National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

4.8
Art Museum · Hidden Gem · History Museum
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Part of the Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery displays portraits of famous Americans. The gallery began with Charles Willson Peale's private collection of portraits, formerly called American Pantheon or Peale's Collection of Portraits of American Patriots. Since the gallery's inception in the 1960s, the collection has grown exponentially with acquisitions from around the world and a triennial portrait competition. Be sure to visit the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, an architectural marvel with a glass roof. Make National Portrait Gallery a part of your Washington DC vacation plans using our Washington DC trip itinerary planner.
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National Portrait Gallery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
3,515 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • When I planned my December 2021 trip to DC, I didn't factor in that the museums have staggered days they aren't open (I was used to them being open daily). The Portrait Gallery is one of my favorite....  more
    When I planned my December 2021 trip to DC, I didn't factor in that the museums have staggered days they aren't open (I was used to them being open daily). The Portrait Gallery is one of my favorite....  more »
  • We didn't know how much we would enjoy this amazing gallery. So many familiar faces, beautifully rendered. It's like a walk through the history of American television, theatre, history, sports... 
    We didn't know how much we would enjoy this amazing gallery. So many familiar faces, beautifully rendered. It's like a walk through the history of American television, theatre, history, sports...  more »
  • Me & my husband stopped in here while waiting for our room to be ready. It was really neat to see all the portraits I would recommend it if you have a few hours to kill. 
    Me & my husband stopped in here while waiting for our room to be ready. It was really neat to see all the portraits I would recommend it if you have a few hours to kill.  more »
Google
  • Obviously you cannot rate this place anything less than a full 5 stars. It's a beautiful, welcoming, and inspiring museum. The portrait gallery section was awesome and the suffragette display they had open is great to inspire students and women all around the country to fight for equal rights. Of course, the presidential portrait are the best. President Obama, Clinton and Kennedy's are the best. 10/10 would go again.
  • Beautiful building and loved the exhibit of the presidential portraits. Thoroughly enjoyed myself. Free admission and beautiful art. Located near Capital One arena in Chinatown. Plenty of restaurants and other attractions to pair with a visit. Probably my third favorite museum in DC (Natural History and Spy Museum).
  • I love seeing American art from each period of time. It's beautiful! You can lose track of time going through the time periods. I enjoyed the past President's portraits and seeing their history - this is a fascinating place!
  • This museum was a nice surprise because of few things. The architecture of the museum is beautiful. I loved the 20th century gallery which shows portrait of amazing people like Toni Morrison or Mrs Obama. The presidents hall is also very good and the explanations are just perfect. The contemporary part is also interesting and shows amazing pieces of work. Finally, there was an exhibition on feminism which looked nice and very detailed but I didn't have time to go through.
  • Great works of art and very informative write-ups. The exhibit about David Levinthal was particularly interesting. I was especially impressed with the great job the curators did compressing the subject's life into a small plaque beside the art. Highly recommended when you're in D.C.

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