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Renwick Gallery, Washington DC

(700 reviews on the web)
Art Museum
The Renwick Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, located in Washington, D.C., and focuses on American craft and decorative arts from the 19th to the 21st century. It is housed in a National Historic Landmark building that was begun in 1859 on Pennsylvania Avenue and originally housed the Corcoran Gallery of Art (now one block from the White House and across the street from the Old Executive Office Building). When it was built in 1859, it was known as "the American Louvre".HistoryThe Renwick Gallery building was originally built to be Washington, D.C.'s first art museum and to house William Wilson Corcoran's collection of American and European art. The building was designed by James Renwick, Jr. and finally completed in 1874. It is located at 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Renwick designed it after the Louvre's Tuileries addition. At the time of its construction, it was known as "the American Louvre".
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a wonderful building saved by Jackie Kennedy. It is filled with unique arts and crafts. The museum store is fabulous.  more »
  • The building is beautiful, and the gallery is small, meaning able to be seen thoroughly without feeling overwhelmed! It houses a unique assortment of contemporary art, so many pieces of which excited ...  more »
  • Maybe not on your first trip to DC, but a great place to visit, linger, marvel, and revisit again. Just big enough to satisfy and please, but not to overwhelm.  more »
Google
  • Perfect way to pass a free hour. The art is kooky which I love. I wish they changed it up a bit more, but that's just cause I love coming here with people so I've seen the same collection tons of times now. That's not really even a complaint because it's like visiting some old friend. It's a stone's throw from the White House and barely ever crowded. Fun little museum!
  • Great, small gallery. Free admission and right next to the White House. Small enough that you can pop in if you are in the area. They always have great exhibits.
  • Delightful. Inspiring. An eclectic collection of diversity with pieces which were different - but not just "different to be different": truly interesting and usually thought-provoking as well. I understand that the exhibits change regularly so there should always be something new to experience. Add that it is free - and close to the White House (so you can stroll past the White House before or after) and it is a "don't miss". The only negative is that it was over too quickly: it is not a large museum.
  • Beautiful building with exhibits of American art and decorative crafts. Part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum so admission is free.
  • A local mentioned the Renwick to me offhand during a recent visit. "I've heard good things; it's small; you can probably go through it in 10 minutes." This ended up being a hidden gem for me. I spent a great amount of time taking in the rotating exhibit downstairs as well as the permanent collection upstairs. There were a lot of jawdroppers for me. Really unique, gorgeous stuff. I am often a little bored by art museums but this was phenomenal. I ended up buying a coffee table book of the temporary exhibit because I loved it so much (I'm NOT a coffee table book kind of person). Definitely one to check out.