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National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art
West Ground Floor Gallery 21
6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC
free
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In recent years, the Library has greatly expanded its holdings of architectural books. This exhibition explores topics including the poetry of structure and the synergy between architecture and urban infrastructure.

Assembled are books centered on four main themes. City Planning and Improvementsexplores ways in which architects approach urban infrastructure, and demonstrates how changing political climates and historical events can alter the course of a building’s design as well as its place within the larger urban environment. Studying the Masters presents surveys of architectural designs and scholarly analyses of the work of Renaissance architects. Both types of books provide insight into the ways that architects must respond to and work around the extant designs of their predecessors.Purpose Built includes books devoted to specific buildings. Whether providing details about a proposed project, describing a building under construction, or surveying and analyzing an existing building, the authors of these works provide valuable information that often survives only in this published form. And finally, Architectural Details showcases a selection of works focused on the styles and details that can both individualize a structure and place it within a larger context.

(Image: Annotations and sketches by Nicholas Udall in Livy, T. Livii Patavini Latinae historiae principis Decades tres cum dimidiae, Basel, 1549, National Gallery of Art Library, C. Wesley and Jacqueline Peebles Fund)