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Release Date: September 7, 2016

Life of Art Dealer Virginia Dwan and Her Galleries Explored Through Installation of Personal and Gallery Archives in National Gallery of Art Library Exhibition

Announcement for Robert Smithson, Dwan Gallery, New York, 1966, National Gallery of Art Library

Announcement for Robert Smithson, Dwan Gallery, New York, 1966, National Gallery of Art Library

Washington, DC—In conjunction with the exhibition Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971, on view from September 30, 2016, to January 29, 2017, the National Gallery of Art Library presents documentary material drawn from its collection as well as from the Dwan Gallery Archives and the Virginia Dwan Archives in New York. In the Library: Selections from the Dwan Gallery and Virginia Dwan Archives will be on view from September 30, 2016, to January 29, 2017, in the East Building Study Center.

About the Installation

Following the themes in the related exhibition, In the Library: Selections from the Dwan Gallery and Virginia Dwan Archives provides a deeper look into the Dwan Gallery's evolution from a West Coast outpost for established New York and European avant-garde artists in the early 1960s to one of New York's leading galleries devoted to minimalism, conceptual art, and land art in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Posters, announcements, catalogs, ledger books, exhibition checklists, and correspondence tell the story behind some of Dwan Gallery's most significant shows.

Gallerist and patron Virginia Dwan's relationships with the artists she befriended and represented are explored through letters, notes, and other items of personal correspondence. Photographs, Polaroids, and slides document events including Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely's visits to California, excursions to New Jersey with Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, and visits to the earthworks she sponsored in the western United States, such as Michael Heizer's Double Negative.

A copy of Carl Andre's Seven Books of Poetry—copublished by Dwan Gallery and Seth Siegelaub in 1969 and Dwan's promised gift to the library—will be on view.

Organized by the National Gallery of Art and curated by Paige Rozanski, curatorial assistant in the department of modern art, and Yuri Long, rare book librarian, this exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Library and Rare Books Collection

The National Gallery of Art Library contains more than 400,000 books and periodicals, including more than 15,000 volumes in the rare books collection, with an emphasis on Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The National Gallery of Art Library was founded in 1941, the year the Gallery opened to the public. In 1979, with the move to a seven-story facility in the Gallery's new East Building and the establishment of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the library broadened its purpose and the scope of its collection. Its goal has been to establish a major national art research center, serving the Gallery's curatorial, educational, and conservation staff, CASVA members, interns, visiting scholars, and researchers in the Washington art community. Call (202) 842-6511 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.

The library's department of image collections is a study and research center for images of Western art and architecture and is one of the largest of its kind, numbering over 14 million photographs, slides, negatives, microforms, and digital images. The department serves the Gallery's staff, CASVA members, visiting scholars, and qualified researchers. Initial access to the library is by appointment, from Monday through Friday.

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]

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

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.