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Release Date: March 24, 2016

Drawing and Sketching Public Programs at National Gallery of Art, Washington, Supported by Faber-Castell USA

Artist sketching during the El Greco's Expressive Figures Drawing Salon. Photo by Denis Doorly, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Artist sketching during the El Greco's Expressive Figures Drawing Salon. Photo by Denis Doorly, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Washington, DC—In commemoration of the National Gallery of Art's 75th anniversary, Faber-Castell USA is supporting numerous educational initiatives, including the "Sketching Is Seeing," Drawing Salon, and Writing Salon programs. The gift includes 7,000 graphite pencils, 240 Polychromos® color pencils, 3,600 pastel crayons, 210 charcoal sticks, 1,375 Pitt Artist Pens®, 1,800 watercolor pencils, 504 kneadable erasers, and 20 sharpeners, all to be used or given away during various public activities.

A complimentary National Gallery of Art 75th anniversary sketchbook and 7,000 graphite pencils will be given away throughout the month-long "Sketching Is Seeing" program, from March 25 through April 24, 2016. The Gallery Shops will sell Faber-Castell USA art supplies including pencils and pastel crayons, charcoal sticks, watercolor pencils, and erasers, available both at the Gallery and online at

Faber-Castell USA CEO, Jamie Gallagher, said, "Faber-Castell's participation in the National Gallery of Art's programming during the 75th anniversary is an honor. We are pleased to offer a wide range of the highest quality artists' drawing tools for everyone's enjoyment; whether professional, aspiring or hobby artist."

"We are grateful to Faber-Castell USA for its generous support of the Gallery's educational programs in commemoration of the 75th anniversary and look forward to seeing this creative gift bear fruit," said Gallery director, Earl A. Powell III.

Sketching Is Seeing

From March 25 through April 24, 2016, the Art Information Room, located near the Mall entrance to the West Building, will be transformed into a "Sketching Is Seeing" orientation space. Building on the time-honored tradition of artists who sketch to explore ideas and the world around them, "Sketching Is Seeing" is a pilot program that invites visitors to sketch original works of art in the Gallery collection. This program is not about how well you can draw; rather, visitors are encouraged to think about sketching as a tool to explore the museum—to slow down, look carefully, and connect with works of art.

Faber-Castell USA is pleased to have provided complimentary pencils for "Sketching Is Seeing" in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the National Gallery of Art.

Visitors may stop by the Art Information Room any time of day to pick up a complimentary National Gallery of Art 75th anniversary sketchbook and Faber-Castell USA graphite pencil. Participants can also share their artistic adventure via Twitter or Instagram (@ngadc) using #NGAsketch. The program is intended for all ages.

Drawing Salon

Led by practicing artists and museum educators, this series of workshops integrates art history and studio art practices. The workshops are designed for all skill levels; any beginning or advanced participant over age 18 is welcome. All drawing materials are provided, including Faber-Castell USA graphite pencils. For more information, e-mail [email protected]. This program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required owing to limited space. This workshop is offered five times. Please choose one date. Registration for the April workshop opens at noon on March 28, 2016 at

Contextualizing Contemporary Sculpture
April 1, 10:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
April 2, 3, 16, 17, 1:00–3:30 p.m.
Consider how contemporary artists explore and combine materials in their work.

The 2015–2016 Drawing Salon season is made possible with the generous support of Faber-Castell USA in commemoration of the National Gallery of Art's 75th anniversary. Faber-Castell USA, founded in 1761, is the world's leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils. Additional support is kindly provided by Melvin Henderson-Rubio.

Writing Salon

Led by local writers, including playwrights and poets, this series of workshops uses examination of works of art as a starting point for writing original pieces. Through writing exercises and conversation, participants explore the elements of writing and experience works of art through a different lens. All skill levels are welcome to participate. The workshops are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required owing to limited space. This workshop is offered three times. Please choose one date. Registration for the April workshop opens at noon on April 4, 2016 at

Story: The Multilayered Narrative
April 8, 10:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
April 9, 10, 1:00–3:30 p.m.
Mine the richness of a 17th-century Dutch genre painting to experiment with storytelling, point of view, and symbolism.

In the Library: The Intersection of Commerce and Instruction in Art

Organized by the National Gallery of Art Library, this exhibition is on view through June 3, 2016, in the East Building, Ground Floor, Study Center, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. From art instruction manuals to trade catalogs, artists' materials are valuable resources that enable scholars and conservators to better understand the physical attributes of the artworks they study and preserve. In the Library: The Intersection of Commerce and Instruction in Art presents approximately 50 examples of trade literature, from handwritten and early printed manuals containing formulas for various dyes, varnishes, and inks to illustrated trade catalogs and instruction manuals on techniques.

Catalogs from companies such as Winsor & Newton and Faber-Castell USA as well as instruction manuals ranging from watercolor techniques to wood engraving by John Wilson Carmichael, Edward Groom, and Perran Garnier, among others, examine the impact of commercialization on artists, especially following the Industrial Revolution. Traditionally, artists ground their own pigments to make paint and crafted pencils and brushes based on techniques handed down from master to apprentice in an artist's workshop. But the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution allowed a greater number of materials to be produced for artists. Tubes for oil paint and cakes for watercolors were especially important developments that enabled artists to work more freely outdoors.

As companies developed these new products, they published manuals with abbreviated catalogs describing various artistic techniques. Expanding their consumer base beyond professional artists, these manuals targeted a growing middle class of hobbyists. As techniques were dispersed beyond the walls of the academies, artists were able to experiment and push boundaries, giving rise to a number of modern art movements, including impressionism, Dada, surrealism, and abstract expressionism.

Organized by the National Gallery of Art and curated by Yuri Long, rare book librarian.

Faber-Castell USA

Faber-Castell, established in 1761 by the cabinetmaker Kaspar Faber (1730–1784), is the world's leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils, with a varied range of products for writing, drawing, and creative design as well as cosmetics. Renowned for its high quality, innovative products, commitment to tradition, and environmental awareness, Faber-Castell USA, under the direction of CEO Jamie Gallagher, offers children and adults a wide array of quality branded products for the amateur to the professional artist, offering "Creative Experiences for a Lifetime." Today Faber-Castell operates 14 production sites in 10 countries, markets its products through 25 sales/distribution organizations and is represented in 120 different countries. Faber-Castell USA is proud of its longevity and what it represents—consistent delivery of a quality experience in all areas of business—and is committed to staying true to this vision of quality, tradition, environmental protection and innovation, now and in the future. Learn more at

Press Contact:
Laurie Tylec, (202) 842-6355 or [email protected]

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Instagram at

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

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Laurie Tylec
(202) 842-6355
[email protected]

Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or [email protected]

The public may call (202) 737-4215 or visit for more information about the National Gallery of Art.