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National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

Categories: Art Museums, History Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 2,000+ reviews on the web
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. By using our Washington DC travel itinerary maker, you can arrange your visit to National Portrait Gallery and other attractions in Washington DC.
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  • This gallery is housed in two fabulous building with a closed courtyard in between. It's not just portraits of founding fathers, by any means, and the collection is much more than portraits. Be sure t...  read more »
  • The Portrait gallery is great for a walk through on your way to the mall. What draws me there however is the performances that are often held in the atrium area in the middle of the museum. Check the ...  read more »
  • I'm a painter and of all the galleries in DC this one is by far my favorite. The portraits are extremely interesting as they demonstrate varied painting techniques - charcoal on paper, oil, watercolor...  read more »
  • One of my favorite museums in DC. I am not a huge fan of art, but they usually have a few great rotating exhibits and the American Presidents gallery is actually very cool (read the history behind each portrait to learn some cool facts about each painting and president). The real reason I like this museum is the center atrium with great WIFI and fountains to walk through. It's a GREAT place to study or work or grab coffee with a friend. Also, one of the side galleries has over 100 scavenger hunts for all ages. If you win, they even give you a little prize. In the same gallery, once a month on some Friday (I think the first Friday of the month) they have wine tasting and free jazz.
  • This was actually a lot of fun for us. News, memories and history captured and presented in interesting and beautiful paintings, drawings, photography and other art forms. We even got a photo with the four women who have served on the supreme court. A quite enjoyable afternoon.
  • Not for everyone, but filled with a ton of history and knowledge. The gallery is also a fantastic place to escape the heat and humidity if you are in DC during the late summer. It isn't crowded at all, is quiet, and has a great atrium that is surprisingly cool and relaxing as well. Be aware that younger kids--not doing a school report--are going to get bored really quickly. The small plaques next to the portraits is where you'll find all the history and make the museum a wealth of historical information.
  • The NPG is one of DC's greatest public amenities. Aside from having one of the best collections of art in the world, it is also one of my favorite places to work remotely as there is free wi-fi and is home to the Kogod Courtyard in which visitors relax, open a book, get some work done, or if you're hungry, The Courtyard Cafe offers many healthy food and drink options. It also sells adult beverages for those looking to further refresh and relax. The mezzanine hosts a spectacular view of the sky beneath a stunning art piece of of a roof. There are trees and flowers planted further enriching your experience. And if you are a parent, your kids will love splashing in one or both of the the water streams featured on the ground of the courtyard. The National Portrait Gallery is not an experience you should miss!
  • One of my favorite museums. I was pretty wary of the "portrait" element (I actually avoided that half of the museum for years). Turned out to be one of my favorite parts. They stay open a bit later in the summer (7, I think), so it's a great place to check out after the museums around the Mall close. And then there is a glutt of great (and mediocre) restuarants within two city blocks in every direction.
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