National Gallery of Art's East Building to Undergo $30 Million Renovation

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has announced a $30 million renovation of its East Building that will add exhibition space and a rooftop sculpture garden, the Washington Post reports.

To be funded by donations from National Gallery president Victoria Sant and her husband, Roger; National Gallery and Hirschhorn Museum board member Mitchell Rales and his wife, Emily; and David Rubenstein, co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, the renovation will add more than 12,260 square feet of exhibition space, including two sky-lit Tower Galleries that will house modern art from the permanent collection. East Building galleries will be closed in phases between July and December and will remain closed for about three years while the renovations are made.

The National Gallery and the financially struggling Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles are in discussions about a possible five-year collaboration involving programming, research, and exhibitions. If an agreement is reached, the National Gallery could exhibit part of its collection at MOCA during the renovations.

Designed by I.M. Pei and opened in 1978, the East Building made it possible for the National Gallery to house larger-scale paintings and exhibition pieces that its original building on the Mall could not accommodate while rebranding itself as a museum of modern art. An $80 million congressionally funded project to repair the marble fa├žade of the East Building, begun in 2011, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"This gift to the nation by these generous donors will enable us to exhibit more art from our ever-growing modern collection in spaces that will be at once spacious, airy, and contemplative," said National Gallery director Earl A. Powell III.

Katherine Boyle. "National Gallery of Art Announces $30 Million Renovation to East Building." Washington Post 03/12/2013.