From: The Honorable Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Support the National Gallery of Art in FY 18!
114th Signers (33): Holmes Norton, Jackson Lee, Doggett, Carolyn Maloney, Linda Sanchez, Yvette Clarke, Hastings, Rangel*, Pascrell, Cohen, DeLauro, Speier, Bernice Johnson, Brownley, Blumenauer, Bobby Scott, Lofgren, Moulton, Cartwright,
Kathleen Rice, Grijalva, Delaney, Van Hollen, Payne, Ashford*, Frederica Wilson, Alma Adams, Keating, Titus, Veasey, Heck, Lee
Please click here to sign your boss on to the letter.
As co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, I invite you to join me in sending the attached letter to the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert and Ranking Member Betty McCollum in support of funding
for the National Gallery of Art.
The letter supports full funding for the National Gallery. The most recent President’s Request for the Gallery was $158.401 million for Fiscal Year 2017. This letter supports funding the National Gallery’s core mission of preserving, collecting, exhibiting,
and fostering the understanding of works of art for all Americans. It is important that Congress carry through on its commitment to provide the Gallery with sufficient security and administrative support, which allows for the enhanced educational programming
and exhibition of the nation’s growing fine arts collection, and with adequate support for continued building maintenance, repair and renovations, which is essential for the protection of the collection and the visitors.
This past year the Gallery reopened the East Building after a three-year renovation, which added 12,500 square feet of new exhibition space. Since the reopening, there has been a thirty percent increase in the number of visitors over the prior year. The
renovation and reinstallation of the permanent collection have met with rave reviews from around the globe. Art critic Philip Kennicott said of the renovation: “The changes at the National Gallery are so subtle, so in keeping with the original design, and
have such a positive effect on the visitor experience, that they offer a model for money well spent on a public building.”
It is important that Congress honors this commitment to the Gallery because it provides wonderful services that enrich all of our constituents. The National Gallery not only reaches the millions who visit its two iconic buildings and Sculpture Garden on
the National Mall, but it also touches millions more through its traveling exhibitions, loans of works of art to museums all around the country, and television programming.
The National Gallery serves as an important educational resource for all through its school tours, family programs, lectures, podcasts, audio tours, and films. Since 1989, thousands of teachers, from all across the country have come to Washington to participate
in the Teacher Institute where they learn to use works of art as primary sources in classroom instruction.
The National Gallery of Art is both a national treasure and a vital educational resource for all Americans. Since the late thirties, Congress has consistently followed through on this commitment to the Gallery. It is as important as ever that we continue
to honor this much deserved commitment in Fiscal Year 2018. The deadline to sign onto the letter is COB Monday, March 27, 2017.
For more information or to sign onto the letter, please contact Jack Spasiano with Rep. Slaughter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Louise M. Slaughter
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, Congressional Arts Caucus
Dear Chairman Calvert and Ranking Member McCollum:
We respectfully ask you to support full funding for the National Gallery of Art in Fiscal Year 2018. Last year marked the Gallery’s 75th anniversary, which included the reopening of the East Building galleries after a three-year renovation and
the addition of over 12,000 square feet of exhibition space. Such an accomplishment would not have been possible if not for the past support of your Subcommittee. Your past decisions to fund the East Building life safety and renovation projects has resulted
in a 29% visitor increase since the reopening.
The National Gallery represents one of the nation’s most successful public-private partnerships. The Federal commitment to the maintenance and administration of the buildings and collection is the crux of that partnership. Unlike many other
national museums, the Gallery’s physical assets were all privately funded and given as gifts to the American people. The annual cost to maintain these assets, and its world-renowned art collection, are minimal when one considers the value of these gifts to
the American public.
The Gallery is a treasure for all Americans, not just for the millions who visit it on the National Mall each year. The Gallery has a long history of loaning works of art, and sometimes entire exhibitions, from its collection to major American
museums in order to share the nation’s fine arts collection with as many Americans as possible. Last year alone, the Gallery loaned important works of art to scores of American communities, large and small. These included: Williamsburg, Virginia;
Anchorage, Alaska; Brunswick, Maine; Dallas, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Tacoma, Washington.
Last year 4 million people visited the Gallery to view its magnificent permanent collection and special exhibitions; over 37 million Americans accessed its free loan resources; 186,000 visitors participated in its on–site educational programs
for children, teens and families, staff and docent lead tours, and auditoria programs featuring living artists; and the Gallery’s website was visited more than 6 million times, a number which continues to grow each year. The Gallery serves all Americans by
making its collection available through the internet. More than 46,000 images of world renowned masterpieces are available for free download on the web, which has been accessed over 2.3 million times since initiated four years ago.
It is important that Congress continue to fully support both the Gallery’s Salaries and Expenses Account and its Master Facility Plan. Now that galleries in both its buildings are open to the public, the Gallery has begun to fill many positions
that lapsed while construction progressed in prior years. Full funding will provide for the necessary personnel to secure, care for and exhibit the art, and the administrative support to manage and study the nation’s growing fine arts collection. Preservation
of the Gallery’s two buildings, one 75 years old and the other almost 40, requires a consistent funding source to ensure proper planning and execution of critically needed renovations and maintenance. The I.M. Pei-designed atrium in the East Building has begun
to leak with age. Coupled with funds requested in Fiscal Year 2017, full funding in Fiscal Year 2018 will allow the Gallery to begin to repair the leaking skylights and enhance other life and safety improvements. This work is imperative for the protection
and safety of the art, staff and visitors.
The National Gallery of Art is both a national asset and an important educational resource for all Americans. As the Gallery begins its second 75 years in service to America, it deserves continued Congressional support. For those reasons, we
urge you to fully fund this national treasure.
Louise M. Slaughter
Member of Congress