Earl A. Powell III
Director, National Gallery of Art
Live Webcast October 25, 2002, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
Topic: Art for the Nation in the New Millenium
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Earl A. Powell has served as the Director of the National Gallery of Art since his appointment in 1992. The National Gallery was opened to the public in 1941, and is one of the nation’s most renowned museums, with a collection that spans the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. Between five and six million people visit the Washington, D.C. museum each year. During Powell’s 10 year tenure, the National Gallery has increased its holdings by over 12,000 works of art, opened a six acre sculpture garden and a 25,000 square foot sculpture gallery. In addition to the more than 150 special public exhibitions, the Gallery is utilizing new technologies to increase its reach to the public.
Powell returned to the National Gallery following positions as the Director of the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art from 1980 to 1992, various curatorial posts at the National Gallery and as curator of the Michener Collection at the University of Texas. An expert on 19th century American art, Powell’s publications include a monograph on the landscape artist, Thomas Cole, and numerous catalogue essays and journal articles on art and artists, such as Winslow Homer and Fritz Hugh Lane.
He is a trustee of the American Federation of Arts, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Historical Association. Powell also serves on numerous arts organizations, including the Association of Art Museum Directors, Committee for the Preservation of the White House, Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities, National Council on the Arts, and the National Portrait Gallery Commission. This past July, President Bush nominated Powell to serve on the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Powell earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his master's of arts and his doctorate from Harvard University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1969 and as a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1976 to 1980.
The National Gallery of Art
The National Endowment for the Arts