Created with a gift from financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon, the National Gallery of Art opened its doors in 1941 as a museum devoted to the people of the United States of America. Mr. Mellon believed that the nation deserved a collection, open and free to the public, that could hold its own with the greatest collections of the world. In the company of an art historian, we'll explore highlights by Van Eyck, Rembrandt, and a host of American masters during this three-hour National Gallery of Art tour.
“We loved [our guide’s] approach to the material, bringing in history and culture to give added depth to the artwork. We especially enjoyed her comparative visual approach to viewing Fra Angelico’s [Adoration of the Magi]!”
Buildings and Benefactors
National Gallery of Art Tour
Heather is an art historian specializing in Classical Greek and Roman art, with secondary fields in Early Christian and 19th-century art. She has a Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, and an M.A. from the University of Maryland in College Park. As an active member of the Aphrodisias Excavations team in Turkey from 2004 to 2010, she wrote her dissertation on sarcophagi and funerary practices in the Eastern Roman empire. She held a fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006-2007, and has traveled extensively in Europe for study and research. After teaching at the Pratt Art Institute and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, she has returned to her hometown of Washington, D.C. and currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and Marymount University. As a native of the Washington, D.C. area, Heather is well-acquainted with local museums, historic houses, and galleries, and has a special interest in the Classical heritage of the city, which is inspired by political philosophy and expressed in architecture and artistic symbolism.
Nearly 15 years of work in museums and art history in general, specializing in Dutch art of the 17th century, as well as French paintings of the 19th century, and a dash of 20th century abstract expressionism. She loves the background as to why a painting is interesting, why it's in a particular collection, and any fun facts that can be re-purposed to trounce any Trivial Pursuit opponents. Jennifer also enjoys exploring her home city of Washington, DC, as well as flower arranging for weddings and events.
Alison is a cultural heritage professional with a particular interest in the "untold histories" behind monuments, artworks, and artifacts. She earned her Master of Philosophy in Heritage Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2020, specializing in Italian cultural heritage. She also holds a BA in Art History from George Washington University, where she focused on both classical and early modern art. Alison has previously lived in Italy and the United Kingdom, but considers Washington, DC home.
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