National Museum of Catholic Art and History

The mission of the National Museum of Catholic Art and History is to expand national and international awareness of the many seminal contributions that Catholics have made to America’s storied birth, phenomenal growth, and present-day leadership role in the world
through the exhibition, preservation, and acquisition of art and historical
materials that highlight this rich heritage.

The Morsel
Paul A. Gatto

Founded by Christina Cox in 1995, the museum was first located at 645 Fifth Avenue in the Olympic Towers and subsequently moved to Rockefeller Center in 1996. In 1998, the Board of Trustees leased a former Catholic Elementary school in the historical Italian neighborhood of East Harlem next to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine and undertook a 10-year $15 million dollar renovation that included construction of 11 art galleries. In August 2007, the building was purchased from the New York Archdiocese, operating as a private museum open to the public servicing schools in the tri-state area. In 2009, the National Museum of Catholic Art and History closed its Manhattan facility and is in the process of relocating in Washington DC. The museum continues to combine its art collection in partnerships with other museums, non-profit organizations, and traveling exhibitions.

Blue Madonna

The museum is best known for a beautiful collection of old masters including “The Betrayal of Christ” by Sir Anthony Van Dyck. The contemporary features “The Morsel” (Last Supper) by Paul A. Gatto, plus other artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and “The Blue Madonna.” The museum’s interfaith collection includes spiritual art from other religious traditions such a Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. In the last 20 years, the museum has worked to rescue and preserve spiritual artwork from the unexpected closing of thousands of churches, religious houses, and hospitals. Judeo-Christian and international spiritual themes of other religions such as Jewish, Hindu, Islamic and Buddhism are an important part of its interfaith collection.

The Lost Caravaggio
Fabio D’Aroma

National Museum of Catholic Art and History’s history collection contains old and new works of art, artifacts, and documents that recount the history of Christianity coming to America. Starting with Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Explorers the collection showcases how Catholics lived during the Spanish Colonial period, Colonization, Catholic Persecution, the Founding Fathers and Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, successive waves of Immigration, the Civil War, Slavery, World War I and World War II, Post Vatican II, Pope John Paul II, and today Pope Benedict XVI.

The museum is currently working with U.S. ambassadors, foreign embassies, archdiocese archivists around the World, international museums, artists, private collectors and art galleries in planning and staging new exhibitions focusing on Catholic life and spirituality.

The National Museum of Catholic Art and History
1500 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 122
Washington, DC 20005
Phone/Fax: 202-450-5707

Christian Cox
Executive Director
cell: 917-750-0014