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January 13, 2022

East Building to Close Temporarily Beginning February 28, 2022

The East Building main entrance showcases Kay Rosen's temporary installation "SORRY"

The East Building main entrance showcases Kay Rosen's temporary installation SORRY, 2020—2021, paint on construction wall, 10 feet x 90 feet, courtesy of the Artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. and Henry Moore's Knife Edge Mirror Two Piece, 1976-1978, bronze, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, 1978.43.1

Closure to expedite renovations; The Double exhibition rescheduled to July

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art announced today that its East Building would temporarily close to the public from February 28, 2022, until June 2022, to expedite the completion of its skylight replacement. The exhibition The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900, originally scheduled to open on May 15, will now be on view from July 10 to October 30, 2022.

“Entering I. M. Pei’s iconic, light-filled East Building is a magical museum moment. While the building is in the final phase of renovations to its public spaces, the visitor experience has been diminished by construction and displacement of key works of art,” said Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art. “Closing to the public temporarily allows us to bring the full splendor of the East Building to visitors much sooner than if we were to remain open during renovations.”

The temporary closure comes during the period of highest-impact renovation work underway since 2019, part of the National Gallery’s Master Facilities Plan. This phase includes the completion of the skylight replacement and the removal of related construction safety structures and equipment. Art installation will continue through 2022, and there will be several experiences for visitors to enjoy once the building reopens. In addition to new exhibitions and acquisitions, several features will enhance the visitor experience such as a more accessible entrance, a separate lobby and new restroom near the auditorium, additional accessible restrooms on the Ground Level, and updates to the existing accessible family restrooms on the Mezzanine.

On July 3, The Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan and James McNeill Whistler will open on the East Building Mezzanine. Bringing together for the first time nearly all of Whistler’s depictions of Hiffernan, the exhibition explores their partnership and the iconic works of art resulting from their life together, including the three renowned “Symphony in White” paintings.

As a result of the temporary East Building closure, The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900 will now open on July 10, 2022, on the East Building Concourse. Presenting more than 120 works, it is the first major exhibition to consider how and why artists have employed doubled formats to explore perceptual, conceptual, and psychological themes.

During the East Building closure, the National Gallery will continue to welcome visitors by appointment to the library and image collections, located in the Study Center.

For more information on East Building renovations, visit

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]

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