular, the Film Program for Children and Teens offers innovative film programming, enhances enjoyment of the Gallery's collections and exhibitions, and fosters an understanding of film as an art form. The program aims to represent a broad range of recently produced foreign and domestic films, including a variety of animation styles, live-action, and classics. Films are selected for their appeal to both youth and adult audiences; age recommendations are intended to guide parents in selecting emotionally and intellectually stimulating films for their children.

With an ongoing schedule of family-friendly activities and shopping—including family workshops, special family weekends, storytelling programs, teen studios, exhibition discovery guides, the Children's Shop, and casual dining in the Cascade's Café—there is a way for visitors of all ages to enjoy the Gallery's many offerings. For more information about family programming, visit

Feature films are in English, unless otherwise noted. All film programs are shown in the East Building Auditorium, and seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups are welcome. Food and drink are not permitted. Programs are free and subject to change without notice. For up-to-date information on the current month's films, please call (202) 789-3030.

Kids' Magic-Lantern Show
Saturday, February 7, 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 8, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 4 and up
Travel back in time with Terry Borton, lead showman of The American Magic-Lantern Theater, for an authentic 1890s big-screen extravaganza. The magic-lantern show is the direct ancestor of the movies, predating silent films. Slides illustrate stories and songs, and a live showman and musician provide the soundtrack. This show will include such Victorian-era stories as Alice in Wonderland, as well as sing-alongs such as "Old McDonald."

Azur and Asmar (Washington, DC premiere)
Saturdays, March 21 and 28, 10:30 a.m.
Sundays, March 22 and 29, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 6 and up
English language version
Celebrated animation master Michel Ocelot delivers an awe-inspiring and exquisitely crafted epic tale in Azur and Asmar (France, 2006/2008, 99 minutes). Azur, a nobleman's son, is raised by a nurse alongside her son Asmar. Both boys adore the nurse's whimsical tales of the beautiful Djinn Fairy who, captive within the black mountain, awaits a loving prince. Growing and living together as brothers, Azur and Asmar share the dream of one day marrying the mystical nymph, but it becomes a cause of sibling rivalry. When Azur's father sends him to boarding school and dismisses the nurse and Asmar, the once-inseparable boys doubt they will ever see each other again. Years later, however, Azur and Asmar meet as competitors, each determined to locate the Djinn Fairy first. Celebrating multiculturalism, loyalty, and honesty, Azur and Asmar is a dazzling, modern-day fable for all ages. A treat for the eyes, Ocelot's animation style was influenced by the illuminated manuscripts of medieval France, Persian miniatures, and the Islamic architecture of Spain and North Africa. This program coincides with the exhibition Heaven on Earth: Manuscript Illuminations from the National Gallery of Art.

The National Gallery of Art's Children's Shop on the Concourse offers a wide array of art-related books, toys, games, puzzles, and art supplies for the young and young at heart.

The 2008–2009 ice-skating season at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden will continue through mid-March, weather permitting. The ice rink, located on the National Mall at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue NW, allows skaters to enjoy the parklike setting with views of the large-scale sculptures from the gallery's permanent collection for a truly unique Washington, DC, experience.

Skaters and spectators can warm up rink-side at the Pavilion Café with hot and cold beverages and light fare. To entertain the young and the young-at-heart, free crayons and placemats to color featuring Julius Caesar Ibbetson's watercolor, Skaters on the Serpentine in Hyde Park (1786), are available at the entrances to the Café throughout the winter season.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Press Release