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National Gallery to Close East Building on Jan. 20

Due to the crowds and security restrictions expected on inauguration day, the National Gallery announced it will close the East Building, shops, restaurants, Sculpture Garden and ice rink on Jan. 20. However, the West Building's entrance at Sixth Street and Constitution Ave. NW will remain open to the public that day.

Here are some of the exhibits in the West Building:

Gilbert Stuart’s Portraits of U.S. Presidents
West Building, Main Floor, Gallery 65
In time for the inauguration of the president of the United States, the Gallery has installed the Gibbs-Coolidge Set of Presidential Portraits by American artist Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828). These iconic images of the first five presidents―George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe―have come to define how the nation remembers and pictures these famous men. They will be on view with other fine examples of Stuart’s American portraits from the late18th and early 19th centuries.

Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Americans”
West Building, January 18–April 26, 2009
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking publication of The Americans—a time capsule of 1950s America on the brink of massive social and political change—this exhibition includes 228 photographs, books, manuscripts, and contact sheets, as well as a short film created by renowned Swiss photographer Robert Frank (b.1924) and three large collages to which he contributed.

Augustus Saint Gaudens’ Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment
West Building, Main Floor, Gallery 66
Created by the preeminent sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), the monumental plaster relief masterfully depicts Colonel Shaw and the first AfricanAmerican infantry unit from the North to fight for the Union during the Civil War. One of the greatest works of 19th-century American sculpture, it measures nearly fifteen-feet high, eighteen-feet wide, and three-feet deep, and is accompanied by rare and early plaster sketches of the memorial, the angel depicted in it, and six portrait heads of AfricanAmerican soldiers.

By David A Nakamura  |  December 17, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Entertainment , Security
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