37¢ National Gallery of Art
Modern American Architecture
Issue Date: May 19, 2005
City: Las Vegas, NV
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75 x 11
National Gallery of Art
In 1968, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., asked architect I.M. Pei to design a building east of the original, classic-style museum to house exhibits, a library, and offices. By this time, Pei had earned a prominent position in the architectural world.
Born in China, Ieoh Ming Pei came to the United States in 1935 to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. He opened his own firm in New York City in 1955.
Pei had to design the sharply angled building to fit the triangular shape of its site. The two main components of the structure are triangular in cross-section. They are joined by a concrete bridge and a triangular atrium. Light streams down through glass pyramids.
Although very different in style from the original museum, the East Building is faced with the same pink Tennessee marble found in the West Building. Where concrete was used, Pei had the cement mixed with the marble dust for a warmer color.
The National Gallery of Art’s East Building opened to the public on June 1, 1978. It is the most visited art museum in the United States. In 2004, the building was honored with the American Institute of Architects’ 25-Year Award for architecture of enduring significance.