Designed to offer year-round enjoyment to the public in one of the preeminent locations on the National Mall, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden includes works from the Gallery's growing collection as well as loans for special exhibitions.
Located in the 6.1-acre block adjacent to the West Building, the elegant yet informal Garden includes new plantings of native American species of canopy trees, flowering trees, shrubs, ground covers, and perennials. A fountain, which serves as an ice rink in winter, is at the center of the Garden, and walking and seating areas offer visitors a chance to rest and reflect on the works on view.
The Pavilion Café offers year-round café service, along with indoor seating. The Sculpture Garden is enclosed by a decorative metal fence with marble piers and plinths, designed to reflect the historic character of the West Building. There are six public entryways to the Sculpture Garden: one on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, three on 7th Street (one directly across from the Gallery's West Building entrance), and two on the National Mall between 7th and 9th Streets NW, and it is accessible to visitors with disabilities.
The Sculpture Garden is made possible by a 1991 agreement, signed by the National Park Service and the National Gallery of Art and approved by the National Capital Planning Commission, to transfer jurisdiction of the Sculpture Garden site from the Park Service to the National Gallery.
The Sculpture Garden plantings are maintained by the National Gallery of Art horticulture staff. The division of horticulture is currently accepting applications for volunteers. For more information on volunteer opportunities, candidates should submit a letter of interest including all vital contact information to [email protected].
Architects and Curators
Laurie D. Olin, landscape architect, Olin Partnership, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in association with National Gallery of Art staff Mark Leithauser, chief of design; Gordon Anson, chief lighting designer; James M. Grupe, senior architect; Carl Campioli, assistant senior architect; and former curators of twentieth-century art, Mark Rosenthal and Marla Prather.
The National Gallery Sculpture Garden is given to the nation by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
Do not touch the works of art.
Do not ride bicycles or use in-line skates and skateboards in the Sculpture Garden (either walk beside your bicycle or secure it at one of the hitching posts located near the entrances on Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive).
Only service animals are allowed.
Alcoholic beverages brought from outside are prohibited in the Sculpture Garden and are subject to confiscation.