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Renovation Information

Update: April 20, 2020
Please note that the below construction milestones and timeline are affected by the Gallery’s closure due to COVID-19. We will share updates here as soon as we have them.

The East and West Buildings of the National Gallery of Art are recognized as great works of architecture and are considered national treasures. They house important collections of art and present them in a safe and welcoming environment to the American public and to visitors from around the world. To maintain the buildings and infrastructure at optimal efficiency, the Gallery has implemented a Master Facilities Plan—an ongoing, phased approach to long-term repair, restoration, and renovation.

Having completed major renovations to the East Building in 2016, additional work has been underway since 2018 to improve select building systems and expand accessible entrances and restrooms. In 2020 we will begin the process of modernizing the Atrium skylight, which will ultimately replace 23,000 square feet of glass.

The East Building, most of the galleries, the Atrium, Study Center, Library, and Terrace Café will remain available to the public throughout this work.

General closures and phases of work are detailed below. All time frames are approximate and subject to change:

Summer 2018
Tower 3, which showcases temporary exhibitions, is closed to the public. Towers 1 and 2 remain open.

Early 2019
Select galleries on the Upper Level West Bridge are closed.

August 2019
East Building coat check moves from the south side of the front entrance to the north side.

October 2019
The East Building Auditorium closes; programs move to the West Building Lecture Hall, other locations in the Gallery, or other venues in the Washington metro area. Locations and times are available at information desks and

Tower 3’s oversized elevator closes to the public, altering the standard accessible route between the East and West Buildings; the accessible route during renovation is described online and shown in the updated Gallery Map (PDF 641KB).

Late February 2020
Ellsworth Kelly’s Color Panels for a Large Wall (1978) is deinstalled.

March 2020
Weekend programs (only) return to the East Building Auditorium with select exceptions; visit for the most up-to-date program information.

New accessible restrooms open on the Ground Level.

March–May 2020
Galleries that are open currently remain open. Works of art on view in the East Building Atrium are deinstalled, including Hans Haacke’s Condensation Wall (conceived 1963/1966, fabricated 2016), Dimitri Hadzi’s Scudi IV (model 1959, cast 1961), Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man II (1960), and Jean Dubuffet’s Site à l'homme assis (1969–1984).

On April 28, 2020, Alexander Calder’s mobile in the East Building Atrium is removed to accommodate skylight work.

Summer 2020
Tower 3’s oversized elevator reopens for public use; the original accessible route is restored. Accessible restrooms on the Mezzanine are reopened.

Protective enclosures are installed around Isamu Noguchi’s Great Rock of Inner Seeking (1974), Richard Serra’s Five Plates, Two Poles (1971), Max Ernst’s Capricorn (model 1947, cast 1975), and Anthony Caro’s National Gallery Ledge Piece (1978).

June 2020
East Building Auditorium reopens for all programs. Adjacent to the East Building Auditorium Lobby, refurbished restrooms open for public use. 

A temporary platform is installed beneath the skylight in the East Building Atrium to facilitate work on the skylight.

Anthony Caro’s National Gallery Ledge Piece (1978) returns to public view.

August 2020
Public access to the East Building is moved immediately south to an existing, accessible entrance. The current main entrance is closed.

December 2020
Main entrance reopens.

Summer 2021
Skylight replacement work is complete; Atrium skylight platform is deinstalled.

December 2021
All improvements to public spaces are complete; all galleries are open and art reinstallation is complete.

The Gallery offers free Wi-Fi, accessible by selecting the “NGA_Public_WiFi” network. Review the Gallery's Wi-Fi policy.

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