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June 07, 2021

National Gallery of Art Announces East Building Reopening on June 18

East Building, National Gallery of Art, Washington

East Building, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art announced today the reopening of the East Building on Friday, June 18. The National Gallery will continue to require free, timed passes, but one pass will provide entry into both the East and West Buildings.

"The National Gallery of Art belongs to the people. It is our duty to be open for all, and I am delighted that our campus will soon be fully reopened," said Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery.

Free, Timed Passes and Other Visitor Guidelines

Passes for the week of June 14, including the East Building's opening weekend, will be released today, June 7, at 10:00 a.m. Visitors will reserve a pass to enter either the East or West Building; once inside, all visitors will have access to both buildings. Passes will continue to be released each Monday at 10:00 a.m. for the following week.

The East Building, West Building, and Sculpture Garden will have the same hours—11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Most galleries and amenities will be open to the public, though some exhibitions, galleries, shops, and other indoor spaces may be closed.

On June 18, the National Gallery will lift our mask requirement for fully vaccinated visitors. The National Gallery will not require proof of vaccination, but asks anyone who is not fully vaccinated, as well as those who would feel more comfortable doing so, to wear a mask. Fully vaccinated visitors are currently not required to wear a mask in the outdoor Sculpture Garden.

Indoor dining capacity will be capped at 50 percent across the National Gallery dining locations: the Sculpture Garden's Pavilion Café; the West Building's Garden Café; and the Espresso & Gelato Bar, located on the Concourse in between the East and West Buildings.

Visitors returning to the East Building can also expect other changes.

East Building Renovations and Access

Expanding on major renovations completed in 2016, additional work to the East Building has been underway since 2019. It has focused on renovating the galleries on the west side; improving accessibility throughout the building; overhauling select building systems; and replacing the iconic Atrium skylight, which was original to the building and over 40 years old. This renovation work was designed around the priority of remaining open to the public.

When the East Building reopens, visitors will enter and exit through the Study Center entrance immediately south of the main entrance on 4th Street NW. Most galleries, the Atrium, and other public locations will be available for visitors to enjoy. The East Building Shop on the Concourse will be open, while the Terrace Café on the Upper Level will remain closed. The East Building Auditorium will remain closed as in-person, indoor public programs are currently suspended.

Artist Projects: Sarah Cain, Avish Khebrehzadeh, Kay Rosen

Three artists—all known for making works in temporary sites or architectural spaces—were commissioned to create special site-responsive installations to enliven the East Building during renovations. In mid-April, Kay Rosen's bold, language-based work SORRY (2020–2021) was installed over the East Building's Main Entrance. In the Atrium, Sarah Cain's installation My favorite season is the fall of the patriarchy (2021) jumps the bounds of a 45-foot-long painted canvas to integrate a variety of surfaces. In the Concourse, Avish Khebrehzadeh's works will be on view: a set of video animations, Seven Silent Songs (2020), and the drawing Tree of Life in Blue (2021).

Lynda Benglis
June 18, 2021–January 2, 2022

Originally scheduled to open on March 22, 2020, Lynda Benglis will be on view on the East Building Mezzanine. This installation reveals Benglis's innovative practice through a variety of techniques, materials, and mediums. Thirty-three sculptures, paintings, drawings, and videos made between 1966 and 2003 demonstrate her influence as a bridge between generations of artists.

Contact Information

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]

Chief of Communications
Anabeth Guthrie
phone: (202) 842-6804
e-mail: [email protected]

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

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