The East Building of the National Gallery of Art in D.C. is reopening Friday after a 3-year, $69 million renovation.
The East Building houses the museum's modern art collection and several temporary exhibit spaces. Designed by I.M. Pei, it originally opened in 1979 on the National Mall.
The renovation added more than 12,000 square feet of exhibition space along with new stairs and a new elevator to improve accessibility for guests to see the art exhibits. There will also be a new roof terrace which will feature several sculptures, including Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock, a giant, electric-blue chicken on long-term loan from Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland.
The permanent collection features works by some of the biggest names in 20th-century art, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Georgia O'Keefe and Mark Rothko.
Visitors will also find three new temporary exhibits to be housed in the southwest Tower Gallery as well as newly renovated spaces. They include works by Barbara Kruger, a collection of contemporary photography and works given to the museum by Virginia Dwan from her renowned personal collection.
A redesigned gift shop will also be opened in the East Building, featuring jewelry, publications and giftware inspired by the exhibits.
The public can celebrate the museum’s opening during its community weekend on Nov. 5-6. The free event will include live performances, tours of the modern art exhibits, and art-making activities. Starting in October and extending through April 2017, every second Thursday of the month will now include an after-hours event in the East Building. Guests 21 and up can reserve free tickets online and enjoy interactive music, film and live events throughout the night, with food and beverages available for purchase.
Guests are encouraged to share how the museum inspires them on social media using the hashtag #MyNGADC.