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Did you know that horticulture has been a part of the mission of the National Gallery of Art since the doors opened in 1941? The design for the West Building, by John Russell Pope, included gardens as an important element of the museum. Greenhouses were added in 1954 so that plants and flowers needed for interior and exterior gardens, special exhibits, and events could be grown on site. The role of the Gallery’s horticulturists has expanded over the years with the openings of the East Building (1978) and Sculpture Garden (1999), and the restoration of the Andrew W. Mellon Memorial Fountain (2017). Special endowments fund seasonal plant and flower displays to enhance the visitor experience. In this lecture held on July 9, 2017, Cynthia Kaufmann, chief of horticulture services at the National Gallery of Art, discusses the many facets of the Gallery’s horticulture division.

 

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