Sunday, November 2, 2008

The National Gallery of Art (East Building)

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C has two buildings. The west building is a classic style that follows the styles of the white house, the capital building, and the Lincoln memorial. However, the east building is a newer building with a contemporary style. The building alone is meant to be a large sculpture that stands apart from the rest of Washington D.C. Also, the Building is meant to be a first look into what the people will see when they go inside. 
  This newer museum was built in 1978, a good 30 years after the West building was finished. The reason for the new museum was based on a growing increase in the art gallery's collection. Approved by president Jimmy Carter, the building houses a library, sculpture garden, research center, and large rooms of drawings and prints.
This Building is very open, allowing for a perfect place to house the Alexander Calder Mobile. There is a central lobby in the museum, that shows all stories of the building as well as the triangular shapes on the steel beams of the windows. The Calder mobile rests directly in the middle of the hallways that each floor consists of, which allows each person to see the mobile more than once while they tour the museum and the art within it. 
Being a modern piece of art, the east building was a better choice than the west national art gallery. Like the exterior of the building, with it's "sculpturesque" design, and the sculpture garden located outside, the mobile stimulates the same style. The angles of the exterior walls create a modern feel. Also, as mentioned before, the ceiling of the east building has triangular steel beams that create a unique view from the outside looking in and from the inside looking out. The angles allow for triangular shadows to rest on the floor. Alexander Calder's mobile is a good contrast to this ceiling because it's rounded edges can be seen next to the contrast of the triangles when somebody is looking up at the piece.

The National Art Gallery is much different than Nichols house in Boston. The red brick on the outside of the building as well as the classic detailing, is unlike the off-white concrete walls on the museum. The gallery has clean lines and angles, while Nichols house looks like a typical townhouse in Boston. Also, Nichol's house, which is a museum, looks more like a home than a museum setting. 
One similarity in the national art gallery and Nichols house museum, is the fact that they both house pieces of art in a "museum" setting. This means that they both allow for circulation of many people at once with places to sit and view art. Both seem to have the same functions with different style.

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