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Release Date: September 7, 2016

Celebrate the Re-opening of the National Gallery of Art East Building Galleries with an Array of Free Public Programs and Evening Hours

Pianist Vicki Chow will perform Tristan Perich’s Surface Image on September 30, 12:30 p.m., West Garden Court to celebrate the reopening of East Building galleries.

Pianist Vicki Chow will perform Tristan Perich’s Surface Image on September 30, 12:30 p.m., West Garden Court to celebrate the reopening of East Building galleries.

Washington, DC—On September 30, 2016, the National Gallery of Art will reopen of the East Building galleries and celebrate with an array of free public programs, including special events, live music, concerts, tours of the East Building, a special weekend of activities for the community, evening hours, and educational, fun-filled activities created especially to celebrate the re-opening. The East Building galleries, which house the Gallery's collection of modern art and several temporary exhibitions, will re-open after three years of renovating existing galleries and constructing new spaces, including an outdoor Roof Terrace that overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and two, sky-lit, interior tower galleries.

The more than 12,250 square feet of new spaces, within the footprint of the I.M. Pei-designed East Building, will allow the Gallery to present more modern art and accommodate an increasing number of exhibitions and visitors. Detailed information and images are available at

East Building Shop

The popular East Building Shop has been completely redesigned to accommodate a new assortment of Gallery reproductions, publications, jewelry, textiles and giftware inspired by 20th- and 21st-century art as well as current exhibitions. New signature Gallery shopping bags and boxes will be unveiled at the opening.

A new NGA Custom Prints kiosk with an ever-expanding selection of expertly photographed and printed art reproductions is featured. These prints are only available from the National Gallery of Art: framed or unframed, on paper or canvas, in treatments to suit each visitor's taste, conveniently shipped to your home. Order at

Opening Weekend Concerts

Vicki Chow, pianist
September 30, 12:30 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

Chow will perform Surface Image, a full-length composition for piano and 40 one-bit speakers in honor of the exhibition Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971.

Special Presentation
Symphonie Monotone-Silence
October 1, 4:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

Also in honor of Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971, the National Gallery of Art Department of Music will produce a performance of Yves Klein's Symphonie Monotone-Silence, which requires a 32-piece orchestra and 40-voice choir to sustain a D-major chord for 20 minutes, and then to sit, frozen in silence, for 20 minutes. The late artist's work is featured in the Virginia Dwan Collection.

Philip Glass, pianist and composer
October 2, 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, American composer and pianist Philip Glass will perform and discuss the creative process of collaborating with the visual arts, and reminisce about SoHo in the seventies.

Destination Modern: Pop-Up Talks in the East Building

Join us throughout the day on Sunday, October 9, in various locations for short, engaging pop-up talks about works of art in the Gallery's collections by such modern and contemporary artists as Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock, October 9, 11:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Check information desk for printed guides.

Evening Hours 

Evenings at the Edge
Second Thursday of the month, October 13, 2016–April 13, 2017
(October 13, November 10, December 8, January 12, February 9, March 9, and April 13)
East Building
6:00–9:00 p.m.

Evenings at the Edge—the Gallery's vibrant new after-hours mix of art, entertainment, conversation, tours, gallery talks, music, films, and live performances—allows visitors to enjoy the newly reopened East Building galleries in a festive atmosphere. Food and beverages will be available for purchase in several locations in the Gallery.

Admission and all activities are free, but tickets are required. Tickets become available on the Friday one month before each Thursday event date. Tickets for the October 13 event will be online at noon on September 26 at Get information about subsequent "Evenings at the Edge" events at [email protected] or #NGANights.

Community Weekend

Community Celebration
November 5, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
November 6, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
All ages

Celebrating the re-opening of the East Building galleries, this special weekend will feature sketching, concerts, performances, tours, face painting, and a photo booth. Sketchbooks and pencils will be given to all visitors who wish to join museum educators in exploring the new galleries and rooftop terrace through sketching and creative writing. The weekend will include performances by Deviated Theater, a dance/movement group that uses dance, acting, and aerials to tell fantastical stories; Story District, a storytelling group that tells true stories inspired by art; and Kevin Reese, starring in the one-man play A Perfect Balance, inspired by Alexander Calder's mobiles and written and directed by Mary Hall Surface.
Made possible by a generous grant from The Walton Family Foundation in honor of John Wilmerding.

Community Weekend Concerts

Four Goldberg Variations

Johann Sebastian Bach lovers will have the opportunity to hear the Goldberg Variations four times in four different ways, all in one day. Spanish harpsichordist Ignacio Prego will return to play the original setting on a dual-manual harpsichord; the Aspen String Trio will perform Dmitry Sitkovetsky's 1984 transcription for violin, viola, and cello; Atlantic Reed Consort will perform a reed quintet arrangement; and pianist Dan Tepfer will present his own jazz version of the Goldberg Variations.

Ignacio Prego, harpsichord
November 6, noon
West Building Lecture Hall

Aspen String Trio
November 6, 1:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court

Atlantic Reed Consort
November 6, 3:00 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall

Dan Tepfer, jazz piano
November 6, 4:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court

Community Weekend Films

For Florence (Per Firenze)
November 4, 12:30 p.m.
November 6, 5:30 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the ravaging floods in Florence, Italy, in November 1966, a rare showing of Franco Zeffirelli's For Florence (Per Fireze) shows the only known footage of the catastrophe and its immediate aftermath. Richard Burton provides voiceover commentary.

The screening is made possible through the cooperation of the Italian Cultural Institute RAI, Franco Zeffirelli, and the University of Maryland Library.

Gallery Talks

German Expressionist Art from the Saltzman Collection (60 mins.).
David Gariff: October 12–14, 18, 19, 21, 24, 28 at 1:00, East Building

In the Tower: Barbara Kruger (50 mins.).
Diane Arkin: October 4–8, 10 and 11 at 2:00; October 9 at 1:00, East Building Tower
Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971 (50 mins.)
Paige Rozanski and Diane Arkin: October 25–27 and 31 at 2:00, East Building Concourse

Teacher Programs

Carter Brown Memorial Evening with Educators
Rediscover the East Building
November 2, 2016
4:30–7:30 pm

Educators will explore I. M. Pei's newly renovated and reinstalled East Building, which now boasts more than 12,000 additional square feet of exhibition space for the Gallery's ever-expanding collection of modern and contemporary art. The evening opens with a lecture by Harry Cooper, curator and head of the department of modern art, who will explain the ideas behind the renovation, expansion, and reinstallation. The group also will tour the two new sky-lit Tower galleries, visit the outdoor Roof Terrace that overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue NW, walk through the exhibition Photography Reinvented: The Collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker (September 30, 2016–March 5, 2017), and socialize at a buffet dinner in the Cascade Café. Participants are encouraged to bring a colleague. Registration will begin in early September at

Inaugural Exhibitions

On September 30, 2016, the Gallery will open three spectacular, temporary exhibitions in conjunction with the re-opening of the East Building galleries.

In the Tower: Barbara Kruger will be on view through January 22, 2017. It is the latest in a series of exhibitions that focus on development in art since mid-century. Two exhibitions will appear in newly renovated spaces designed to accommodate the interchanging of works of art. Photography Reinvented: The Collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, on view through March 5, 2017, brings together a pledged gift of 35 works by critically acclaimed and important artists that have changed the course of photography through their experimentation and conceptual scope. Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959—1971, on view through January 29, 2017, will feature the remarkable career of gallery owner and patron Virginia Dwan for the first time in an exhibition of some 100 works, including highlights from Dwan's promised gift of her extraordinary collection to the National Gallery of Art.

Press Contact:
Sarah Edwards Holley, (202) 842-6359 or [email protected]

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.

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Press Release

Sarah Edwards Holley
(202) 842-6359
[email protected]