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Press Release

Exhibition Press Release:
Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900

Release Date: February 1, 2013

Celebrate Valentine's Day at the National Gallery of Art throughout February


Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Lady Lilith, 1866–1868, altered 1872–1873, oil on canvas, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935, as seen in Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art has long been a favorite setting for creative dates ranging from a stroll through the galleries, free films and concerts, elegant dining in the picturesque Garden Café, to ice-skating at the Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. This February, in celebration of Valentine's Day and coinciding with Destination DC's popular Date Nights DC program (, the Gallery is an ideal choice for couples looking for that special outing.

Opening February 17 in the West Building, the exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900 enables couples to explore the art of the Pre-Raphaelites through some 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects. Love is a common theme in many of the works on view.

Sundays at the Gallery offer an ideal rendezvous for art lovers. Join a Gallery-led talk exploring the rich permanent collection and then indulge in a Valentine's dessert and drink special for two at the Garden Café Britannia. Round out the day with a live concert in the West Garden Court. Special Valentine's Day gift offerings are also available in the Gallery Shops.

View the wide array of lectures (, films (, concerts (, and family programs ( offered at the Gallery at All programs are presented free of charge and take place in the East Building Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900
February 17–May 19, 2013
West Building
The first major survey of the art of the Pre-Raphaelites to be shown in the United States features some 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects. The young members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in 1848, shook the art world of mid-19th-century Britain by rejecting traditional approaches to painting. Combining scientific precision, an innovative approach to subject matter, and brilliant, clear colors, Pre-Raphaelitism was Britain's first avant-garde art movement.

The exhibition was organized by Tate Britain in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation.

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Garden Café Britannia

Inspired by the exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900, the award-winning Cathal Armstrong (chef and owner of Restaurant Eve in Old Town, Alexandria, and one of Food & Wine magazine's 50 Hall of Fame Best New Chefs) has created a buffet and à la carte menu of signature British dishes for the Garden Café. In celebration of Valentine's Day, the café offers a tempting dessert special for two. Every day throughout February, enjoy a rich chocolate truffle cake and two glasses of Antech Blanquette de Limoux, Réserve Brut 2010 for $20. The menu is offered in the West Building Garden Café Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. A preconcert menu of light fare and beverages is served on performance Sundays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Reservations are recommended; please call (202) 712-7454 or e-mail [email protected]. More information about the café and all dining options at the Gallery is available at

Gallery Shops

Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites and the medieval world, artist William Morris established a flourishing decorative arts firm in 1861. The firm produced tiles, furniture, embroidery, stained glass, printed and woven textiles, carpets, and tapestries for both ecclesiastical and domestic interiors. A special shop will open on Valentine's Day, and will feature Morris-inspired decorative arts, stationery, furniture reproductions, wallpapers, and textiles, including tapestries, as well as a selection of scholarly publications, children's books, calendars, music CDs, the exhibition catalogue and poster, and merchandise featuring Morris' poem, "Love is enough."

Sunday Lecture

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde
Sunday, February 17, 2:00 p.m.
Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art and director of graduate studies, Yale University; Jason Rosenfeld, distinguished chair and professor of art history, Marymount Manhattan College; and Diane Waggoner, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art
Following the lecture are a book signing of the exhibition catalogue and a question-and-answer session in the galleries with the curators of Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900.

Sculpture Garden Ice Rink

For a romantic evening, couples can visit the festively lit National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. Full details on hours, admissions, and lessons are available at

DJs in the Garden

Couples can warm up on Valentine's Day and every Thursday night (6:00–9:00 p.m.) throughout February with a different guest DJ spinning popular music from the 1960s through today.

Feb 7: DJ Rusty B.
('70s/'80s disco & pop)

Feb 14: DJ Stylus
('80s R&B, boogie, Valentine's Day slow jams)

Feb 21: DJ Neville C.
('50s/'60s R&B, blues, soul, rock 'n' roll)

Feb 28: DJ Stereo Faith
('90s/'00s pop, hip-hop, dance)

Sunday Evening Concerts
6:30 p.m.
Presented in honor of African American History Month

National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble
Music by Brahms, Bryan, Carter, and Jeffrey Mumford, composer-in-residence
Feb 3, East Building Auditorium

National Gallery of Art Chamber Players
With Miranda Cuckson, violinist, and Julia Bruskin, cellist
Peter Wilson, guest conductor
Music by Jeffrey Mumford, composer-in-residence
Feb 10, West Building, West Garden Court

Avalon String Quartet
With Winston Choi, pianist
Music by Jeffrey Mumford, composer-in-residence
Feb 17, West Building, West Garden Court

Poulenc Trio
Music by Ellington, Gershwin, and Still
Feb 24, West Building, West Garden Court