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The National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art was conceived and given to the people of the United States by Andrew W. Mellon. During his years of public service he came to believe that the United States should have a national art museum equal to those of other great nations. The museum was dedicated on March 17, 1941, with Paul Mellon presenting the museum on behalf of his father, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepting the gift for the nation. The museum has expanded; today the National Gallery of Art consists of its original West Building, the East Building (1978), and Sculpture Garden (1999). The mission of the National Gallery of Art is to serve the United States of America in a national role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards.