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Release Date: November 18, 2016

Celebrate the Holidays at the National Gallery of Art!
Enjoy Caroling in the Rotunda, Festive Decorations, Concerts in the West Garden Court, Unique Gift Items from the Gallery Shops, Ice-Skating in the Sculpture Garden, Gallery Talks, Tours, and More!

Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi., The Adoration of the Magi, c. 1440/1460, topic of gallery talk The Christmas Story in Art, December 11, 13, 14, 16, 19, 21 and 23 at 1:00 p.m. Talks begin in the West Building Rotunda

Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi., The Adoration of the Magi, c. 1440/1460, topic of gallery talk The Christmas Story in Art, December 11, 13, 14, 16, 19, 21 and 23 at 1:00 p.m. Talks begin in the West Building Rotunda

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art celebrates the upcoming holiday season throughout the month of December with festive decorations, caroling and concerts, gallery talks, and holiday-themed refreshments in the restaurants. All programs are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden ice rink offers skaters of all ages an opportunity to skate amid 22 stunning large-scale sculptures. The Gallery and Sculpture Garden are closed on December 25 and January 1.

Rotunda Decorations

Beginning Friday, December 2, 2016, hundreds of red poinsettias, white hydrangeas, and evergreen Christmas trees adorned with sparkling lights will grace the Rotunda and the East and West Garden Courts, creating a festive atmosphere throughout the main floor of the West Building through early January 2017.

Holiday Caroling Sing-Along

Caroling in the festively decorated West Building Rotunda has become a favorite family activity during the holiday season at the National Gallery of Art. Continuing its longtime tradition of community caroling, the Gallery's music department will present three outstanding programs in December. Visitors of all ages are invited to sing along with guest choirs and ensembles. This year's groups will perform their own music as well as lead the audience in standard Christmas carols. Performances last approximately 45 minutes.

December 10 at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Washington Performing Arts' Children of the Gospel Choir
December 11 at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Georgetown Day School Choir
December 17 at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Xaverian High School Choir, Brooklyn, NY

Gallery Talk

The Christmas Story in Art is a 60-minute discussion about paintings in the permanent collection that depict the birth of Jesus, including The Adoration of the Magi (c.1440/1460) by Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi. Led by Gallery lecturer David Gariff, the tour meets in the West Building Rotunda.

December 11, 13, 14, 16, 19, 21, and 23
1:00 p.m.
West Building Rotunda

Holiday Concerts

Tempesta di Mare
December 11, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
A baroque orchestra from Philadelphia that performs repertoire ranging from staged opera to chamber music, Tempesta di Mare will offer a holiday concert of baroque instrumentation without a conductor, as was the practice when this music was new.

December 18, 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court

Danú, a leading traditional Irish ensemble, will perform Féile na Nollag (A Christmas Gathering) with local Irish dancers. Enjoy Irish holiday music by virtuoso players on fiddle, flute, button accordion, and percussion.


During the month of December, holiday themed items and special seasonal flavors of gelato may be purchased at the Espresso & Gelato Bar on the Concourse near the Cascade Café.

The Pavilion Café in the Sculpture Garden offers a tempting array of seasonal beverages to keep visitors warm between spins around the ice, such as apple cider, peppermint hot cocoa, and hot chocolate. Alcoholic beverages are also available, including Irish coffee, apple cider with rum, mulled wine, and more.

Ice Rink

The 2016–2017 ice-skating season at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden begins on Friday, November 18, 2016, and continues through Sunday, March 12, 2017, weather permitting. Skating classes are offered for all ages and abilities. Located on the National Mall between Seventh and Ninth Streets along Constitution Avenue NW, the ice rink is a favorite destination, attracting thousands of visitors to skate in the nation's capital. The ice rink is managed by Guest Services Inc.

Skating in the Sculpture Garden, surrounded by the grand architecture of national museums and monuments, is enhanced by views of post–World War II sculptures by internationally famous artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Roxy Paine, and others from the Gallery's celebrated collection. For hours, fees, class information, and more, visit

Gallery Shops

The Gallery's four shops, including the newly redesigned, one-thousand-square-foot East Building Shop offering gifts inspired by modern and contemporary artists, have a wide selection of artful, unique, and one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for family, friends, and colleagues. Gifts for all ages include reproductions and adaptations of works by great names and movements of the 20th and 21st centuries; fine handmade and costume jewelry; wearable art and accessories; elegantly boxed greeting cards and beautiful ornaments; decorative home accents and tableware; Advent calendars; framed works of art; posters; textiles; clothing for men and women; an in-depth collection of catalogs, monographs, and illustrated gift books; sketchbooks; origami paper; calligraphy sets; and more. Shop in-store or online at

NGA Custom Prints

The new NGA Custom Prints program allows visitors to order custom-made, museum-quality prints of favorite works in the Gallery's permanent collection and special exhibitions, including hand-stretched canvas reproductions. Custom framing is also available. Made in the United States, custom prints are shipped for delivery within two weeks. Get more information at

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.

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