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This Day in the Arts: March 17


An exhibition of 71 paintings by Vincent Van Gogh creates a sensation in Paris.


Russian dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, one of the greatest male dancers of the 20th century, is born.


March 17 is the anniversary of the opening of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially opened the first building of the gallery in 1941.

The idea for the gallery was created in 1937 for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress, accepting the gift of financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon. During the 1920s, Mr. Mellon began collecting with the intention of forming a gallery of art for the nation in Washington. In 1937, the year of his death, he promised his collection to the United States. His collection formed the nucleus of what the National Gallery offers today.

Find out more and take a virtual tour of exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art web site.

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