National Gallery of Art Decks the Halls

National Gallery celebrates the holidays with December events

Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means the holiday season has begun at the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall.

To properly celebrate the holidays, the Gallery of Art does not hold back. Starting at the beginning of the December, the National Gallery has a slough of holiday decorations, films, caroling and more. Without the proper decorations it cannot feel like the holidays, so come to the Gallery’s rotunda beginning on Dec. 5 to see hundreds of red and white poinsettias, amaryllis plants, and twelve Christmas trees with sparkling white lights installed in the grand West Building Rotunda and Garden Courts.

Once the Gallery looks ready for the holidays, enjoy the 50-minute film The Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece: The Annunciation. The film shows conservators and curators from the UK and US disclosing details of the history, iconography, and preservation of Jan van Eyck’s The Annunciation, which can be seen in person at the Gallery. Documentary screenings will play on Dec.10 through12, 17 through 19, 24, and 26 in the East Building Auditorium at 12:30 p.m.

Nothing says “holidays” like caroling does. Come to the seasonally decorated West Building Rotunda for caroling sessions at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on December 13, 14, 20, and 21 led by different singing ensembles. For a full listing of different caroling groups check online at

For even more seasonal music, enjoy free holiday concerts on Sundays in the West Garden Court of the West Building. Performances begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at approximately 8 p.m. Come hear the New York Opera Society or the National Gallery Orchestra along with other performances.

In addition to all these holiday festivities, check out the museum’s gift shops with holiday books, gifts and wrapping paper and eat at museum restaurants for holiday specials such as holiday sweets and apple cider at the café. Also join in on holiday art discussions throughout the month of December held in the West Rotunda at 11 a.m.

The National Gallery is your one-stop-shop for holiday activities and to get more information about the museum check out their website at

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